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Monday, December 5, 2022

Upbeat! with the Naperville Municipal Band, Winter Concert at 3PM Sun., March 20


Up next, the Naperville Municipal Band, under the leadership of Conductor and Music Director Ron Keller since 1966, is set to host its annual Winter Concert at 3PM Sun., March 20, at Wentz Concert Hall. The Wentz is located in the North Central College Fine Art Center, 171 E. Chicago Avenue.

Conductor and Music Director Ron Keller has been leading the award-winning Naperville Municipal Band since 1966. Under Keller’s leadership, the NMB became a “year-round” band in 1969 with the introduction of its first Winter Concert. (PN File Photo)

The February PN Upbeat! featured Assistant Directors Emily Binder and René Rosas with some background information as a way to remind readers to save the date for another performance by the City band, originally called the Naperville Brass Band. The Naperville Municipal Band (NMB) was chartered on May 7, 1928.

Emily Binder

1. How long have you been with the NMB? I joined when I was 15, then took a leave to complete my Master’s degree in 2003 and be with my family. This is my 28th year, not counting the leave.

2. What instrument(s) do you play? I am attempting to play the tuba.

3. How long have you been Assistant Director? Great question! I’m not sure. I was Assistant before the leave and stepped back into the role after my return.

4. What’s your favorite music to direct? My favorite music to direct is the kind that brings fulfillment to the musicians and joy to the audience.

5. What will you be directing in the Winter Concert? If the program runs as planned, I will be conducting, a piece from a Puccini opera called “La Tragenda” and “Somewhere” to celebrate the remake of “West Side Story.”

6. What’s your day job? I am a Music Educator that works with the bands at Neuqua Valley High School.

7. Any other noteworthy comment about the importance of music in your life?

Music has:

  • brought incredible humans into my life including my husband, my friends, my fellow educators, and thousands of students
  • taught me that I am a part of something much, much larger than myself
  • given me the joy of working with beginners to adults over the age of 80
  • taught me how to fail and recover
  • taught me how to work hard
  • allowed me to connect with cultures from all over the world
  • empowered me to help young people feel safe, valued, creative, and happy
  • allowed me to connect with and serve the City of Naperville
  • been one of the greatest blessings in my life.

René Rosas

1. How long have you been with the NMB? I joined the band in the summer of 2002.

2. What instrument(s) do you play? Clarinet is my instrument.

3. How long have you been Assistant Director? I’ve been Assistant Director since summer 2005.

4. What’s your favorite music to direct? Oooooh, that’s a tough one. The question is much like asking a parent who’s your favorite child. I love it all.

5. What will you be directing in the Winter Concert? Current plans are for me to conduct a French horn solo featuring our principal NMB hornist Nicholas Lambert. The title is “Northern Shaanxi Feeling” by Jianfang Yu.

6. What’s your day job? I teach the Marmion Rosary Band at Marmion Academy along with AP Music Theory, Applied Lessons, and Advanced Music Appreciation.

7. Any other noteworthy comment about the importance of music in your life? I am grateful for all the contacts, friends and mentors I have made over the years. Music has allowed for insights to cultures, ethnicities and history that I would otherwise have not acquired. It rounds out my life and connects me to others. Most importantly, it has raised my appreciation for silence.

2022 Naperville Municipal Band Summer Concerts set for Central Park

Note also the Naperville Municipal Band summer concert series will return at 7:30PM Thursday evenings beginning June 9 and will perform weekly through Aug. 11, 2022.

Since 1957, Ann Lord has shared her wit, wisdom and historic narratives on stage to emcee the concerts. Her first association with the band began when she was a teenager in 1945 and her engaging commentary oftentimes brings back memories of “growing up with the band.”

Central Park is located in the heart of downtown Naperville at 104 E. Benton Avenue, nestled behind US Bank and Quigley’s Irish Pub along Jefferson Avenue and Central Park Place condos along Washington Street. The park also is home to The Naperville Community Concert Center, a City-owned facility, as well as a playground, historical monuments and several Century Walk works of art, including “The Great Concerto” mural on the stage door.

The address for Naperville Community Concert Center is 104 E. Benton Avenue, though it’s more commonly entered from Van Buren at Washington streets or from E. Jefferson Avenue. (PN File Photo)

All Naperville Municipal Band concerts are open to the public and free of admission charge.

Last Updated on March 19, 2022.


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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.

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