Above / The home of the Naperville Municipal Band is at the Naperville Community Concert Center in Central Park, 104 E. Benton Avenue.
For the first time ever, the Naperville Municipal Band will perform an outdoor concert before its annual Memorial Day Concert. At least, that’s the word according to Naperville Municipal Band Conductor Ron Keller who has been leading the City band since 1966. He should know! Even before Keller directed the band, he played in the band. In fact, Keller is the fourth generation from his family to be associated with the band.
It’s long been tradition for the first outdoor concert of the year to follow the Memorial Day Parade during a special observance in Central Park, Keller said. For 2022, the band that’s been around since 1859 continues to make history.
For 2022, the Spring Concert—an indoor tradition that first began in 1976 with two spring concerts to help commemorate the nation’s bicentennial year— is set for 3PM Sun., May 15, on stage in Central Park.
Band fans are encouraged to be prepared for the big stage door to go up on another opening of another show, followed by the National Anthem. Ann Lord returns as narrator.
The theme for the Spring Concert is “Stage and Screen.” The one-hour program will feature songs from Patton, Les Misérables, Mama Mia, and Oklahoma.
And then there’s the memorable “Colonel Bogey March” from the Bridge on the River Kwai. The rousing and familiar march was written in 1914 by Lieutenant F. J. Ricketts (1881-1945), a British army bandmaster who later became director of music for the Royal Marines. Tidbits of music history again will be added by Lord with the introduction of every song.
Keller added that another lively and fun march, “The Klaxon March,” is on the program. “The Klaxon” was written by renown band conductor and composer Henry Fillmore for the 1930 Cincinnati Automobile Show. In addition to composing the song, Keller said that Fillmore invented an instrument made up of Model T horns for the occasion.
Benches have been set in Central Park. A brand new sound system has been installed, Keller said. And the band has been rehearsing to present its Spring Concert in the same format as its Thursday evening summer series when the big stage door goes up on the Community Concert Center.
Throughout the summer season that runs from June 7 to Aug. 11, songs are selected and conducted by assistant conductors René Rosa and Emily Binder. Every concert has a theme. Every concert features a bake sale hosted by a different local nonprofit organization.
The audience is welcome to sit on park benches. Many attendees bring their own collapsible chairs. Other families, friends and neighbors spread blankets throughout the park.
The community also is encouraged to spread the word!
Naperville Municipal Band concerts are free of charge. For more information and updates, visit www.napervilleband.org.
And the band plays on and on
Memorial Day Parade begins at 10:30AM Mon., May 30, along Jackson Avenue, east to Washington Street. Then north along Washington Street to Benton Avenue, then Central Park.
Memorial Day Observance begins following the parade about noon, Mon., May 30. The 30-minute remembrance includes songs. ceremonial wreath laying and tributes to America’s fallen.
Also, mark calendars for the 10-week summer concert series at 7:30PM Thursdays, June 9. through Aug. 11, in Central Park!