Musicians & Music

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

MOLLIE MCDOUGALL

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Mollie McDougall plays the French Horn and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2005. She is a Band and Orchestra Director and lives in Evanston, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? Syracuse, NY – my grandmother used to play piano and everyone would stand around and sing – I wanted in on the action and started playing piano when I was 6 and horn when I was 10.

What do you enjoy most about playing? I love making music with others and finding what the greater group can create together. I love my friends in the band that support me and l love learning from them and passing on what I learn to my students.

Do you have a favorite musical memoryPlaying chamber music at Sarasota Chamber Music Festival with musicians from all over the world.

What are your musical influences? Gail Williams, Greg Miller

Who was your most influential music teacher? My high school band director, Andrew Perry

Does anyone in your family play music? My sister is a singer and violinist, my grandmother was a pianist and a great music appreciator.

What’s on your iPod? EVERYTHING – U2, Jazz, Rachimoninoff, Mahler, Bach, Beatles, Death Cab for Cutie, middle school band music….

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Stick with it! It gets more and more rewarding and fun!

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Amazing leadership, musicianship and friendship

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Inspiring, motivating, engaging

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  I teach middle school band and orchestra in Highland Park and have twin 3 year olds and a golden doodle.

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

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

ANN MOTOGAWA

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Ann Motogawa plays the Bassoon and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2000. She is a volunteer and lives in Evanston, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? 5th Grade. My dad was a band director and my mom was a music teacher, so it was just assumed that I’d play.

What do you enjoy most about playing? I love doing something else, apart from daily life, and sharing that experience with others who enjoy doing the same thing.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  One of my favorite musical memories was on the NCB France trip. That first night we played a concert in the hometown of one of the organizers. We hadn’t played together in a while because of the pre-trips and everyone’s travel plans, we were jet lagged, and we had no idea what we were going to sound like in that town square. We pulled off one of the best performances of the trip, and when we played Carmen Dragon’s America the Beautiful it literally gave everyone goosebumps.

What are your musical influences? My dad. He loved music so much and really dedicated his life and talents to VanderCook College of Music, Northshore Band, the Mid-West Clinic, and the American Bandmasters Association.

Who was your most influential music teacher? Wilbur Simpson. He was such a great teacher, had an uncanny ability to pick literature that you could really feel close to, and we had many fun nights with him smoking his pipe (it was the 80’s!) and boiling reeds on his stove.

Does anyone in your family play music? My dad played Eb clarinet in NCB from the mid-1960’s through the 88-89 season. My mom played bassoon in NCB from 1975 through the 88-89 season (and was also Steve Moline’s stand partner!). My 13 year old daughter plays French Horn and my 11 year old daughter plays clarinet.

What’s on your iPod? A crazy mix of stuff from the Grateful Dead to 80’s, Elton John to Taylor Swift. We actually have all our music set up on our home Mac, and have enough music to continuous play, 24×7, for over 6 months. I’m also a big surfer on a multitude of Sirius channels.

Do you have any advice for young musicians?  Music will not only provide you with a creative outlet and something fun to do, but also many great friendships over the years.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Everyone really wants to be there and is really dedicated to the organization.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Accomplished, improving, inspirational

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  I grew up around NCB because both my parents were playing. For years, Susan Hawes (Debbie’s daughter) and I handed out the programs to the audience at the Pick-Staiger concerts. I earned a ton of medals at the Festival. I went with the band to Europe in 1975. I made Christmas ornaments for the annual fundraiser Bazaar and was there as they played three concerts every July 4. As a kid I also won John Paynter’s “Guess the Number of Keys” contest a few times with the prize of directing a march! NCB has always been in my life and I’m glad that I have been able to give back to it through the years by developing programs like Lifetime of Music and the Kickstarter campaign.

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

NCB Award Winners

Each year The Board of Directors and Artistic Director of the Northshore Concert Band recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the success of the NCB.

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At our June 4, 2017 concert, three Northshore Concert Band members were honored for their service, leadership and musical contributions.

The Director’s Award, given by Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. Mallory Thompson, is “for musical leadership, professionalism and contribution to the Northshore Concert Band”.

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This award was given to Sara Farster and Melaine Pohlman. Dr. Thompson described these two talented musicians as “making each other better by playing together”. Sara is a band director from Grayslake and has been a Northshore Concert Band member for 7 years.  Melaine is a music therapist from Geneva and has been with the Northshore Concert Band for 13 years.

