Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!


Debbie H

Deborah Hawes plays Percussion and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 1966. She is a retired Physician and lives in Northfield, Illinois. Deborah is also the treasurer for Northshore Concert Band.

When and why did you start playing? When I was 4 my mother started teaching me piano; when I was 8 the school band director was looking for someone who could read music and whose father had a truck to move percussion equipment. I volunteered myself and my father and now 62 years later I’m still a drummer.

What do you enjoy most about playing? Music is an essential part of life. Listening to it can be transcending. Playing it joins you to the music; you become part of creating the musical experience and then it will always be with you.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  Some time ago at one of the NCB Adult Band Conferences, Colonel John Bourgeois of the US Marine Band was conducting the conference massed band. I missed the initial Friday night rehearsal because I had to work, but when I showed up Saturday morning (after the rehearsal had started because I was coming right from work) I was met by three anxious percussionists pleading,”Please tell us you can play snare drum!” There was one overture with a snare drum intro and Col. Bourgeois had brought his medley of Sousa marches with cadence interludes and I was on my own. After the concert while I was moving equipment, the colonel sought me out, thanked me, and gave me a big hug and a kiss.

What are your musical influences? Music is like reading for me – I will read anything: fiction, nonfiction, advertising, even soup cans – because I like the way words are put together. Likewise, I listen to all types of music, and although I don’t have the necessary training to analyze its construction I can savor it.

Who was your most influential music teacher? John P. Paynter

Does anyone in your family play music? My husband taught instrumental music for 32 years and he still plays. Our daughter plays French Horn and our son plays trumpet.

What’s on your iPod? My son playing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez on flugelhorn with the UCSD wind ensemble; Sibelius Symphony #2; Movie soundtracks by Richard Rodney Bennett, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, and Ennio Morricone

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Listen to professionals who play your instrument so that you know what sound to strive for. Never give up playing; music will grow with you, help you learn valuable life lessons, be there when you need emotional support, and always give you other musicians to hang out with.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different from performing with other groups? The combined missions of musical excellence, educational programs, and community entertainment.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Unparalleled, dedicated, family



Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at

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