Frankfort resident John Herder has been playing brass instruments since 1953 and is a member of five community bands. He also has a love of history, something he shares with his wife, Judy, the president of the Frankfort Area Historical Society.
So it's not surprising that over the years Herder has developed an interest in resurrecting the Frankfort Brass Band, which the Herders believe played at Frankfort school and community events from 1897 to 1930.
Using information gleaned from a photo in the historical society's collection, Herder determined that the group was an American-style brass band because it included a clarinet (British brass bands typically don't). He drew on his network of musician friends and began assembling a similarly composed band of cornets, trombones, alto horns, baritone horns and tubas, along with a lone clarinet and a drummer.
The first event for this incarnation of the Frankfort Brass Band was the 2005 Frankfort Preservation Foundation's ice cream social.
"We don't try to get real sophisticated with our programming," Herder said. "If I were to categorize our music, it would be American patriotic. It's music people like to listen to."
Since its low-key start six years ago, the Frankfort Brass Band, which is sponsored by the Frankfort Area Historical Society, has been steadily building a fan base, Herder said. In fact, the musical group was the unofficial band for several years for the Honor Guard flights at Midway Airport until crowds became too large, Herder added.
The band also plays at various summer concert venues and will perform at the New Lenox bandshell July 10, Joliet's Bicentennial Park on July 21, the Will County Fair Veteran's Appreciation Day on Aug. 25, and the Preservation Foundation's ice cream social on Aug. 28.
This weekend, though, the band opens from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for the Joliet American Legion Band at Frankfort's Concerts on the Green, playing favorites like "It's a Grand Old Flag," "National Emblem," "The Star-Spangled Banner" (modern and Civil War versions), "Golden Jubilee" (the official march of the Salvation Army) and "Amazing Grace," all under the direction of conductor Mike Orenic.
Herder said the band is always looking for new members. Interested musicians can leave a message for Herder on the Frankfort Area Historical Society answering machine at 815-469-6541.
Concerts on the Green
Where: , Kansas Street between White and Oak streets
When: Sunday, July 3. Frankfort Brass Band plays 4:30-5:30 p.m., and Joliet American Legion Band performs 6-7:30 p.m.
Want to know who else is performing as part of Frankfort's Concert on the Green series? , which runs through August.