Past recipients of this award include Kendra Gohr, Candi Horton, Carey Polacek, Chris Rasmussen, and Amy Strong.

NCB Board chair Peter Gotsch awarded Traci Bowering The Ernst W. Kettnich Award “in recognition and appreciation of a lifetime of leadership and distinguished service on behalf of the Northshore Concert Band”.  Traci is a band director and lives in Skokie. She is the coordinator of the annual Northshore Concert Band Lifetime of Music event and has been with NCB for 26 years.

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Past recipients of this award are Judy Athmejvar, Jim Barkow, Ann Betz, Paul Bolman, Barbara Buehlman, Kathy Cargill, O. DeLap Premo, Debbie Durham, Richard Faller, Betty Garrett, Nancy Golden, Peter Gotsch, John Harshey, Chuck Hawes, Debbie Hawes, Nancy Hinners, Janet Jesse, Ernie Kettnich, Gilbert Krulee, Mary Ann Loda, Dennis Montgomery, John P. Paynter, Carol Scattergood, Janet Schroeder, David Shaw, Barry Skolnik, and Barb Zeleny.


Past recipients of three additional awards are as follows:

The Barbara Buehlman Distinguished Service Award is given “for the contribution of creative individual leadership and service to the Northshore Concert Band towards its goal of musical excellence” – Nancy Golden, Dennis Montgomery, Laura Stibich, and David Zyer.

The 50th Anniversary Award is given “to recognize 50 years of membership in the Northshore Concert Band” –  Janet Schroeder and Debbie Hawes

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given “in recognition of a career dedicated to the development and perpetuation of wind music” – Harry Begian, Barbara Buehlman, Larry Combs and Ray Cramer.

Congratulations to all of our award winners and thank you for your service, leadership and contributions to the musical excellence of the Northshore Concert Band!

 

 

 

Hear the Music. See the Music. Feel the Music.

When you go to a concert hall you will hear the music, you will see the music and you will feel it come alive!

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It is important that children develop an appreciation of the arts!  It develops their language and listening skills, increases their attentions span, and teaches them creativity, discipline and self-esteem. Taking children to live concerts helps them gain an appreciation for music. They are given the opportunity to see musicians that love performing music! There is an “event” quality to a live concert at a concert hall that children realize and appreciate.

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The Lifetime of Music event, now in its 15th year, is designed to introduce young musicians to the idea that “music is for a lifetime”.  It is an extraordinary opportunity for students to gain the experience of being a part of a large symphonic sound as they join the members of the world-renowned Northshore Concert Band to perform on the stage of the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. It is also an extraordinary opportunity for children to sit in an audience and see other children performing on stage.

This was such an amazing experience. I truly appreciated every part and it was an honor playing with a very well-known band. It’s my dream to eventually conduct a band as great as this one. I hope to come back and perform again!”                 –Alex Damato, Lifetime of Music student, Westchester, IL

This musical performance is a highlight of every season. In this year’s concert, titled Youthful Spirit, students and band members combine to perform exuberant music that expresses a cheerful American spirit with heartfelt optimism!

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The students truly enjoyed everything about the event and were inspired by the dedication of adults to the continuation of their musical journeys.  My seniors involved in this concert expressed their interest in signing up for band in college and continuing to play in a community band in the future because of the experience they had.”   –2016 Lifetime of Music participating band director

The Northshore Concert Band has brought music to the Chicago metropolitan area for 61 years. Their engaging music education programs demonstrate to younger musicians that there are opportunities for them to play and enjoy their instruments their entire lives, regardless of whether they choose a musical vocation.

 


 

Concert Information: Youthful Spirit Sunday, February 12, 2017, 3:00 pm Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

Ticket Information: Individual concert tickets are $20 each, seniors $15, students/children $10. Tickets are available in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert. The box office opens at 2:00 pm on the day of the concert. Online Tickets are available here.

Bring A Group! To make these unforgettable performances accessible for music lovers of all ages we offer special group rates to groups of 10 or more.  Call us at 847-432-2263 or email adam@northshoreband.org  to customize your group ticket package today!

 

Experience the Musical Excellence of Northshore Concert Band www.northshoreband.org 

info@northshoreband.org

Music Is For A Lifetime!

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THE NORTHSHORE CONCERT BAND CONTINUES ITS 61ST SEASON WITH YOUTHFUL SPIRIT!

