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Monday, January 30, 2023

Upbeat and marching right along in 2019


Above / The Naperville Municipal Band is greeted with applause and cheers when it performs rousing music, marching in Naperville’s annual parades from the Memorial Day Parade to Last Fling Labor Day Parade.

Local residents and visitors of all ages are welcome to enjoy the Naperville Municipal Band whether on stage or marching in the big hometown parades on Memorial Day and Labor Day. Naperville loves a parade!

In between parades, the NMB will host its 11-week summer concert series every Thursday at 7:30PM from June 6 through Aug. 15 in Central Park. To connect with the community, Music Director Ron Keller continues to embrace “themes” to enhance every program of music for the band concerts.

Remembering Veterans on D-Day

Since June 6 is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Keller has titled the opening concert “The Greatest Generation” as a salute to all World War II veterans and their families.

“I was 14 when the Korean War ended in 1953,” Keller said. “Many of those veterans also served in World War II. We’re hoping they all find a way to our concert. I’ve never believed you can wave the flag too much,” added the band conductor who enjoys directing John Philip Sousa marches as well as songs that showcase patriotism and love for America.

Above / World War II Veterans will be recognized for their incredible sacrifices during the first Naperville Municipal Band Concert of the summer concert season as it falls of D-Day, June 6.

During the first summer concert, the band will perform favorites reminiscent of the swing era in the 1940s by Glenn Miller, an American trombonist, arranger, composer and leader of big bands, Keller said. Other songs from The Longest Day as well as Victory at Sea will help recognize pride and incredible sacrifices for freedom on D-Day, recognizing military service and the legacy of the Greatest Generation, mindful that “Freedom is not free.”

In addition, this first summer concert will feature 8th Grade Scholarship recipients. Plus, clarinetist Daniel Wilczynski will be honored as recipient of the 2019 Ronald J. Keller Scholarship.

The raffle sponsor for this concert is Naper Settlement. The bake sale will be hosted by New Horizons Band.

Concerts in Central Park every Thursday through August 15

The annual performance of the 1812 Overture, complete with cannons will be played at 7:30PM Thurs., June 27, billed as the “Prelude to a Celebration.”

The Independence Day Concert will begin at 6PM Thurs., July 4. Note this concert begins with an early start time to give families and friends time to find their places to watch the annual fireworks display over Knoch Park.

On July 18, Vicki Keller, Ron’s wife, celebrates 50 years in the band. Other band members with more than 50 years are Florence Landorf, Lynn Walter, Bill Albrecht, Bob Morris and emcee Ann Lord.

Plan a picnic in Central Park. Begin a family, neighbor or friend tradition. Pack a picnic basket or pick up a box lunch at one of downtown Naperville’s many eateries.

Naperville Municipal Band celebrates first 160 years!

Looking back on his 54 years of leadership, Keller, now 80, jokes that he is half the age of the band. When Keller reminisces about his musicians and childhood friend Ann Good Lord, the ardent storyteller is in awe of every band member’s commitment.

Keller said the band’s 160th anniversary party held in February at the Judd Kendall VFW Post was an event he’d like to see happen every year. The camaraderie among the players was especially noticeable “because most of our band members are doing it for the love of music,” Keller added.

As long as his health is good, Keller has no immediate plans to retire.

He proudly touts, “Music is for life.”

All concerts, indoors or outdoors, are free of admission charge, thanks to support from the Naperville Special Events and Cultural Amenities Fund.

Note! July 12, 13 & 14, 2019 – The Naperville Municipal Band will host the National Concert Band Convention.

The NMB currently has 90 seats for musicians. A waiting list includes well-qualified musicians who play clarinet, saxophone, flute and tuba, all of whom make themselves available as substitutes. Keller says the only need at the moment is for a French horn. All musicians are welcome to try out in the event of a vacancy.

Updated with PN Photos, June 6, 2019

Naperville Municipal Band Schedule through August 15

June 6 – “The Greatest Generation”
Raffle Sponsor: Naper Settlement / Bake Sale: New Horizons Band

June 13 – “New York, New York”
Raffle Sponsor: Catch 35 / Bake Sale: Naperville Noon Lions Club

June 20 – NMB Big Band
Raffle Sponsor: Positively Naperville / Bake Sale: Congregation Beth Shalom

June 27 – “Prelude to a Celebration” – 1812 Overture
Raffle Sponsor: Two Bostons Pet Boutique / Bake Sale: Naperville Woman’s Club

July 4 – 5th Concert – “America’s Composers” (early start 6PM)
Raffle Sponsor: Kevin McQuillan Law Offices / Bake Sale: Naperville Area AAUW

July 11 – “Happy 160”
Raffle Sponsor: Homewatch Care Givers / Bake Sale: Girl Up Club of Naperville

July 18 – “Vicki Keller Night” 50th Anniversary
Raffle Sponsor: Braconi’s Restaurant / Bake Sale: Naperville North Field Hockey Club

July 25 – “René’s Conducting”
Raffle Sponsor: Rotary Club of Naperville-Downtown / Bake Sale: Lizzy’s Fund

August 1 – “Back in the Saddle”
Raffle Sponsor: Ellman’s Music Center / Bake Sale: Naperville Area Humane Society

August 8 – “So Long For A While”
Raffle Sponsor: Naperville Bank and Trust / Bake Sale: League of Women Voters

August 15 – Joint Big Band Concert
Raffle Sponsor: NMB / Bake Sale: Cross of Christ Fellowship

All performances are free and open to the public. 

PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.