WHEATON – The Wheaton Municipal Band's concerts have become a summer tradition in Memorial Park.
And music director and conductor Bruce Moss has been part of that tradition for 39 years.
"It's a unique group," Moss said. "It's a wonderful town with tremendous support of the band. And the band is unique because it is comprised of such high-caliber musicians. They enjoy it, and they enjoy the appreciation the community gives them. And they enjoy providing a slice of Americana."
The acclaimed band will strike up the first notes of its summer season when it takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. June 7 in Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave. in downtown Wheaton. The concerts are free.
Formed in 1930, the Wheaton Municipal Band has a strong presence in the community.
"They come out in droves to hear them," Moss said. "It's just something that's become a part of the cultural life of the city every summer."
The June 7 program is entitled "Band Sounds Spectacular!," and it will include marches, overtures and a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the movie "Grease."
The summer season promises a little something for everyone. On July 12, DeSarge Danceworld of Naperville will join with the Wheaton Municipal Band in the program "Sounds of Samba." Free dance lessons will be given at 6:30 p.m. as part of the program.
And on July 26, the band will literally present "Something for Everyone," the name of that night's program. The season also will feature guest conductors, such as Col. Lowell E. Graham, retired conductor of the United States Air Force Band, who will conduct the band July 19.
In addition, band directors within the membership of the Wheaton Municipal Band will share the stage July 5. The band will pay tribute to acclaimed composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein and the late Rev. Billy Graham during a program at 8 p.m. Aug. 4 at Edman Chapel on the Wheaton College campus.
Graham, a 1943 anthropology graduate of Wheaton College, died Feb. 21 at age 99. The program will feature special music, including spirituals sung by MSgt. Kevin Bennear, vocal soloist from the United States Marine Band.
The concerts will return to Memorial Park on Aug. 9 as Elmhurst College professor Doug Beach presents a big band concert during the last show of the season.
"He does that almost every year," Moss said. "It's a very popular concert. Doug is a very well-known jazz leader."
For a full schedule, go to wheatonmunicipalband.org.