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Naperville Municipal Band Winter Concert is set for March 1


Above / Chelsea French and her trombone will perform with the Naperville Municipal Band during its Winter Concert at Wentz Concert Hall, located in the North Central College Fine and Performing Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Avenue, just steps from downtown Naperville.

The Naperville Municipal Band is set to perform its 2020 Winter Concert on stage at Wentz Concert Hall beginning at 3PM Sun., March 1.

According to Conductor and Music Director Ron Keller, the 90-minute concert titled “Band Classics” will feature Chelsea French performing a trombone solo, accompanied by the band.

“The theme of the concert at the Wentz is ‘Band Classics’,” said Keller. “I wanted to feature a trombone solo, Pryors’ ‘Blue Bells of Scotland,’ so I contacted Chelsea French who serves on the faculty of North Central College. And she agreed to be our soloist for the Winter Concert.”

Other songs on the playlist include “Italian Holiday,” “Beguine for Band,” “Colonel Bogey” and an Irving Berlin medley. 

“Chelsea also will join the trombone section for the ‘Trombone Family Reunion’, a popular march  by Henry Fillmore,” Keller added.

In addition to providing commentary about the musical selections, narrator Ann Lord will help spotlight Little Friends, Inc., a nonprofit organization that began in Naperville in 1965. Founded as a school providing educational services for several children with Down Syndrome, today its mission is to empower children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities to live, learn, work, and participate in the community.

“Little Friends is a group doing wonderful work in the area,” emailed Michael Incopero, who performs in the tuba section and serves on the committee to select featured nonprofits. Band members “are cognizant of them through the tireless efforts of our very own Dick Pugliese who makes sure the NMB always has a representative entry in their annual Parade of Lights in downtown Naperville.”

Concert attendees are welcome to donate personal care items that are “always are needed and appreciated” throughout the year at Little Friends. Monetary donations also will be accepted at the information booth set up in the lobby.

Requested Items to Donate for Little Friends

The long list of items that will be appreciated and helpful to Little Friends includes: Adhesive Bandages – Large and Small; Alcohol Pads; Baby Shampoo; Baby wipes; Band-Aid strips; Bar soap; Body lotion; Body Soap – Liquid; Combs/brushes; Deodorant; Depends Pull-Up style Medium size; Eucerin Cream…

And Facial Cotton Rounds; Hair Brushes; Hand lotion; Hand sanitizer; Hand soap; Laundry Detergent; Mouth Wash; Nail Clippers; Nail Files; Shaving cream; Shower Puffs; Sun Block SPF 30 minimum; Toothbrushes; Toothpaste; Travel size Scented Hand sanitizer and lotion.

Brief Bio of Chelsea French

Born and raised in rural South Dakota, Chelsea French began her musical studies on piano at the age of five. Her fascination with trombone began at age ten upon entering the public school band program in her hometown of Madison. Currently a Chicago-based freelance musician, French is a member of International Chamber Artists, performed for two seasons as Principal Trombone in the Northbrook Symphony, and has enjoyed performing shows with touring pop artists including Adele and Josh Groban.  She has also performed with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, the Millar Brass, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the South Dakota Symphony. 

French holds a Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance from Northwestern University, and Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University, and has studied primarily with Michael Mulcahy, Mark Fisher, Charles Vernon, and Vance Shoemaker.

She serves on faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago and North Central College, and also teaches a large private studio in the Naperville/Aurora area in Illinois. 

French has gained local, national, and international recognition by winning  the Chicago-area Musicians’ Club of Women Solo Competition, the International Trombone Association’s Marstellar Solo Competition, and the National Trombone Solo Competition held at the Eastern Trombone Workshop. French performs on a Bach 42BOF.

North Central College Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Wentz Concert Hall is located in the North Central College Fine and Performing Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Avenue at Ellsworth, just steps from downtown Naperville.

In addition to Conductor Keller, the Naperville Municipal Band with the 161-year history is under the leadership of René R. Rosas, Assistant Conductor; Emily Binder, Assistant Conductor; and Tracy Oliver, Naperville Big Band Director.

Ann Lord serves as Narrator.

Admission to all Naperville Municipal Band Concerts is free of charge, thanks to support from the City of Naperville and the Naperville Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) Fund.

Reminder! Ronald Keller Music Scholarship – Submission Deadline March 1

Conductor Keller also will award the third annual scholarship during the outdoor summer concert season in Central Park.

The Ronald Keller Music Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 will be awarded to a band student who plans to study music education and teach band.  Students who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply:

  •    Graduating Senior
  •    Naperville resident
  •    Active musician in a Naperville area high school band
  •    Music Education Major

For more information about the band and the Ronald Keller Music Scholarship, visit www.napervilleband.org.



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