Above / Elizabeth Gosztola, pictured with Ron Keller, will be the first recipient of the Ronald J. Keller Music Scholarship. The soon-to-be 2018 graduate of Naperville Central High School plans to attend the University of Iowa where she will study music education.

During the recent Monday night practice, Elizabeth Gosztola, the first recipient of the Ronald J. Keller Music Scholarship, sat in with the band. 

The Ronald J. Keller Music Scholarship Committee has selected Elizabeth Gosztola as the $2,500 recipient of the inaugural Ronald J. Keller Music Scholarship.

Gosztola currently attends Naperville Central High School and plans to attend the University of Iowa in the fall where she will study music education.

As a student in the “Introduction to Teaching” class at Naperville Central, Gosztola currently travels to District 203 elementary schools to learn about the art of teaching.

According to DJ Alstadt, Director of Bands at Naperville Central, “Elizabeth is so excited about becoming a music teacher that it simply is contagious.”

The music scholarship committee agreed, and felt that Gosztola had all of the qualities essential for becoming an outstanding music educator.

“During her interview, Elizabeth just bubbled with enthusiasm,” said Keller, who has been involved with the Naperville Municipal Band since 1951 as well as its conductor and music director for 53 years. “She’s been interning one day a week as a music teacher in District 203 and she absolutely loves it. She’s excited and upbeat. And I thought, I’d love to have a teacher just like her!”

Keller added that two students each from Naperville Central, Waubonsie Valley, Neuqua Valley and Metea Valley high schools for a total of eight also had applied.

The scholarship will be presented to Gosztola at the Naperville Municipal Band concert when the 11-week summer concert season begins at 7:30PM on Thurs., June 7, in Central Park. Gosztola also will be performing that evening in the bassoon section.

“After practice Monday night, I invited Elizabeth to play with the band for the whole summer season,” added Keller, still impressed by her infectious “effervescence” and love for music.

Update, Jan. 16, 2019, Editor’s Note / Encourage music students who want to teach to plan ahead and be prepared to apply for the 2019 Ronald J. Keller Music Scholarship this year. The second-annual scholarship again will be presented to a qualified high school graduate headed to college for a degree in teaching music. For details, visit Ronald Keller Music Scholarship.

Also note the band that’s been around since 1859 will kick off the Naperville Municipal Band’s 160th anniversary year during a grand performance set for 3PM Sun., Feb. 17, on stage at the Wentz Concert Hall.

For more information about the Naperville Municipal Band, visit www.napervilleband.org.