Above / The big stage door on the Naperville Community Concert Center will go up, up, up beginning promptly at 7:30PM Thursdays through Aug. 10, in Central Park. (PN Photo)
Update, July 13, 2023 / A new exhibit inside Naperville Bank & Trust, Washington at Benton, highlights the musical career of Naperville Municipal Band Conductor Ron Keller. Stop by the bank during business hours to note “Marches, Melodies & Music,” a display of artifacts arranged by local historian Bryan Ogg that showcases Keller’s many family connections to the City band that dates back to 1859. The exhibit will be up through September 2023.
Update, June 21, 2023 / More than a few times in recent weeks, the community has been enlightened regarding longtime Conductor Ron Keller’s plans to step over to become Director Emeritus of the Naperville Municipal Band at the end of this summer concert season in Central Park.
Save the date! Ron’s Retirement Reception planned Sun., Aug. 27
Kindly note a public open house welcomes the community to share memories with Ron Keller and the NMB from 2:30 to 5:30PM Sun., Aug. 27, at the Judd Kendall VFW Post, located at 908 W. Jackson Avenue. Light refreshments will be served. No gifts, please. Simply bring a card or hand-written memory that will help Naperville’s Music Man continue to tell his story. Thank you.
Original Post, May 25, 2023 / Under the leadership of Conductor and Music Director Ron Keller since 1966, the Naperville Municipal Band is set to perform its summer concert season at 7:30PM every Thursday beginning June 1 through Aug. 10 in Central Park. Assistant Conductor is Emily Binder. The Naperville Big Band Director is Tracy Oliver.
Emcee Ann Lord will narrate the show with her entertaining banter.
As always, all concerts are free of charge and open to the public.
“A Salute to the Armed Forces” kicks off the 10-concert season that takes place on stage at the Community Concert Center in Central Park in downtown Naperville.
2023 themes and dates of NMB concerts / Concerts begin at 7:30PM
June 1 / “A Salute to the Armed Forces” / Recognition of 2023 8th Grade Scholarship Recipients
The Naperville Municipal Band will continue its tradition of awarding a $250 music scholarship to one 8th grade student at every middle or junior high school in Naperville District 203, Indian Prairie District 204, Ss. Peter & Paul, and St. Raphael schools in Naperville. Students were nominated by their directors based on musical ability and can use the monetary award to continue their pursuit of music in the form of private lessons, summer band camp, or a new instrument.
The Naperville Municipal Band congratulates the following 8th grade students: Elise Carter (Fischer Middle School), Ethan Chang (Kennedy Junior High School), Annabelle Cheng (Crone Middle School), Nicholas Chou (Jefferson Junior High School), Sophia Granholm (Washington Junior High School), Kevin Grobl (St. Raphael School), Elisabeth Mendoza (Granger Middle School), Carlos Olvera Toledo (Thayer J. Hill Middle School), Titus Park (Lincoln Junior High School), William Petty (Scullen Middle School), Ian Rottersman (Madison Junior High School), Jacob Salvacion (Ss. Peter and Paul School), Tyler Talaga (Still Middle School), and Maxwell Teets (Gregory Middle School). —Allison Buettner, Scholarship Chair, Naperville Municipal Band
June 8 / “Familiar Tunes” / Bake Sale sponsored by League of Women Voters of Naperville.
June 15 / “Looking Upward” / Bake Sale sponsored by Illinois Independent Living Center – Katharine Manor.
June 22 / Under the leadership of Tracy Oliver, Naperville Big Band presents “Big Band in the Park.” / Bake Sale sponsored by Cross of Christ Fellowship
The program will range from swing era tunes like “Symphony in Riffs” by Benny Carter and the tune “Bombers,” a nod to the Count Basie band and tribute to the Kansas City Bombers roller derby team (unusual pairing to be sure!) to more contemporary selections.
Featured vocalists will be Summer Kwai and John Barbush.
Special guest soloist on this program will be David Katz on trumpet and flugelhorn. He will be playing selections celebrating the music of Dizzy Gillespie (I Remember Clifford, Dizzy’s salute to the trumpet great Clifford Brown) and Chuck Mangione (Land of Make Believe).
Postponed June 29 / “A Patriotic Concert,” which is the annual Independence Day celebration. This concert is a blast with cannons performing with the 1812 Overture and other music to celebrates the 247th anniversary of America’s birthday on July 4, 1776. Bake Sale sponsored by BAARK Dog Rescue.
Kindly Note / 4:45PM Wed., June 28 / ALERT! Because of the poor air quality that is expected to extend through tomorrow, the NMB will NOT play the Patriotic Concert tomorrow night, but instead postpone it one week and play it on July 6.
ALERT! A Patriotic Concert now is planned for 7:30PM July 6.
July 13 / “Ron and Chris Paryl Night” Concert dedicated to a couple that has been in the band for 50 years. / Bake Sale sponsored by Companions Journeying Together, Inc.
July 20 / “A Salute to Illinois” / Concert will be conducted by Emily Binder. Bake Sale sponsored by Congregation Beth Shalom.
July 27 / “Rovena Hungness Night” Concert dedicated to another 50-year member of the band. / Bake Sale sponsored by Naperville Noon Lions Club.
Aug. 3 / Naperville Big Band will perform with another area guest big band. / Bake Sale sponsored by Safe Haven Dog Rescue.
Aug. 10 / “Prelude to Fall” / Bake Sale sponsored by Accelerate Climate Solutions / Conductor Ron Keller’s final concert as Conductor/Music Director. After this concert, Keller will be known as Director Emeritus.
Strike up fond memories of the Naperville Municipal Band
The Naperville Municipal Band has been entertaining Naperville and the surrounding suburbs in Central Park for more than 150 years. The band has grown from a group of dedicated musicians whose vision brought them together in 1859 to its current 100-member roster.
“Over the years it has undergone five name changes and raised money for four different band shells, 12 sets of uniforms, benches, music, and guest performers,” said Steve Lord, in a news release.
The Naperville Municipal Band was established in 1859. With the Community Concert Center in Naperville’s Central Park as its home base, the award-winning band has entertained thousands of listeners most summers during its free weekly outdoor concerts.
Typically every Thursday during the 2023 season, the program is expected to be posted on the Naperville Municipal Band website, www.napervilleband.org.
Folks begin arriving about 7PM to mix and mingle
Benches are set. Concert-goers are welcomed to bring blankets and collapsible lawn chairs to watch from other locations throughout Central Park.
Concert themes are subject to change without notice.
Central Park is located located in the heart of downtown at 104 E. Benton Avenue. Some folks say Central Park is behind Quigley’s Irish Pub and US Bank. Others say it’s behind the old Nichols Library, now Gia Mia Italian Restaurant.
One more thing… Create a special evening in downtown Naperville on Thursday evenings. Head out a little early and enjoy dinner at one of downtown’s many eateries. Or place a to-go order for a picnic in Central Park. Also remember to bring pocket change in support of the Bake Sale in the Gazebo.
Click here for directory listing of downtown eateries.
For more info about the Naperville Municipal Band, visit www.napervilleband.org.
Naperville Municipal Band members Rachel Israel (Concert Bake Sale Chair) and Allison Buettner (Scholarship Chair), Big Band Conductor Tracy Oliver and Steve Lord contributed to this post about the 2023 summer season in Central Park. —PN
Last Updated, July 13, 2023.