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NCB History

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to become part of the Northshore Concert Band’s 61st season!  Click the links below to learn more about one of the world’s premier adult symphonic bands.

John P. Paynter, Founder and Long-Time Music Director

Barbara Buehlman, Former Assistant Conductor and Business Manager

Former Music Directors

Mallory Thompson, Current Artistic Director

Dan Farris, Current Assistant Conductor

Whatsoever Things...The Life and Teachings of John P. Paynter by Mark Camphouse

NCB Discography


NCB Historical Timeline

1956-59    1960-69    1970-79    1980-89    1990-99    2000-09    2010-present

1956 - The band is first organized as the “Northbrook American Legion Community Concert Band” under the direction of John P. Paynter. Rehearsals are held at the Geo. W. Benjamin American Legion Post No. 791. First rehearsal numbers eleven members.

1957 - First concert held on Sunday, March 31, at Glenbrook High School. Featured soloist is Wilma Stack Moller, soprano. Band participates in American Legion Contest, winning second place in marching. Band appears in American Legion parade along Michigan Avenue in Chicago. In order for the dignitaries to hear the band clearly, the musicians marched backwards past the reviewing stand. Membership increases to 50, all male.

1958 - The band performs for the first time in Wilmette, presented by the Wilmette Recreation Board. Name is changed to the Northbrook Community Band.

1959 - Concerts are presented in February, March, August and November, including first summer program in the Wilmette Bowl and with the Diamond Lake Elementary School Band in Mundelein. Band also presents first concert at Howard School in Wilmette, which becomes the band’s headquarters in 1961.

1960 - Name is changed to Wilmette Community Concert Band, with sponsorship by Kiwanis, Lions, Optimist Clubs and the Wilmette Recreation Board. Concert schedule increases, with performances in Antioch and Round Lake. Band appears in Memorial Day Parade in Wilmette.

1961 - Women are admitted to the band for the first time. Membership reaches 87.

1962 - Name changed to Northshore Concert Band of Wilmette. Barbara Buehlman becomes business manager. Public service concerts are given at Downey V.A. Hospital, Elgin State Hospital and Lincoln Children’s Hospital at Dixon. Improvements in instrumentation allow band to focus on more serious music.

1963 - Appears for the first time at the Midwest National Band Clinic in Chicago.
The band again appears in the Wilmette Memorial Day Parade. The men march, the women join them at the Bowl for a concert performance. The band begins rehearsing at Avoca School (now Marie Murphy Jr. High) in Wilmette, which is to become its permanent home.

1964 - First international performance, as the band appears at the Waterloo International Clinic at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Second performance at Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago. Participates in Northwestern University School of Music Third Annual Wind-Percussion Workshop – presenting a concert and reading session.

1965 - Concerts presented in Round Lake, Glen Ellyn, Glencoe, Glenview and Wilmette. Band appears for the last time in Wilmette Memorial Day Parade. Third consecutive performance at Midwest National Band Clinic.

1966 - Clinic and convention performances at the American Bandmasters Association Convention held at Northwestern University, with guest conductors including Leroy Anderson, and at the Mid-East Instrumental Music Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. While John Paynter is on sabbatical during fall 1966 and spring 1967, Paynter’s mentor Glenn Cliffe Bainum conducts the band. Local concerts at Wing Park, Elgin, and the McHenry Ice Carnival.

1967 - Summer concerts continue in Wilmette and Elgin. The band returns to Downey V.A. Hospital. Fourth performance at the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago. 79 members.

1968 - Adolph “Bud” Herseth, principal trumpet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performs with band – first of many CSO players to solo with NCB. Local performances in Niles, Elgin, and Wilmette. Fifth appearance at the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago.

1969 - Concert and clinic presented for the instrumental Directors Educational Association in Dolton, Illinois, and sixth for the Midwest Band Clinic.

1970 - Programs given in Wauconda and Lincolnwood, Wilmette concerts featured guest soloist Dale Clevenger of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Band makes its seventh trip to Midwest Band Clinic. Band’s first constitution is approved.

1971 - The band travels to Norfolk, Virginia to perform for the All-Eastern Band and Orchestra Clinic at the Naval Amphibious Base in Little Creek. Band members and luggage arrive safely, but music library is lost, to be found only at the last minute. Summer season features guest conductors Warren Benson, Donald Hunsberger and William Revelli.

