About the Band

Steering Committee
Other Key Personnel
Band Members


In the fall of 2002 Dr. Ronnie Wooten, Northern Illinois University Professor of Music and conductor of the NIU Wind Ensemble, and Dr. Sue Huhta, DeKalb School District #428 music coordinator, teacher, and band director, collaborated to invite players in the DeKalb area to participate in an adult community concert band. The premier performance of the (then named) Greater Kishwaukee Area Symphonic Band took place on November 3, 2002. Wooten continued conducting the band until the late in 2003, when he announced his absence for a sabbatical leave scheduled for spring 2004.

The band’s Steering Committee invited experienced band director John Hansen to the podium, who assumed the position with the band's 2004-2005 season. Hansen continued as conductor for 10 consecutive seasons, retiring following the end of the 2013-2014 season (the band's 12th year). The band’s name has changed over the years, and in 2013 became the Kishwaukee Concert Band. Dave Lehman and Gene Vanden Bosch, both band members and accomplished conductors, next stepped up to the podium. They continued to share conducting duties through Season 14. October 2016 marked the opening of the 15th season with yet another talented conductor and musician, Deb Schofner, stepping up to replace Gene Vanden Bosch. Deb Schofner currently shares the podium with Dave Lehman as the band continues to move forward.

Rehearsals run from September through May of each season. The conductor and band members work for six rehearsals to prepare each of the season's four yearly concerts, which are held in October, December, March and May. We have a faithful, growing audience of 200 or more people that attend each performance.


The Kishwaukee Concert Band is a voluntary organization dedicated to the rehearsal and performance of traditional concert band music for the cultural benefit of residents of the DeKalb County area. The band provides a venue for experienced volunteer musicians, age 18 and older, to join in ensemble playing for mutual enjoyment and enhancement of musical skills. Membership in the organization is free, voluntary, and open to all interested musicians.


David Lehman

David Lehman is originally from Maple Heights, Ohio, where he began in music studying percussion. After completing his undergraduate work in Instrumental Music Education from Marycrest and St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, he began teaching band in Franklin Grove, Illinois from 1972 to 1976. From 1976 to 1979 he taught band in Fulton, Illinois. In 1979, he accepted the position of middle school band director at Huntley Middle School in DeKalb, Illinois. Dave received a Master of Music degree, with specialization in Music Education, from Northern Illinois University, while continuing to teach in DeKalb until his retirement in 2010.

Dave currently conducts Jazz in Progress and co-conducts the Kishwaukee Concert Band. He was chosen to guest conduct the 2016 North Central Junior High Conference (NCJC) concert band. Dave still performs as principal oboist with the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the DeKalb Municipal Band, and the Illinois Valley Community College Wind Ensemble. He also is a regular in the pit orchestra for Stagecoach and Mendota community musical productions.

Deborah Shofner

Deborah Shofner taught in Illinois public schools for 34 years. She received her undergraduate degree in music education from Northern Illinois University in 1981 and her graduate degree in conducting from NIU in 1992. While at NIU, she studied conducting with Mr. Stephen Squires and Dr. Elwood Smith. She studied tuba with Robert Bauchens, retired from the Lyric Opera, and Charles Schuchaut, Elgin Symphony Orchestra.

Previous bands under Ms. Shofner's direction have earned many honors, including performances at the Adjudicators National Invitation Festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1995 and at Constitution Hall in 1997, both in Washington, D.C.; a performance with Robert Sheldon at the 1997 Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA) All-State/National Assocation for Music Education (MENC) North Central Convention; a performance at the American School Band Directors Association National Convention in 1998 and a performance at the IMEA Conference in 2003. Her bands have also earned consistent superior ratings at Illinois Grade School Music Association organizational contests and Music in the Parks Festivals. Ms. Shofner served as the conductor of the Sauk Valley Community College Concert Band from 1990 to 1995. She has guest-conducted the Sterling Municipal Band, the Illinois Valley Community College Wind Ensemble, and the DeKalb Municipal Band.

She is active as principal tubist of the Illinois Valley Community College Wind Ensemble, the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the DeKalb Municipal Band. She is also active as a tuba soloist and clinician. Ms. Shofner has served the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) in many capacities over the past years: at the district level as Junior Band Representative in Districts VII and VIII, Band Division Representative in District VIII, 15 years as the All-State Honors Band Chairperson, 6 years as the ILMEA State Band Division Vice-President, 2 years as the ILMEA President-Elect, and 2 years as the ILMEA State President; and she is currently in her second year as the ILMEA State Past-President. She is active as a guest conductor for ILMEA District Festival bands, as well as many conference festival bands. Ms. Shofner served the Illinois Grade School Music Association as the District 9 Chairperson from 2002 to 2007 and was just re-elected to that leadership position. In June 2010 she was honored as a recipient of the “Outstanding Chicagoland Music Educator Award”. She was listed multiple times in the Who's Who Among America's Teachers and has been published in The Instrumentalist band magazine and the ILMEA journal (the Illinois Music Educator). Ms. Shofner's professional affiliations include the American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA), Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA).

Steering Committee

Richard Carlson Instructor, College of DuPage
Tenor Saxophone
Charter member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; Tenor Saxophone in the summer DeKalb Municipal Band
Sue Huhta Band director, music teacher and music coordinator/teacher, retired
French Horn
Co-founder and manager, and charter member, of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; French Horn and publicist for the summer DeKalb Municipal Band
Jerrold Zar Northern Illinois University Professor and Graduate School Dean, retired
Charter member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; retired from Trumpet in the band and in the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Other Key Personnel

Larry Apperson Kishwaukee College Vice President of Student Services, retired
Charter member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; American flag caretaker and setup coordinator
Aaron Butler Farmer
Flute and Saxophone
Sound system caretaker; Flute in the summer DeKalb Municipal Band
Misty Haji-Sheikh Photographer
Jeffrey Hecht Northern Illinois University Professor and Associate Dean, retired
Concert announcer and webmaster
Leslie Hecht Northern Illinois University Academic Advisor
Printed programs preparer
Dave Lehman Band director, retired
Co-conductor, charter member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; Oboe in the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Oboe and concert announcer in the summer DeKalb Municipal Band
Elli McLaughlin RN, retired, and handbell choir director
Trumpet and Percussion
Charter member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; Print media and radio publicity announcements
Adam Orton City Treasurer, Sycamore
Facebook coordinator
Cherie Sanderson Orchard operations and educator
Personnel records and communication, concert flyers and programs
Deb Shofner Band director, retired
Bill Schulze Accountant, retired
Federal tax filings
Denny Vaupel Music Educator, retired
Bass Clarinet
Program CD duplication
Libby Witty X-ray technician
Facebook coordinator

Band Members

The volunteer players in the Kishwaukee Concert Band come from many occupations, professions, and walks of life, both active and retired, including: academic advisor, accountant, agriculture, agricultural educator, auto technician, band director, clerk, composer, farmer, firefighter/paramedic, health insurance, higher-education administrator, homemaker, hospital maintenance, human resources, college instructor, engineer, entomologist, laboratory technician, minister, music educator, musician, orchard operations and educator, physician, professor, project developer, psychologist, nurse, secretary, teacher, and X-ray technician.


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