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Friday, March 31, 2023

Upbeat! with the Naperville Municipal Band


For November, take a peek at the recent Naperville Municipal Band rehearsal inside, onstage, at the Naperville Community Concert Center in late October. Under the leadership of Conductor/Music Director Ron Keller (pictured above) and Assistant Conductors René R. Rosas and Emily Binder, musicians prepared for their first indoor concert season in two years.

When and where will they perform? The Naperville Municipal Band is set to reset its schedule of indoor concerts beginning with its Fall Concert at 3PM Sun., Nov.14, at the Wentz Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Center, 141 E. Chicago Ave., on the campus of North Central College. The concert is open to the public and free of charge. Arrive in advance.

Who will be conducting the concert? To kick off the indoor season, all three Naperville Municipal Band Conductors will be participating in the leadership of the Fall Concert.

When Assistant Conductor René R. Rosas led the rehearsal of “America” from Westside Story inside the Community Concert Center, a wooden guiro helped keep the Latin beat.
Assistant Conductor Emily Binder will lead the band in a beautiful rendition of “Autumn Leaves,” a popular torch song and jazz standard composed by Joseph Kosma in 1945.

What are some of the songs on the program? Many memorable marches, show tunes and seasonal classics will welcome the audience’s listening enjoyment! “A Jubilant Overture,” “Victory at Sea,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Jersey Boys,” “America” (from Westside Story) and, of course, “The Armed Forces Medley” as a tribute to all honorable men and women of military service, will be performed. Most concerts are about 90 minutes.

What are protocols? Please note that all audience attendees are required to wear a face mask throughout the performance.

During a recent rehearsal, percussionists in the Naperville Municipal Band switched around and played a variety of instruments (drums, symbols, chimes, a guiro, for starters) that keep the rhythm, make special sounds and add positive energy to the upbeat music.

Will the Naperville Municipal Band be playing outdoors during Veterans Day ceremonies? The NMB planned to perform at 10:45AM just prior to the annual Veterans Day Observance at Veterans Park on Gartner Road. Simply remember “11-11-11,” the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, and you’ll know the time and date of every Veterans Day observance since it became a national holiday in 1938. (Some folks know the day to honor all Veterans originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance—and Nov. 11 became a national holiday 12 years later.) Note: Inclement weather canceled the NMB’s performance on Veterans Day.

Is the NMB planning an indoor holiday concert? Yes. Watch for details and updates. The NMB Holiday Concert currently is set for 3PM Sun., Dec. 19, at the Wentz Concert Hall.

Wentz Concert Hall is located in the Fine and Performing Arts Center, 141 E. Chicago Ave., on the campus of North Central College. (PN File Photo)

Are there any historical notes about the Naperville Municipal Band? For starters, Conductor Ron Keller, the 13th director of the band who accepted the leadership position in 1966, has thousands! For one, Adam Keller, Ron’s father, was the only band member to march in both the 1931 Centennial Parade and the 1981 Sesquicentennial Grand Parade.

Last Updated, Nov. 12, 2021

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.