Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band
Frequently Asked Questions
For those joining the band, the BGSB provides the opportunity to learn music, regain lost or improve existing skills, and develop new friendships while providing the surrounding community with services that educate and entertain.
The Band provides exposure to music of all styles. Through performances in surrounding communities, the Band acts as a good-will ambassador for the arts on behalf of the Village. In past years the Band has played at Cantigny, Libertyville, Wheeling, Long Grove, and Wheaton. The Symphonic Band has been invited 3 times in past years to perform at the Wheaton Band Festival. It has used imaginative themes for its programming and has featured soloists in piano and violin concertos as well as prominent musicians such as Gene Pokorny (tuba, of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and Wayne Messmer.
In addition to the Symphonic Band, its core ensemble, the Band has branched out into small ensembles that perform in an annual Ensemble Recital as well as independent venues throughout the year and a full Jazz Band, now in its 11thyear, that performs jazz classics by Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson and others.
Music Varieties and Performances
The BGSB plays and performs all varieties of music from classical to Broadway to pop and jazz.
The Band has performed over 170 concerts to capacity audiences, including formal concerts each year at Stevenson and Buffalo Grove High Schools, as well as holiday concerts at local churches over the Christmas holidays and summer concerts, including Buffalo Grove Days, Willow Stream Park, and the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival; outside the Village performances have included 2 appearances at Cantigny and 3 invitations to perform at the Wheaton Band Festival, as well as performances in Wheeling, Northbrook, Libertyville, and Long Grove. Their annual Independence Day Concert at the Buffalo Grove Rotary Green has become a yearly tradition that brings over 3000 people to hear the performance two hours before the start of the Village’s fireworks display. We have performed an additional 7 annual small ensemble recitals and have our own performing Jazz Band as well.
The Symphonic Band’s formal concerts always follow a theme around which its selections are based. Past themes have included Fire and Water, Romance, the Supernatural, the Greatest Generation, Leonard Bernstein at 100, Music of Russia and Spain, Wind Band Classics, and music by and about Women, among others.
The group is a member of the National Association of Concert Bands and is a non-profit organization entirely financed the Village of Buffalo Grove, private and corporate sponsorships, charitable donations, and ticket sales from its two yearly formal concerts. As in past years the BGSB has been honored as a recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.
If you would like to become a sponsor of the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band, please check out our Sponsorship Opportunities at our website, www.bgsb.org
Tuesday, July 4th, 2023 at Willow Stream Park in Buffalo Grove: Annual Free Independence Day Concert by the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band - and Fireworks
The annual tradition continues! Come hear the full Symphonic Band perform American, Patriotic, Traditional and Broadway selections in the setting of a good old-fashioned summer Concert in the Park, leading up to our annual Village fireworks display. Bring a picnic basket, a cooler, and your lawn chairs as we celebrate America’s birthday! FREE!!!!
We hope you will enjoy the trip!
By all means come hear us - and bring your family, friends, and colleagues, and why the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band is one of the premiere wind ensembles in Illinois!
Tickets can be purchased at htttp://tickets.bgsb.org, from any Band Member, at the Village of Buffalo Grove Town Hall at 50 Raupp Road, Buffalo Grove, or at the door."
Thursday, July 13th, 2023 at Willow Stream Park in Buffalo Grove: Groovin' in the Grove 2 - The Buffalo Grove Jazz Band
Last July, the Buffalo Grove Jazz Band performed a special all-Jazz Band performance at Willow Stream Park, and it was a big hit with our audience.
This year on July 13 we will return with our Second All-Jazz FREE concert at Willow Stream Park's Bandshell.
The Jazz Band, a part of the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band, will be performing Big Band hits ranging from the 40s to today.
Guaranteed to brighten your day and even get you up and dancing!
The concert begins at 7 PM, but come early to get a good location, bring a picnic basket and settle in for a wonderful evening of music and fun! All ages are invited!
