Henry H. (“Hank”) Hiorns, Director 1995-present
Henry H Hiorns was born and raised in Oak Lawn Illinois. He received his BME from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa and his MA from the University of Iowa. He taught Band and vocal music for two years in Lost Nation, Iowa and one year in Belle Plaine, Iowa before taking the assistant Band Director’s position at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Illinois. During his 30 year tenure at Leyden he served as instrumental director ( band and orchestra) and Music Department Chair. Upon retirement from Leyden High Schools, he joined Willowbrook High School as part time assistant to the music department. Mr. Hiorns also teaches Braille music reading to visually impaired students.
Mr. Hiorns was the conductor of the Swanson Memorial Community Band (formally known as The Franklin Park Municipal Band, founded by Sigurd Swanson) from 1970 to 1994. In 1995, he was appointed to conduct the West Suburban Concert Band, a position which he enjoys to this day. He has been called upon to conduct festival bands and act as adjudicator for various educational festivals.
Mr. Hiorns has been a member of the ILLMENC and the ASBDA.
Cathie Kukec, Assistant Director 2015-present
Cathie Haubenreiser-Kukec earned her B.M.E. From DePaul University in Chicago. Ms. Kukec had taught both privately and instrumental ensembles at Morton College in Cicero and in the western suburbs.
She studied flute and wood winds with Victoria Graef-Grenier, Hobart Grimes and Josef Zverov.
Ms. Kukec, a member of the West a Suburban Band flute section and flute ensemble, plays frequently for area theater musical productions, including North Central College and PVPN.
Raymond J. Nilles, Assistant Director 2003-2015
Mr. Nilles is a native of Wilmette, Illinois and a graduate of New Trier High School. He received a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University. Mr. Nilles served in the armed forces as an army reservist from 1958 to 1964. His teaching experience consists of 3 years as junior high school band director in the public schools of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, 3 years in Dubuque, Iowa, and 33 years as band director for La Grange Highlands’ School District 106 in La Grange, IL.
Ray and his wife Rosa have 4 daughters, 1 granddaughter and 1 great granddaughter and have provided residence for a number of cats over the years. His mon-musical endeavors and hobbies include gardening and golf and he is widely acclaimed for his abilities in weed growing, chasing a little white ball from the tee into the woods and raising tropical fish.
Mr. Nilles has been a WSCB band member since 1983 and has served as assistant director and librarian of the band since the passing of Bill Kierig in 2003.
Jeff Waggoner, Director 1992-1995
Jeff Waggoner began teaching in 1977 and served as Director of Bands, Director of Jazz Studies, Music Department Chair, and Instructional Technology Coordinator at Hinsdale Central High School until his retirement in 2011. He holds degrees from the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University.
Currently, he is the owner of Waggoner Music Publishing and works as a freelance composer, arranger, and clinician.
Michael Pressler, Director 1991-1992
Mike Pressler was director of bands at Lyons Township High School when he became director of the WSCB. He has degrees from Fort Hays state University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and National-Louis University. He left the band in 1992 when he moved from LTHS to the Fine Arts Department at Maine Township High School District 207. Currently, he is the principal of Main Township High School District 207.
Harold N. Hilgendorf, Director 1972-1991
Harold Hilgendorf was the director of bands at Lyons Township High School from 1948 to 1985 and chairman of the music department from 1959 until his retirement. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin where he was the assistant conductor between 1947 and 1948. Harold passed away on July 15, 1995.
William N. Kierig, Assistant Director 1957-2003
Bill’s interest in performing, directing, and music education began when he was a student at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park. He was a band director in the La Grange elementary school system. Bill was one of the founding members of the band and was the band’s first chair clarinet player. He will be remembered for his tireless work as band librarian and for his circus concerts. Bill passed away on June 8, 2003.
Eugene F. (“Gene”) Heeter, Director 1957-1971
One of the founding members of the West Suburban Community Band, Gene Heeter graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. degree in education and received a master’s degree in music education from the University of Michigan. He was the director of instrumental music in the Holland, Michigan public schools and organized the Tulip Festival Band Review. Gene was elected to the American Bandmasters Association membership in 1941. He passed away on November 19, 1987.