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Monday, January 30, 2023

Upbeat! with the Naperville Municipal Band


For December, meet lifelong resident Tom Scarborough, Jr., percussionist and current President of the Naperville Municipal Band.

Where did you attend high school? Naperville North, Class of ‘93

Who inspired you to play an instrument? My dad is a drummer who also started playing at a young age. I wanted to follow in his footsteps, and besides that playing drums looked like a lot of fun!

What Instrument (s) do you play? I play percussion – mostly the non-melodic percussion instruments. I could play xylophone and marimba if our very lives depend on it, but drums and secondary percussion instruments are my go-to.

Tom Scarborough is pictured with his “cute kiddos,” Dani and Tommy, last year.

How old were you when you started taking music lessons? I was 8 years old when I started drumming. This was the summer following 3rd grade. At the time this was the earliest opportunity in Naperville District 203 to start band. I remember that being a very fun summer.

Do you wish you’d learned to play a different instrument? No, but my second choice instrument was Saxophone. I would see saxes in rock bands and old swing band footage, and I thought playing sax looked classy. But my first choice was always percussion.

How old were you with you joined the NMB? How long have you played with the NMB? I joined the NMB in 2005 when I was 30. I *wish* I could have joined earlier, but the travel required for my job while in my 20s didn’t allow for that. Before 2005, I was in the audience for as many Thursday night concerts as possible.

What’s your favorite type of music / song / theme for NMB concerts? This is so hard to pick, because I love so many different types of music we play! I’m split between two selections when narrowing down my favorite band number played. I love the Armed Forces Salute because it’s wonderful to see the veterans stand proudly as we play their service song. (When you see me wave during the Marine Corps Hymn, I’m waving at my dad in the audience who is a Marine vet.) I also love Victory at Sea. That song always gives me chills.

What kind of music do you prefer to listen to in your car? I split my time between WXRT, WONC, and WDCB to get my rock and jazz fix.

Who’s your favorite musician or singer? This is another tough question to narrow down. My dream job, if I were a professional musician, was to play drums for Lenny Kravitz, so I’ll go with Lenny here. His music has a timeless coolness.

When not playing music, what are your other favorite past times? In normal times, I can’t get enough of car shows, whether I’m showing my Trans Am or gawking at others’ rides. Enjoying a leisurely coffee at an independently-owned cozy coffee house is a true pleasure.

What’s your occupation or “day job”? Software Engineer

What’s the importance of music in your life? I love performing music for an audience. While creative expression is involved in playing music and in writing code at work, what I do at Municipal Band stretches me in different ways and I’m better for it. I’m so proud to be part of the NMB’s long and rich tradition.

Any other brief note that might inspire others? Naperville Municipal Band has an incredible 160-year tradition in this community. The organization connects the Naperville of today to the smaller town I remember from my childhood. What was important then is still important today – that we provide an outlet for families to enjoy wonderful music together with no ticket cost. Just come to Central Park and enjoy a pleasant evening of band music.

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.