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UPDATE! Strike up the band for Independence Day tributes on July 6


Above / The Naperville Municipal Band is always triumphant on Thursday nights! And especially during the concert when Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” is performed at the Naperville Community Concert Center in Central Park to celebrate America’s birthday traditionally on the Thursday before the 4th of July. It’s a blast! (PN File Photo)

4:45PM Wed., June 28, 2023 / ALERT! Because of the poor air quality that is expected to extend through tomorrow, the NMB will NOT play the Patriotic Concert as scheduled on June 29. Instead, the concert will be postponed one week until July 6, 2023.

ALERT! A Patriotic Concert is set for 7:30PM Thurs., July 6.

Original Post June 27 with corrected date, July 6, 2023 / With fond memories of the annual tradition performed in Central Park to celebrate Independence Day, take note that the Naperville Municipal Band’s “A Patriotic Concert” again will ignite American spirit with a blast from the past when re-enactors portray militia beginning at 7:30PM, Thurs., July 6.

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Assistant Director Emily Binder strikes up the band for its annual Independence Day concert.  (PN File Photo)

Loyal concert goers attend year after year to experience NMB Conductor and Music Director Ron Keller’s conducting Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s rousing “1812 Overture,” complete with cannon firing and bells.

Ann Lord and Ron Keller (PN File Photo)

In addition, Keller noted this week’s band concert will feature 10 memorable all-American songs, four of which will be performed with the Naperville Chorus, including “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

Assistant Director Emily Binder also will take the lead during this week’s concert.

And again, emcee Ann Lord returns to enlighten the audience with narratives about how the music by the Russian composer has come to represent American patriotism on the 4th of July, the holiday when this nation celebrates its 247th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. 

Keller says ‘1812 Overture’ was Mayor Chet Rybicki’s suggestion

With precision timing, Civil War re-enactors perform with cannons during the 1812 Overture. (PN File Photo)

Reminiscing back to 1977, Keller said the idea to perform the “1812 Overture” came to be at the request of then-Mayor Chet Rybicki. When Keller mentioned the piece would need cannons, the mayor immediately arranged for four 105 Howitzers from a National Guard unit to accompany the band, Keller said.

Other memorable songs and marches will be performed during the annual patriotic concert that pays tribute to the occasion when 56 members of the Continental Congress representing 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Naperville native Ron Keller assumed leadership as the 21st conductor of the Naperville Municipal Band in 1966, a position he has held for 57 years! (PN File Photo)

Keller, conductor of the award-winning band since 1966, recently announced that after this summer season, he’ll assume duties as Director Emeritus.

Click here for an overview with photos of the current summer season, including Bake Sale sponsors, featured on this website.

Thursday evening, the weekly Bake Sale in the gazebo will be hosted by the BAARK Dog Rescue, offering homemade treats and beverages for sale to benefit the nonprofit organization.

Be sure to arrive a little early to photograph the QR code featuring the program for the evening’s performance.

Think dinner and the show with clear skies

Either pack your own picnic basket or pre-order a box dinner to pick up from a downtown Naperville restaurant and plan to enjoy a picnic in Central Park. For example, Catch 35 is close, located at Washington and Van Buren, just steps from the entrance Central Park. And Quigley’s Irish Pub is just to the south of the park along Jefferson Ave.

Or plan to arrive in downtown early and dine at one of more than 80 eateries in downtown Naperville. Simply tell your server you have a 7:30PM date in Central Park that you don’t want to miss when the community comes together to celebrate America’s birthday with inspiring music and special effects. 

And the band plays on and on

For more info about the rich history of the Naperville Municipal Band that dates back to 1859, visit www.napervilleband.org.

Meanwhile, plan to meet family, friends and neighbors during one of the outdoor summer concerts every Thursday evening through August 10 to experience the longest-running tradition in Central Park. And concerts are free of admission charge and the selection of music is priceless.

Park benches are available. Many band fans bring collapsible chairs or blankets to spread out throughout the historic park.

Central Park is located at 104 E Benton Ave. in downtown Naperville, behind U.S. Bank, northeast of Washington St. and Jefferson Ave., in downtown Naperville.

Editor’s Note about Independence Day Tribute Concert / Naperville Municipal Band concerts typically are very pet-friendly. Considering the expectations of a large audience and the planned timed-to-music blasts from cannons, this concert might be less than appropriate for sound-sensitive dogs that can be stressed by loud noises. Folks of all ages sensitive to the triggers of loud sounds also are alerted to be aware. Just a few words of caution…

Youngsters are known to prepare for the cannon blasts every time the Naperville Municipal Band performs to celebrate Independence Day. (PN File Photo)



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PN Editor
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