Sax solo featured at DeKalb Band’s children’s concert

The DeKalb Municipal Band will present its annual Children’s Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 27, at the Dee Palmer Band Shell in Hopkins Park, 1403 Sycamore Road in DeKalb. The band is under the direction of Kirk Lundbeck.

This year’s concert will be “A Musical Trip Around the Band”, giving those future musicians an opportunity to explore the various instrumental sections that make up a band. Musical selections to showcase the different instruments on the journey include “The Penny Whistle Song (flute)”, “The Barber of Seville” (oboe), “Clarinet Candy (clarinet)”, “On The Trail (Grand Canyon Suite) (bassoon), “The Four Horsemen” (horns) , “Bugler’s Holiday (trumpets)”, “Shout’n Liza Trombone (trombones), “Them Basses” (tubas/euphoniums), and “Jazz March” (percussion).

The band’s own Roger Ackert will step forward from the saxophone section to perform “Star Dust.”

Ackert, the band’s principal alto saxophone, has a bachelor’s degree in music from the Oberlin Conservatory, a master’s degree in performance and composition from Northern Illinois University, and a music degree from the U.S. Navy School of Music. He is skilled in the woodwinds family, with emphasis on the clarinet, saxophone and oboe.

Ackert’s first performance on saxophone was at the age of 12 on the “Totem Club” on WTTW in Chicago. He joined the Musicians Union at the age of 16 and performed in park district concerts and the opening ceremonies of the first two McCormick Places with the Armand Hand Band, was principal clarinet in the Nordic Philharmonic at North Park College, co-principal carinet in the Lake Forest Symphony and The Beloit Symphony and principal clarinet in the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.

On saxophone, Ackert performed in backup bands for major acts at the Metro Center, such as The Pointer Sisters, Dionne Warwick, Bob Hope, George Burns and Lynda Carter. Ackert has performed in many other combo groups all over the Midwest, and in theater orchestras including Stage Coach Players. He has been on tours with Mike Embrey productions and is lead alto saxophone with the Shananigans Big Band. Ackert has performed with the Kishwaukee Concert Band, which premiered his composition “The Fall of Baghdad” as he conducted.

Ackert has performed with the DeKalb Municipal Band since 1963.

Additional musical selections include “Thundercrest”, “Harry’s Wondrous World”, “Fandango” and “The Gallant Seventh”.

Admission is free; bench seating is available or bring a lawn chair or blanket. Guests are asked to follow CDC guidelines regarding places where people congregate, by social distancing 6 feet apart and wearing a mask when this is not possible.

For more information about the band or to donate to “Help the Band Play On,” visit Visit the band’s Facebook page for up-to-the-minute happenings and to learn of any weather cancellations.