In a highlight of the season, some of the most talented young musicians in the Chicagoland area join the Northshore Concert Band for our “Lifetime of Music” program.

This Lifetime of Music concert celebrates both the youthful spirit of our student guests and that same spirit that exists in all of us. Percy Grainger toured the British countryside, collecting folk songs and preserving them on wax cylinders. His colorful masterwork, Lincolnshire Posy, is a delightful depiction of both the folk songs and personalities of the folk singers that he recorded. The students and band members combine to perform exuberant music that expresses a cheerful American spirit with heartfelt optimism!  Our popular Annual Silent Auction will be held in connection with this concert and is held in the lobby of the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

 

Program highlights will include:

  • Stampede – Steven Bryant
  • Lincolnshire Posy – Percy Grainger/ed. Frederick Fennel
  • Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla –Mikhail Glinka/arr. Matt Johnston

 

Concert Information:

Youthful Spirit

Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 3:00 pm
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

Ticket Information:

Individual concert tickets are $20 each, seniors (65+) $15, students/children $10.
Tickets are available in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert.

The box office opens at 2:00 pm on the day of the concert.

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Music is a natural part of everyone. It creates an atmosphere of fun, interaction and excitement. That is why children are naturally drawn to it. If we nurture this ability, music will provide a lifetime of enjoyment and creativity.

 

The Northshore Concert Band 11th Annual Silent Auction

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The Northshore Concert Band is thrilled to announce our 11th Annual Silent Auction!

Proceeds from our Silent Auction, held on Sunday February 12, 2017 in connection with our Winter concert Youthful Spirit, will benefit our Lifetime of Music education and outreach initiatives.

Our 10th annual Silent Auction, held on January 31, 2016, was a roaring success thanks to the generous support of the community, area businesses, arts organizations, band members, family members, friends, and others who support our mission! Please consider donating to this year’s popular annual event!  Gift certificates and tickets from your business and organization will not only enable you to support the Northshore Concert Band, it will allow you to gain new business!

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Last year’s exciting auction items included a backstage tour of the Civic Opera House, a family pass to the Kohl Children’s Museum, and a day at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Sports fans were eager to bid on a variety of tickets to sporting events including the Chicago White Sox, Loyola University Chicago basketball and Northwestern University football.

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Also up for bid were many amazing performance tickets including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center and at Ravinia Festival, Chicago Sinfonietta, The Joffrey Ballet, Music of the Baroque, Giordano Dance Chicago at Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, comedy improv, a performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago or the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, a play at the Goodman Theatre or Broadway In Chicago or the opening night of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

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There were many music-themed items as well, including dance class certificates for Lou Conte Dance Studio and American Rhythm Center, private music lessons and instrument repairs, a membership with the Old Town School of Folk Music, a unique violin art piece and a gift certificate towards the purchase of a piano. Notably, the Paynter family generously donated two pieces of music history; a John P. Paynter autographed Northwestern Wildcats album and an inscribed conducting baton used by Barbara Buehlman!donor-logo-image3

As a thank you for your generous donation, the Northshore Concert Band would like to offer you two complimentary tickets to our Winter concert Youthful Spirit on February 12, 2017. We will also acknowledge your contribution in our Spring concert program book as well as on our social media channels.

Follow this link to the donation form  https://goo.gl/LDd7E

If you have any questions about what you should donate or need help with your donation, one of our Silent Auction committee members would be happy to help!                                        Email us at info@northshoreband.org or phone 847-432-2263.

11th Annual Silent Auction
February 12, 2017
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall lobby, Northwestern University campus, Evanston
Bidding begins at 2:00 pm!

The Northshore Concert Band is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization. Donations may be eligible for a tax deduction.

Thank you for supporting the Northshore Concert Band!

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive the most up-to-date Northshore Concert Band news including  informative entertaining interviews of NCB musicians!

Make a Difference This Holiday Season!

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Charitable giving  continues its upward trend!  This increase is testament to the growing role that charitable organizations play in our society.Make a difference this holiday season by giving to the Northshore Concert Band!

Here are 9 positive effects of giving.

1. You Will Feel Good!

Donating money makes you feel better.  It makes you realize that even if you don’t have much, you have enough to share with others.  A Harvard Business School study suggests that giving to others is directly correlated with an increased sense of happiness.

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2.You Will Help Those In Need!

When you donate to charities that truly make a difference, you will feel the satisfaction that only giving can bring.  You will know that your donation has made a positive impact on that organization and the lives that it touches.