1972 - Local concerts given in Aurora, Barrington and Des Plaines. Band appears at Illinois Music Educators Association Convention in Peoria.

1973 - Concert tour to Hattiesburg, Mississippi and New Orleans in February. Snow and ice storm follows band to southern climate.

1974 - band performs in Harvey, Streamwood, Park Ridge, Glencoe and at Shriners Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Fourth of July concert at Ravinia Park.

1975 - Northshore Concert Band makes two-week concert tour of Europe, performing in Paris, Lucerne, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Rotterdam and London. Local performances include the band’s first performance in a church at St. Peter’s in Arlington Heights, and an eighth appearance at the Midwest Clinic.

1976 - Band launches “Music for America” PR campaign. Regional tour takes band to Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Concert at Wisconsin Music Educators Conference in Madison. Third performance at Ravinia Fourth of July celebration.

1977 - The band presents its first Festival of Winds, Percussion, Strings, and Piano at Northwestern University including concerts, clinics and adjudication for local music students. Regional tour to southern Illinois and Missouri. Performances in Mineral Point (home town of John Paynter) and Governor Dodge State Park, Wis., hosted by the Symphony of the Hills Orchestra. Ninth concert at Midwest Band Clinic.

1978 - Second appearance at the American Bandmasters Association Convention, held at Northwestern University. Combined performance in Evanston with the Medalist Concert Band of Bloomington, Minn. Tenth appearance at the Midwest National Band Clinic.

1979 - Band travels to Fargo, North Dakota to appear at Nels Vogel’s Northwest Band Clinic with guest soloist Doc Severinsen. Return appearance with Symphony of the Hills at Governor Dodge State Park, Wisconsin. Concert for Sixth World Saxophone Congress held at Northwestern University and Labor Day Concert at Navy Pier in Chicago. Band invited for eleventh year to perform at Midwest Band Clinic.

1980 - The band appears for the second year with Doc Severinsen at the Nels Vogel Northwest Band Clinic. Summer concerts include trip to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. Twelfth concert at Midwest Band Clinic.

1981 - Fourth of July concerts at Glenview Community Church Ice Cream Social and Glenview Park District. Band returns to Blue Lake Fine Arts camp for summer concert, and receives thirteenth invitation to appear at Midwest National Band Clinic in Chicago.

1982 - The Midwest National Band & Orchestra Clinic extends the fourteenth invitation to Northshore Concert Band to perform a special concert of “Golden Oldies.” Members traveled to Valparaiso University to perform in the beautiful campus chapel.

1983 - Northshore Concert Band makes a seven day tour of Ontario, Canada playing concerts in Gravenhurst and Burlington and for the Canadian National Exposition in Toronto. One hundred and thirty-five members and family members traveled to Canada to perform for over seven thousand people and to sightsee in Toronto and Niagara Falls.

1984 - The First Annual Adult Band Conference is sponsored by Northshore Concert Band in a year that included performances for the National Convention of the Music Educators National Conference, the Midwest Clinic, and a weekend concert trip to Dubuque, Iowa.

1985 - Concert series is expanded to include two POPS concerts. Guest artists Wynton Marsalis, Allen Vizzutti, and Dale Clevenger perform with Northshore Concert Band.

1986 - The concert series and Midwest Clinic concerts include guest artists Robert Weinrich and Harvey Phillips and guest conductor Geoffrey Brand. The Third Annual Adult Band Conference features clinicians Fredrick Fennell, Col. John Bourgeois, and James Curnow. Band travels to Whitewater, Wisconsin to play for 2000 high school band camp musicians.

1987 - The 1986-87 concert season is year-long preparation for a concert performance at the Bi-annual convention of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE). Held on the campus of Boston University, the performance was one of the most outstanding in the thirty-one year history of Northshore Concert Band, and a fun vacation for the more than 180 band members and family members who traveled to Boston.

1988 - Concert series guest artists include John Bruce Yeh, Assistant Principal Clarinet of the Chicago Symphony, Violinist Gerado Riberio, and well known radio personality John Hultman. A very busy summer schedule included performances for the national convention of the American School Band Director’s Association, the Bands of America Whitewater, Wisconsin student camp and a weekend trip to Mineral Point Wisconsin, home town of conductor John Paynter, to combine with the Mineral Point Community Band.

