Above / The Naperville Municipal Band will take the stage at the Wentz Concert Hall at 3PM, Sun., Nov. 11.
Naperville Municipal Band Conductor and Music Director Ron Keller is known for booking outstanding guest conductors from all across the United States to lead the band he himself has been conducting for 54 years.
For the Annual Veterans Day Concert, Keller and the 90-piece band will welcome Col. Lowell E. Graham, retired conductor of the United States Air Force Band to the stage at Wentz Concert Hall.
The indoor concert begins at 3PM on Sun., Nov. 11.
Emcee Ann Lord again will narrate the concert with her attention to history and band literature that provides engaging details from one song to the next.
A native of Greenly, CO, Graham has conducted bands and orchestras all over the world including the United States Air Force Band in Washington, DC. In 2014, he was distinguished as the President and CEO of the John Philip Sousa Foundation and he certainly has served the municipal band community well.
Back in 2011, Graham led the Naperville Municipal Band during its Independence Day Concert featuring the 1812 Overture with cannons, one of the most popular Thursday evening concerts in Central Park, Keller recalled.
With patriotic flair and toe-tapping rhythms, the Veterans Day Concert will feature Graham’s conducting Sousa marches and a contemporary composition called “Star Spangled Spectacular.” He’ll also lead a new rendition of “Yankee Doodle” as well as other band standards including the Armed Forces Medley, a salute to military men and women and their families for their service and sacrifice.
According to Keller, Graham also will lead “Liberty Fanfare” by John Williams. This 1986 orchestral transcription was commissioned to celebrate the Centennial of the Statue of Liberty, Keller said.
In addition to guest conductor Graham, Assistant Director Emily Binder will lead Leonard Berstein’s “Simple Song.” Cathy Lord will sing “Over the Rainbow.” And a song titled “Spirited Contrast” will be performed to honor Friedrich-Jones Funeral Services for its success of being in business 100-plus years. Assistant Director René R. Rosas will lead the lively Civil War song, “Goober Peas.”
“And, of course, there will be some patriotic marches,” added Keller, always reflecting with pride about the organization he has served since he was 15 years old. In 1953, Keller started playing with the Naperville Municipal Band in the tuba section.
During every concert, a local nonprofit organization is recognized for the good it accomplishes. For Veterans Day, Operation Support Our Troops-America will be accepting donations in the lobby at Wentz. Click here for a list of donation needs for Comfort and Care Packages that are sent to troops serving overseas.
Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center is located at 171 E. Chicago Avenue on the campus of North Central College, just steps from downtown Naperville.
Naperville Municipal Band since 1859
The Naperville Municipal Band was established in 1859. With the Naperville Community Concert Center in Central Park as its home base, the band entertains thousands of listeners every summer with its free weekly Thursday evening concerts, in addition to free fall, winter and spring concerts. For more information about upcoming concerts, visit www.napervilleband.org.