Update: New President, Secretary AND Vice President Announced!

I am proud to take on the position as president of the DeKalb Music Boosters — I follow your great example, Carol Lee Duffin, and I thank you for your hard work as president and your dedication to the music students of DeKalb CUSD #428.

I am glad to welcome our new secretary, Wendy Wakeland. I am also pleased to welcome Jennifer Knutson to my former position of vice president.

Our meetings are open to all interested individuals. Please contact us with any questions or to request access to our monthly virtual meetings.

Tamara Farrell, President

**Cancelled Due to COVID-19** Tickets Now Available! Music Hall of Fame Honorees to be Recognized at Event May 1



**Cancelled Due to COVID-19** Tickets Now Available! Music Hall of Fame Honorees to be Recognized at Event May 1

The DeKalb Music Boosters’ Hall of Fame Committee announced today the names of four nominees who will be inducted to the DeKalb School District 428 Music Hall of Fame. Nancy and Larry Apperson, Melissa Dye, and the late Arthur D. Montzka will be honored for their work in music as volunteers, performers and educators. 

The honorees will be recognized at the Hats, Horses, and Harmony fundraiser for DeKalb Music Boosters on Friday, May 1, at the River Heights Golf Course clubhouse; the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The event will feature simulated horse races, musical performances, derby-themed hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, a silent auction and prizes.

Nancy and Larry Apperson will be receiving the Muse Award, which honors outstanding music advocates who have made a significant impact in developing and fostering the growth of DeKalb School District music programs. 

The Appersons helped found the DeKalb Music Boosters and were instrumental in advocating for improved middle and high school music curriculum and spearheaded many fundraising efforts for uniforms, equipment and music trips.

Melissa Dye will be the first recipient of the Virtuoso Award. This award recognizes a former DeKalb High School musician who has gone on to have a distinguished career.

Dye, a 1984 graduate of DeKalb High School, graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in vocal performance. She went on to perform on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning revival of “Into the Woods” and as Sandy in the revival of “Grease.” She has also spent years performing in Toronto, and Chicago where she was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award, which is  given for theatre arts produced in the Chicago area.

The DeKalb Music Boosters will honor Arthur Dale Montzka posthumously with the Maestro Award. The award is presented to a retired music educator who has made a significant impact and helped to develop and foster the growth of music programs within DeKalb’s middle or high school music community. 

Montzka was a graduate of George Washington University, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Eastman School of Music. He taught orchestra for 35 years and was the founder and conductor of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra for 23 years. As a teacher, he traveled to schools throughout the the DeKalb school district to teach students string instruments. Montzka was one of this country’s early pioneers of the Suzuki Method approach to learning music. Montzka was a board member as well as a lifetime member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA).  

Tickets to Hats, Horses, and Harmony are $35.00 per person. To purchase tickets online, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dekalb-music-boosters-4th-annual-hats-horses-and-harmony-derby-night-tickets-95996621479.

DeKalb Music Boosters has opened a third category in the DeKalb Music Hall of Fame and nominations are now open!!!!

Link to nomination forms:

DeKalb Music Hall of Fame Muse Nomination

DeKalb Music Hall of Fame Maestro Nomination

DeKalb Music Hall of Fame Virtuoso Nomination

Read the article in the Daily Chronicle for more information:


Hats, Horses and Harmony!!!!

Thank you everyone who attended, sponsored, donated and otherwise supported this year’s 3rd Annual Hats, Horses and Harmony fundraiser. We yet again exceeded the amount we hoped to raise, and we could not have done that without all of you!!!! What a fun night was had! We hope to see everyone again next year!!

Music Hall of Fame Update!!!

We are proud to announce we have named Ann Montzka Smelser and Judy O’Connor to the district’s Music Hall of Fame. They will be recognized at the Hats, Horses and Harmony fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. on May 3rd at River Heights Golf Course clubhouse.

Ann Montzka Smelser will receive the Muse Award for work as an outstanding music advocate who has had significant influence in developing and fostering the growth of music programs, according to the release. She’s worked in the music community for more than 30 years and is the director of the Community School of Arts Suzuki Strings program.

Receiving the inaugural Maestro Award, Judy O’Connor will be honored as a retired music teacher who has had a significant effect in developing and fostering the growth of DeKalb middle school or high school music programs.



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