1989 - One of the most memorable performances given for the Midwest Clinic included the talent of cartoonist Tom Batiuk, author of the Funky Winkerbean cartoon strip. Tom’s wonderful drawings of the animals in XXX. The concert series included the Chicago Symphony Horn Quartet performing the Schumann “Konzertstruck” and soprano soloist Helen-Kay Eberley. A busy summer schedule included a performance for the Society of Civil Engineers at Northwestern University.

1990 - Northshore Band made its first trip by train to play for the 45th annual Midwestern Conference on School Vocal and Instrumental Music at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Guest artists in the concert series included Carmen Or, piano soloist, and the Millar Brass Ensemble. The season culminated with a performance for the National Band Association National Convention.

1991 - Concert series guest artists this year featured the world renowned William Warfield both as narrator and vocal soloist and members of the Northwestern University vocal faculty, Kathleen Kaun, Elizabeth Fischer, Patrick Woliver; and Bruce Hall.

1992 - International trombone soloist Gustav Gabor Hoena, pianist Robert Weirich, and the marvelous husband and wife vocal soloists Sunny Joy Langton and Bruce Hall highlighted a season that culminated with a performance for the Biennial Convention of the National Band Association and a first time performance at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

1993 - Allen, Vizzutti, Trumpet and Brian Bowman, Euphonium, and guest conductors Ray Cramer and John Boyd join Northshore Band for a stunning performance at the 46th annual Midwest Clinic. Concert Series artists included Sylvia Wang, Lawrence Davis, and Marcia Norman, piano, and Dean of the School of Music at Northwestern University, Bernard Dobroski as narrator.

1994 - John Hultman, (WBBM’s morning drive co-anchor) served as narrator, Russell Dagon, clarinet; vocal duo and Northwestern University faculty members Sunny Joy Langton and Bruce Hall, Brian Bowman, euphonium; Robert Davine, concert accordion; and Terry Applebaum, percussion, performed as soloists in this concert season climaxed by a John Phillips Sousa concert spectacular.

1995 - Guest artists for this season included flute/piccolo soloist Walfrid Kajula from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Justin Kolb, nationally recognized piano soloist, Dale Underwood, Principal Saxophone of the United States Navy Band. The highlight of the year was the concert performance in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall with the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

1996 - John P. Paynter, NCB founder and conductor for 40 years, dies on February 4th at age 67. A tribute concert to their beloved conductor takes place at the College Band Directors National Association, North Central Division Conference on the campus of the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay. Band members and family traveled to Green Bay to play this concert in John Paynter’s honor. Stephen Peterson appointed Music Director. NCB appears at the 50th Midwest Clinic, with guest soloist Wynton Marsalis.

1997 - The band’s long-time assistant conductor and business manager, Barbara Buehlman, passes away on September 26th. A memorial concert dedicated to her memory is programmed in November, performing many of her favorite arrangements and a James Barnes commission in her honor entitled, “All Pleasant Things.” Dennis Montgomery appointed as the band’s second business manager.

1998 - Band appears at ASBDA in Naperville, sharing the concert with the Wheaton Municipal Band; makes second appearance at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Stephen Peterson announces his resignation as NCB Music Director to move to Ithaca, NY as Director of Bands. Search committee is formed to find a new Music Director.

1999 - Band begins a year of running itself without a permanent conductor, while combining a total of ten auditioning and guest conductors through the season. First concert under the direction of guest conductor Mallory Thompson. Band appears at Midwest Clinic new music reading session conducted by Ray Cramer. In July NCB appoints John Lynch as third Music Director and Larry Stoffel as its second assistant conductor.

2000 - Appoints Mallory Thompson as Principal Guest Conductor. NCB performs at Midwest Clinic “Midnight Special” clinic performing two movements (“Wedding Dances” and “Bandana Overture”) from a new opera for vocalists and wind ensemble by Daron Hagen. Board begins plans for 2001 tour to French Riviera. Band creates new website at www.northshoreband.org. NCB’s 6th CD “Mythologies” is released.

