The Voice and Direction Behind the Naperville Municipal Band

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Chances are you’ve heard the work of Ann Lord and Ron Keller if you’re a music fan in Naperville.

It’s that work that’s earned this duo Distinguished Service Awards from the Naperville Jaycees for their years of service with the Naperville Municipal Band.

“I was very surprised, and it certainly made me feel honored. This is the Jaycees’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and unlike things where you’ve done something really honorable, this is a longevity thing,” said Ann Lord, Mistress of Ceremonies with the Naperville Municipal Band.

“I don’t think either one of us thought about getting an award because we’ve done something we both enjoyed so much,” said Ron Keller, Conductor of the Naperville Municipal Band.

Every summer you can see Ron conducting the band and Ann at his side, announcing the numbers and sharing programming notes along the way, something they’ve done together for 50 years.

“When we first started together there wasn’t anything published about the composers or the music itself unless there were some little notes in the score, maybe it would tell you a little thing, we’d go over that and then Ann would go to the library and research stuff,” said Keller.

As the Mistress of Ceremonies it’s Ann’s job to bring the sound of music to life with notes and explanations for the pieces.

It’s a bond that not only takes center stage, but also dates back almost a lifetime, as the two grew up just doors down from each other. They even had the same band teacher – an upbringing uniting them with a love of music that’s earned them the Chuck Bueche Lifetime Achievement Award for their spirit and dedication to Naperville.

“We can be downtown shopping, we can be in a grocery store, people will walk up to you and they’ll start talking about the band like they know us. They’ll call us by name, and after they go away my wife will say ‘who was that, I’ll say I have no idea.’ But they know us so well from being in the crowd and many of them come every week,” added Keller.

Sharing songs with the community has helped them create their own.

“You get to know the people not just as a musician or someone as a horn that sits in the band but you know them all and they know you, and you’re just family,” said Lord.

The first Naperville Municipal Band concert kicks off June 8. Check our website at to find out which concerts we’ll be airing live.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.