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3. You Will Be A Part Of Something Bigger!

Even if you are only able to donate a small amount of money, your gift will be joined with the gifts of others and become something much bigger! A small donation really can make a big difference!

4. You Will Get a Tax Deduction!

A gift to a qualified charitable organization may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax if you itemize deductions. Be sure to consult your tax advisor for the federal, state, and local tax consequences of a charitable contribution.

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5. You Can Support Something That is Close to Your Heart!

Everyone is passionate about something.  Making a donation to an organization that inspires you shows your support of their efforts and of their mission. Supporting a cause can give your life a greater purpose. This is one of the most valuable aspects of charitable giving. Everyone needs passion in their life.

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6. Your Support Will Set An Example

Donating to a charitable organization shows everyone that you want to make the world a better place.  It will set an example to your children, grandchildren, friends and family and instill in them a desire to share and serve.  Those around you will be inspired and influenced by your generosity.

7. You Can Honor A Loved One

Making a financial contribution is an excellent way to honor someone in your life or to celebrate the memory of someone who has passed.

8. Your Generosity is Valued

Donors truly make a difference!  You can not underestimate how important you are to the organizations that you support. The financial generosity of individuals like you makes our many musical and educational activities possible.

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9. You Can Donate Today!

While the act of giving is immediate, your relationship with the organizations that you support will be long-term!

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Please make a generous contribution to the Northshore Concert Band so the music will continue to inspire, engage, and excite our audiences.  Your support in any amount is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for joining us in ensuring the ongoing success of the Northshore Concert Band.

Students Meet NCB Tuba Players & Gene Pokorny!

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The Northshore Concert Band tuba players met with a group of over 3 dozen students and their parents before Sunday’s season opening concert, for a lively meet and greet.  They shared stories about their experiences, answered questions and passed out souvenir keepsakes.

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Northshore Concert Band artistic director and conductor, Dr. Mallory Thompson stopped in to say hi to everyone as well!

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Those attending this fun and informal gathering were thrilled when Gene Pokorny, principal tuba with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra joined the group and shared stories about his musical background and offered encouraging words to the student musicians in attendance!  The event ended with a group photo that included the students, the NCB Tubas and Gene Pokorny.  Students were given a copy of this photo as a memento of this unforgettable experience!

We were honored to welcome Mr. Pokorny for his first solo performance with NCB!

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The Northshore Concert Band tuba players include John Harshey, a band director from Mundelein who has been with NCB for 31 years,  Rodney Owens, a band director from Lake Forest, who has also been with NCB for 31 years, Peter Lograsso, an orchestra director from Westchester who has been with the band for 28 years, Kevin Baldwin, a mechanical engineer from Des Plaines and NCB member for 10 years and Eric Weisseg, and IT manager from Chicago who has been an NCB member for 9 years.


The next Northshore Concert Band concert is our highly anticipated annual “Lifetime of Music” program.  In a highlight of the season, we are joined on stage by some of the most talented young musicians in the Chicagoland area!

Youthful Spirit

Sunday, February 12, 2017, 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

For More Information:
Visit www.northshoreband.org or call (847) 432-2263.

 

Images: Courtesy of Douglas Boehm

Gene Pokorny Interview (Part Two)

The Northshore Concert Band is honored to welcome Guest Soloist Gene Pokorny, Principal Tuba Of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the first concert of out 61st season!  Widely considered the finest tuba player in the world today, our November 6, 2016 concert, entitled Reflections, marks his first solo performance with the Northshore Concert Band!

Northshore Concert Band member Paul Bauer recently interviewed Gene Pokorny. Below is part two of this fascinating peek into the life of this remarkable musician.

Read part one of the interview here

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What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?

It is hard to get a position in an orchestra but there is always room at the top if you work hard enough and if you’ve got enough raw talent.  One caution, however.  If you want to become a professional player and have opted to be a music education major for some type of job security, fine.  But make sure you have the passion and interest for teaching.  If you really don’t care that much about being an educator and cannot be effervescent in front of a bunch of young people to turn them on to music, please do not get into music education.  The world does not need any more people in music education who are turning kids off to music.  Do something else with your life.  For everybody else, listen to as much music as you can and distill what you like or don’t like about the various music you hear. 

Which composer/musician – past or present – would you most like to meet for a coffee and why?