2001 - Soloists include Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer on trumpet; Greta Pope as vocalist on pops concert. John Lynch performs as piano soloist while conducting from the keyboard on Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. 25th year of Festival for Winds, Percussion, Strings and Piano. Band receives grants from Arts and Business Council, and the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festival. Nine-day trip to south of France includes concerts in Le Pradet, Seillans, La Motte, and the opening and closing performances of the La Croix Valmer Festival Des Anches D’Azure. In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NCB performed at the Midwest Clinic with William Warfield narrating Lincoln Portrait; Steven Mead collaborated as Euphonium. Guest conductors included Mallory Thompson, Eugene Corporon and Ray Cramer (conducting Totus Tuus in honor of Barbara Buehlman).

2002 - NCB hosts the French band from La Croix Valmer for a 4 day visit and concert tour. John Lynch announces his resignation due to accepting the Director of Bands job at Kansas University. Band hires its second part-time staff person focusing on marketing and development. Assistant Conductor Larry Stoffel is appointed NCB’s 4th Music Director.

2003 - Mathieu Dufour, Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal flutist, appears as soloist. First Lifetime of Music concert featuring 40 outstanding high school instruments on stage with NCB. Larry Stoffel programs a family concert Discovery: Music to introduce children to musical concepts.

2004 - Mallory Thompson (Artistic Director) and Richard Fischer (Music Director) are appointed as co musical leaders of the band. Larry Combs, CSO principal clarinet, appears as saxophone and clarinet soloist.

2005 - Charles Geyer (trumpet) and Steve Houghton (percussion) appear as concert series soloists. Richard Fischer resigns as Music Director. Mallory Thompson accepts appointment as NCB’s sole musical and artistic leader. The band begins its 50th season celebration. Allen Vizzutti appears as trumpet soloist on November concert. NCB performs at Midwest Clinic.

2006 – NCB celebrates its 50th anniversary with a concert including alumni and dinner. Guest artists include John Bruce Yeh (clarinet), Fred Hemke (saxophone), Chris Martin (trumpet) and Michel Mulcahy (trombone). The band traveled to Michigan to play at the Blue Lake Music Camp.

2007 – Artistic Director Mallory Thompson joins with NU students Ethan Bensdorf and Mike Martin to perform “Bugler’s Holiday”. Guest artists include Grover Schiltz (English horn and oboe), Walfrid Kujala (flute), Brian Bowman (euphonium) and Larry Combs (clarinet). The band performs at the Waukegan Band Fest and Ravinia.

2008 – Guest artists include Bill Barnewitz (horn), Gail Williams (horn), Rex Martin (tuba) and Debra Richtmeyer (saxophone). The band returns to Ravinia for the Lawn of Lincoln Celebration.

2009 – The band plays a concert for the Northwestern KIDS FARE! concert series. Steve Cohen (clarinet) and She-e Wu (marimba) are guest artists.

2010 – The band combines with the Northwestern Symphonic Wind Ensemble to perform “Dionysiaques”. Guest artists include the Chicago Children’s Choir, Barbara Butler (trumpet) and Charles Geyer (trumpet). NCB joins social media on Facebook and Twitter.

2011 – Janet Schroeder is honored for completing 50 years as an NCB member. The band combines with the Blasorchester Niederschopfheim from Germany for a concert in Evanston. The NCB performs at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.

2012 – The band commissions and performs the world premiere of “Let the Amen Sound” by Travis Cross. NCB tours Switzerland and Germany to complete the exchange with the Blasorchester Niederschopfheim.

2013 - The Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet and Timothy McAllister (saxophone) are guest artists. The band performs at the Wheaton Band Festival.

2014 – The band runs a Kickstarter funding campaign to fund outreach concerts in Chicago Public Schools. Concerts funded by the Kickstarter campaign were held at Rickover Naval Academy and Lincoln Park High School. Axiom Brass and Jim Cornelison (tenor) are guest artists. Mark Camphouse’s book Whatsoever Things…The Life and Teachings of John P. Paynter is published.

2015 – The Westchester Symphonic Winds from New York join with the NCB for a concert in Evanston. Robert Sullivan (trumpet), Chris Martin (trumpet) and Mike Martin (trumpet) are our guest artists. The band performs at the Blue Lake Music Camp in Michigan. NCB commissions and performs the world premiere of Mike Martin’s piece “Zero to Sixty!” which was written for the band’s 60th anniversary season.