About the Band

Executive Committee
Board of Directors
Other Committees
Other Key Personnel
Band Members


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


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, Illinois area to participate in an adult community wind ensemble. The premier performance of the (then named) Greater Kishwaukee Area Symphonic Band took place on November 3, 2002. Ronnie Wooten continued conducting the band until late in 2003, when he announced his absence for a sabbatical leave scheduled for spring 2004.

In order to provide leadership for the continued operation of the new band, a Steering Committee was formed in 2003, consisting of band members Richard Carlson, Sue Huhta, and Jerrold Zar, who are now members of the Executive Committee (see below). One of its first actions was to invite experienced band director John Hansen to the podium, and he became the band’s conductor for its 2004-2005 season. He continued as conductor for 10 consecutive seasons, retiring following the end of the 2013-2014 season (the band’s 12th). In 2008 the band’s name changed to Greater Kishwaukee Area Concert Band, and in 2013 it became the Kishwaukee Concert Band. Dave Lehman and Gene Vanden Bosch, both band members and accomplished conductors, next stepped up to the podium, sharing conducting duties through season 14 (2015-2016). October 2016 marked the opening of the 15th season with another talented conductor and musician, Deborah Schofner, stepping up to replace Gene Vanden Bosch. Deb Schofner currently shares the conductor duties 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 concerts, which are held in October, December, March and May.


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 at 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. He was a charter member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band at its founding in the fall of 2002. When not conducting the band, he has played in its percussion or oboe section.

Dave currently conducts the Jazz in Progress jazz ensemble and is one of the two principal conductors of 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 musical productions of the DeKalb, Illinois, Stage Coach Players and the Mendota, Illinois community.


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 Orchestra, and Charles Schuchat of the 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 joint meeting of the Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA) All-State Conference and the Music Educators National Conference (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.

Ms. Shofner 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. When not conducting the Kishwaukee Concert Band, she performs on tuba or percussion in the band.

She 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 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).

Executive Committee

Larry Apperson,

Kishwaukee College Vice President of Student Services, retired
Charter member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; American flag caretaker and setup coordinator

Jerrold Zar,
Vice President
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 and the Kishwaukee Brass Quintet

Sue Huhta,
Vice President of Music and Performance
Band director, music teacher and music coordinator/teacher, retired
French Horn
Co-founder and founding manager, and charter member, of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; French Horn and publicist for the summer DeKalb Municipal Band

Richard Carlson,
Instructor, College of DuPage
Tenor Saxophone
Charter member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; also Tenor Saxophone in the summer DeKalb Municipal Band

Bill Schulze,
Accountant, retired
Federal tax filings

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors consists of the five members of the Executive Committee plus:
Adam Orton City Treasurer, Sycamore
Facebook coordinator

Cherie Sanderson Orchard operations and educator
Personnel records and communication, concert flyers and programs; weekly band e-mail

Other Committees

Music and Programming Committee

Cherie Sanderson, Chair
Darla Arndt, percussion list
Leslie Hecht, program printing and copying
Sue Huhta, Past Chair
David Lehman, conductor
Deb Shofner, conductor
Jerry Zar, editor

Publicity and Marketing Committee

Sue Huhta, Chair; sponsorships
Elli McLaughlin, print media articles, radio announcements, ads
Cherie Sanderson, flyers and programs
Libby Witty, Facebook

Finance Committee

Bill Schultze, Chair
Adam Orton

Website Committee

Jerry Zar, Chair; compiler and editor
Misty Haji-Sheikh, photographer
Jeffrey Hecht, webmaster
Sue Huhta

Other Key Personnel

Darla Arndt Farmer Assistant
Manager of percussion list

Aaron Butler Farmer
Flute and Saxophone
Sound system caretaker; Flute in the summer DeKalb Municipal Band

Misty Haji-Sheikh Photographer

Laron Hafenrichter

Music librarian

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
Conductor, charter member of the Kishwaukee Concert Band; also Oboe, 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; publicist for print media and radio announcements

Adam Orton City Treasurer, Sycamore, IL
Facebook coordinator

Cherie Sanderson Orchard operations and educator
Personnel records and communication, concert flyers and programs

Deb Shofner Band director, retired

Denny Vaupel Music Educator, retired
Bass Clarinet
Program CD duplication

Alex Wilson Banker
French horn
Band historian

Libby Witty X-ray technician
Facebook coordinator

Band Members

The more than 50 volunteer players in the Kishwaukee Concert Band come from many backgrounds and occupations, both active and retired. A recent list of band members can be seen by clicking here (for an Adobe Acrobat PDF file) or here (for a Microsoft Excel file).


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