Gerald Finzi (1901 – 1956, British composer) was a friend with Ralph Vaughan Williams. He wrote some of the most heart-felt songs based on poems by Robert Bridges, Thomas Hardy and others.  He was a remarkable musician who never received the proper accolades he rightfully deserved.  He was a simple man but not a simplistic one.  He seemed to have core values that kept him sane after having felt many hardships in his younger days.  I could have learned a lot from him.  A couple years ago I played his Five Bagatelles, originally for clarinet solo and piano, arranged for tuba solo and band by Joseph Kreines.  That was very memorable for me.  

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What do you do to relax?

I am a “foamer.”  That is supposed to be a derogatory term given by railroad people to those of us who are railfans and hang out at railroad tracks and watch trains.  I consider that term a badge of honor.  While I am a member of the 20th Century Railroad Club and the Union Pacific Historical Society, I will spend time hanging out on the Union Pacific West line.  Nothing like grabbing cinnamon rolls from Prairie Bread Kitchen in Oak Park and watch some heavy freights roll through.  We watch the big trains on vacations as well.  Our four basset hounds are perfect foils in case I am practicing or hanging out at the tracks too much.  One place Beth, the pups and I enjoy is the Rochelle Railroad Park.  It is a drive but there is plenty of railroad action as well as diesel and creosote smells.  What could possibly go wrong? 

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If you weren’t a professional musician what would you be?

I still have a passion for being a band director.  I think I would be good at it, but I don’t know that I could do it as well as others who have less “baggage.”  If I was not involved in music, I would probably do something involved with the railroad.  That may be a more romantic than a realistic notion.  I fantasize about being an engineer running a mile-long unit coal train with 18,000 tons behind me going up a 2.5% grade with my hands on the throttle of 24,000 horsepower.  Maybe it is the transportation equivalent of being a tuba player in an orchestra.  The contribution in terms of being a solo voice is minimal but if you provide smart, controlled, massive power, the tuba can elevate the level of the entire orchestra because of the reliable foundation it provides. 


Please join us on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University; 50 Arts Circle Drive in Evanston, Illinois for Reflections,  conducted by Artistic Director Mallory Thompson, and featuring guest soloist Gene Pokorny, Principal Tuba of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra!

Program highlights will include:
Elegy – John Barnes Chance
Gene Pokorny, tuba soloist
o Turbulence – Bruce Broughton
o Over the Rainbow – Harold Arlen/arr. Alan Morrison/trans. Joseph Kreines
Festive Overture – Dmitri Shostakovich/arr. Donald Hunsberger
October – Dmitri Shostakovich/arr. Preston Mitchell

Ticket Information:
Individual concert tickets are $20 each, seniors $15, students/children $10.                                To make these unforgettable performances accessible for music lovers of all ages we offer special group rates to groups of 10 or more.  Call us at 847-432-2263 or email adam@northshoreband.org  to customize your group ticket package today!

Tickets are available in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert.
The box office opens at 2:00 pm on the day of the concert.

For More Information:
Visit www.northshoreband.org or call (847) 432-2263.

Musicians & Music

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

RICHARD LEHMAN

Rich Lehman

Richard Lehman plays Percussion and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2005. He is a Band Director and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started playing in 4th grade at the age of 9; I picked percussion because I annoyed my sister by banging on the dinner table with the silverware.

What do you enjoy most about playing? What we do is intensely personal and over time we have a concert it is a gift that we the musicians get to give the audience. Giving that gift to others is what I love most about playing.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  Being a music teacher there are quite a few I get to choose from, but one of my highlights is getting to guest conduct the Pennsylvania District 8 Honor Band.

What are your musical influences? I love the music of the Big Band era and composers like Barber, Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin.

Who was your most influential music teacher? That’s difficult because I believe each teacher I’ve had the honor of studying with has helped shape me into the teacher I am today. Dr. Thompson helped push me into being a better musician and not settling for being adequate and it’s a blessing to rehearse with her each week. My colleague and friend, Terry Melbourn has taught me (and continues to teach me) how to be an outstanding middle school band director.

Does anyone in your family play music? My mom plays the organ and piano and my sister plays the piano. If you ask my father what he plays, he will respond by saying, “the radio.”

What’s on your iPod? A lot of podcasts ranging from Radical with David Platt to This American Life.

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Anything in life that is worthwhile takes time and commitment.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? It’s the level of playing and life experiences that each member brings to the music that makes it better than other groups I’ve had the chance to perform with.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Inspirational, Dedicated and Giving

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!