Above / Twenty-six members of the Naperville Municipal Band, a dedicated group of 90 musicians known to practice year-round except for a one-month break after the summer concert season, met recently in Central Park for the first time in five months.
Update, 3PM Sun., Sept. 6, 2020 / Weather appears to be cooperating! Conductor Ron Keller has scheduled a Sunday in the Park Concert for 4:30PM Sun., Sept. 6. “Salute to Naperville and the Fight Against Covid-19” will welcome band fans to bring their own chairs or blankets (tarp for under the blanket might be a good idea), practice local protocols and enjoy an outdoor 45-minute concert, weather permitting. (Note the park benches are not set up in Central Park.)
Update, 3:30PM Mon., Aug. 17, 2020 / Perhaps pick up dinner to-go from Quigley’s Irish Pub, Catch 35 or any downtown Naperville eatery and attend the Naperville Municipal Band 45-minute rehearsal at 6:45PM today in Central Park. Or just come take a stroll through Central Park. Follow safety protocols. Cheers to beautiful music in the great outdoors!
Original Post, Aug. 15, 2020 / The band that’s been around since 1859 continues to make history.
On Aug. 12, 2020, under the leadership of Conductor Ron Keller and the setting sun, 25 musicians from the Naperville Municipal Band spread out on the lawn in front of the Community Concert Center in Central Park for what appeared to be a “pop-up” concert.
Fact is, Conductor Keller called the outdoor practice to bring musicians together for the first time in five months to begin rehearsing for their performance during the September 11 Observance. Hosted by the Exchange Club of Naperville, the annual remembrance is slated to begin at 6PM Fri., Sept 11, 2020, at the Cmdr. Dan Shanower Sept. 11 Memorial along the Riverwalk.
“Everybody was enthusiastic about getting together again with thoughts of performing,” Keller said. “Because of the pandemic, we haven’t met as a band in more than five months.”
When musicians arrived, the count included one drummer, one player on piccolo, five on flutes, four on euphoniums, one on tuba, three on trombones, two on trumpet, four on saxophones, one on clarinet and three on French horns.
Spectators dotted the landscape sitting on a few park benches and inside the gazebo while others strolled along the walks in the City’s oldest park in the heart of downtown Naperville. After every familiar all-American song, the din of applause in the distance from the unsuspecting audience provided notable appreciation.
When the rehearsal ended, Paul Carmignani, who plays a euphonium, bellowed out a big “Thanks, Ron! Thanks for bringing us all together.” And every band member applauded with rousing gratitude.
Band practice continues Aug. 15, 2020, weather permitting
The band plans another 45-minute practice at 6:45PM Mon., Aug. 15, weather permitting, Keller said. The public is welcome to watch and listen.
“I’m optimistic even more members will turn out to play Monday,” Keller added. “We’ll start a little earlier because we’re running out of light on the lawn. We’ll be finished by 7:30 or so.”
Keller said the rain date for the lawn rehearsal will be 6:45PM Wed., Aug. 17.
“We always enjoy having an audience during our rehearsals,” Keller said, noting that during their summer Monday rehearsals before weekly Thursday evening concerts, the park benches often attract an audience.
Sunday in the Park Concert set for 4:30PM Sept. 6, 2020
Keller also has scheduled a Sunday in the Park Concert for 4:30PM Sun., Sept. 6, on Labor Day weekend. “Salute to Naperville and the Fight Against Covid-19” will welcome band fans to bring their own chairs, practice local protocols and enjoy an outdoor 45-minute concert, weather permitting. (Again, note the park benches are not set up in Central Park.)
The community is welcome to tap along to memorable medleys, musical classics and upbeat marches whenever the band practices and performs.
Supported by the City of Naperville and its SECA Fund, Naperville Municipal Band Concerts are free of charge. Always stay tuned at www.napervilleband.org.