For February, meet Bill Albrecht, a trombonist in the Naperville Municipal Band since 1948.
In what Naperville subdivision or other city is your home? Naperville – Royal Oaks (for past 55 years)
Where did you attend high school? Naperville Community High School (now Naperville Central)
Who inspired you to play an instrument? I started in 1st grade. At that time, I probably thought it would be fun.
What Instrument (s) do you play? Trombone.
How old when you started taking music lessons? I started in 1st grade at age 6.
Do you wish you’d learned to play a different instrument? No. I did take piano lessons concurrent with trombone in grade school—I quit piano after a dog bite incapacitated a finger.
How old were you with you joined the NMB? I was 15 and I joined in 1948.
What’s your favorite type of music / song / theme for NMB concerts? I favor marches and medleys of show tunes.
What kind of music do you prefer to listen to in your car? “Oldies” …1930s & 40 Big Band stuff.
Who’s your favorite musician or singer? Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra/Tony Bennett.
When not playing music, what are your other favorite past times? Currently, (I enjoy) reading fiction. In earlier times, I did stained glass and some woodworking.
What’s your occupation or “day job”? I was a chemist/chemical executive at Nalco Chemical Co. before retiring 29 years ago. Since then (I’ve been) volunteering in schools and at Brookfield Zoo.
Please provide 50 words or less about the importance of music in your life. As my wife said many years ago about my playing the trombone, “It’s a lot cheaper than a psychiatrist.”
And NMB Conductor Ron Keller added, “After Elmer Koerner had his first heart attack in 1963, the NMB board asked me to be the assistant director. It was a new position, created as a backup in case Elmer had another heart attack. In late 1965, Elmer passed away and Bill and I were two of the pallbearers. He asked if I thought I could step into Elmer’s shoes and be the director. I said it had always been a dream of mine, but I didn’t think it would happen this quick!”
Keller continued, “Bill is always positive and supportive and loves the band. His vision and dedication to the band has been outstanding and he remains a close friend. The band would not be what it is today without Bill Albrecht’s leadership. Oh, and he is a pretty good trombonist, also!”