Retiring band director conducts final concert at Willowbrook

VILLA PARK – Last week, retiring band director Bill Gilmer, directed his last band concert at Willowbrook High School. Gilmer has served the school for 28 years and has worked as a music educator for more than 30 years.

At the concert on May 8, the school's bands performed two compositions that were written for and inspired by Gilmer. "Da outburst of exuberance for band," was composed by Gerard McBurney, an England-native and friend of Gilmer's. "Deep, Like the Rivers" was written by Robert Bradshaw, who lives in the Boston area. He is another friend of Gilmer who developed the composition after visiting Willowbrook in the fall and meeting with student-musicians.

As another way to honor Gilmer, soloist John Hagstrom, a trumpet player with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and one of Gilmer's former students, was featured.

A video of the full concert will be available on Willowbrook's website later this week.