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Monday, January 30, 2023

Naperville Municipal Band gets set for annual ‘Salute to America’ to celebrate Independence Day


Above / Despite rain, the Naperville Municipal Band is always triumphant on Thursday nights! And especially during its fourth concert when Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” is performed every year at the Naperville Community Concert Center in Central Park to celebrate America’s birthday.

With fond memories of the annual tradition performed in Central Park to celebrate Independence Day, take note that the Naperville Municipal Band’s “Salute to America” again will ignite patriotism with a blast from the past when re-enactors portray militia from the Civil War beginning at 7:30PM, Thurs., June 28.

Loyal concert goers attend year after year to experience NMB Director Ron Keller’s conducting Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s rousing “1812 Overture,” complete with cannon firing and bells.

And again, narrator Ann Lord will tell the audience how music by a Russian composer, celebrating the victory of Russian forces over the French army of Napoleon in 1812, has come to represent American patriotism on the 4th of July, the holiday when this nation celebrates the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. 

With perfect timing, Civil War re-enactors perform with cannons during the 1812 Overture.

That evening, the big stage door will open, the gazebo will be filled with homemade baked treats and beverages for sale hosted by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus, and the special weekly raffle will be sponsored by Catch 35.

Be sure to arrive a little early and pick up a program from the Naperville Municipal Band information table, near the parking lot on the south side of the park. Every one of the 1,000 programs includes a number for the raffle, providing a chance to win a Downtown Naperville gift certificate or a prize from a local business.

Think dinner and the show with clear skies

Either pack your own picnic basket or order a box dinner from a downtown Naperville restaurant and plan to enjoy a picnic in Central Park. For example, Catch 35 is close, located at Washington and Van Buren, just steps from the entrance Central Park. And Quigley’s Irish Pub is just to the south of the park along Jefferson Ave.

Or plan to arrive early, stop at one of more than 40 eateries in downtown Naperville. Simply tell your server you have a 7:30PM date in Central Park that you don’t want to miss when the community comes together to celebrate America’s birthday with inspiring music and special effects. 

And the band plays on and on

For more info about the rich history of the Naperville Municipal Band that dates back to 1859, visit www.napervilleband.org.

Meanwhile, plan to meet family, friends and neighbors during one of the outdoor summer concerts every Thursday evening through August 16 to experience the longest running tradition in Central Park.

Central Park is located at 104 E Benton Ave. in downtown Naperville, behind U.S. Bank, northeast of Washington St. and Jefferson Ave., in downtown Naperville.

Memories from last year that band fans likely will never forget… 

Under the direction of Conductor Ron Keller with entertaining and educational narration by Ann Lord, the Naperville Municipal Band continued its 2017 Summer Concert Series in Central Park at 7:30PM Thursday evening, June 29.

The annual Independence Day concert titled “Salute to America,” featuring the 1812 Overture, attracted a dedicated audience despite the anticipated downpour. Keller rearranged the program slightly to accommodate re-enactors that portrayed militia from the Revolutionary War.

Complete with cannons as well as other memorable songs and marches, the annual patriotic concert pays tribute to July 4, 1776, when 56 members of the Continental Congress representing 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence.

Central Park was brightened by a shining sea of umbrellas in the pouring rain. Yes, pouring rain. And what a blast!

After the concert Dee DeGroh wrote on Facebook, “Awww, they even set off the cannons! I’m so sorry I didn’t go. I hear it rained, lightly, but people were soaked with the steadiness. And the band played on!!! I shoulda, woulda, coulda!!!”

Cathy Steinbach’s view from the stage of the Community Concert Center as the band played on…

Band member Cathy Steinbach added, “Yes, we played the entire concert except for two pieces. When we have an audience that’s willing to sit out there with umbrellas, we play the concert!!! We have the GREATEST AUDIENCE IN THE WORLD!!! Thank you to all who were there!”

For 53 years, the award-winning Naperville Municipal Band has been under the musical direction of Conductor Ron Keller.

Central Park is located at 104 E Benton Ave. in downtown Naperville, behind U.S. Bank, northeast of Washington St. and Jefferson Ave., in downtown Naperville.

And consider a visit and take-out dining in downtown Naperville.

PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.