And set aside Saturday evening, November 11 at 7 PM, when the Buffalo Grove Symphonic and Jazz Bands will provide an evening of great music for your enjoyment at Vernon Hills High School at 7 PM, featuring a rare wind band performance of William Grant Still's classic Afro-American Symphony, songs to honor our veterans, and some great Jazz!!!
Rehearsals take place Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 9:50 pm at Aptakisic Junior High School’s Band room in Buffalo Grove. Symphonic Band runs from 7-8:45 and Jazz Band from 8:45-9:50. Occasionally we may extend Symphonic Band to 9:00 with an extra break.
During the remainder of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rehearsals have been suspended. However, we are currently planning to resume rehearsals on January 7th or January 14th, 2021 – the Band’s 20th Anniversary Year.
While no Band Rehearsals are scheduled in 2020, there are opportunities to join the group in advance for small ensembles which will be recorded and live-streamed during late Autumn and Winter of this year.
There is no fee oraudition required to join, and new members on all wind instruments are always welcome. You must be 18 years old or older to join, able to commit to regular attendance at rehearsals and the Band’s performances, as well as being willing to prepare your parts to be able to play the music for our concerts.
We accept new members on all instruments. To play in the Jazz Band, wind and percussion players are required to join the Symphonic Band as well.
Again, for the Symphonic Band, we accept all instruments, but we have a particular need for clarinets, oboe, and French horn players. Come join us or call.
Whether you are a returning or an experienced musician, contact us to learn more about opportunities to play with the 70-member Symphonic Band. Contact Evan Michel at (847) 459-2506 or Music Director Howard Green at (847) 421-7984 or email@example.com for further information.
Founding Music Director and Conductor,
Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band
Howard Green brings over 50 years of professional music experience as a Conductor, Clarinetist, and Saxophonist to the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band. He is a former student of Chicago Symphony members Walter Wollwage and Jerome Stowell, and Caspar Boghosian. After completing his degree in Clarinet from Roosevelt University in 1975, he became principal clarinet for the U.S. Air Force Band at Chanute Air Force Base, IL. Since leaving the Air Force in 1979, Mr. Green has been principal clarinet and concertmaster in numerous ensembles, including the North Shore Symphony, Chicago Symphonic Concert Band, the Arlington Heights Community Band, and the Mount Prospect Community Band (where he had also served as the Associate Conductor), as well as performing as a principal and guest conductor and freelance clarinetist in recitals, chamber groups (including the Lake County Chamber Players), and community events. Currently, Mr. Green can be heard as principal clarinet of the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra). He is also a successful private teacher and clinician of clarinet and saxophone, his students have taken top honors in both Chicago and state Solo and Ensemble competitions since 1974.
In addition to having founded the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band in 2001, Mr. Green has been the Music Director of the Chicago Shores Concert Band in Chicago and has conducted numerous concerts with that organization in recent years.
In addition to his musical career, Howard holds a Masters' Degree in Information Systems, is a Certified Project Management Professional, and is an Associate Director and Senior IT Portfolio Manager for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, PLC in Bannockburn. He is also a retired member of the adjunct Information Systems faculty at Oakton Community College. He has resided in Buffalo Grove since 1986 with his wife, Shari (the BGSB’s Timpanist).
Allison Rakickas is a 1997 graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. She holds a Masters’ Degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago and is a National Board Certified Teacher. After graduation, Mrs. Rakickas taught instrumental and vocal music for three years in Quincy, IL. Since 2000 she has served as Director of Bands at Meridian Middle School, in Buffalo Grove. Allison, her husband Erin and their two children Elise and Kevin, reside in Hawthorn Woods.
BAND BOARDHoward M. Green
Founding Conductor and Music Director
President and Business Manager
Ticket Sales and At-Large
- Rehearsal venues
- Performance venues
- Musical instruments
Evan C Michel
Village of Buffalo Grove
50 Raupp Blvd.
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Please include the following information with the check:
- Sponsorship Level (see below)
In addition to the Symphonic Band, its core ensemble, the band has branched out into small ensembles that perform in an annual Ensemble Recital as well as independent venues throughout the year and a full Jazz Band that performs jazz classics by Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, and others.