THE UNIVERSITY of Illinois Marching Illini will perform at Wilmington’s Becker Field on Friday, Sept. 14, between the junior varsity and varsity football games against Dwight, and also during half-time of the varsity game. The Wilmington High School Music Boosters are sponsoring the appearance, and accepting donations to offset the cost of the approximately 350-piece marching ensemble.
All the bleachers in town, if they were assembled in one place, would hold about 640 people. At the Sept. 14 Wilmington Wildcat home football game against Dwight, even that may not be enough to hold the school's guests of honor and the fans who come see them.
The nation's premier college marching band - the Marching Illini - is coming to Wilmington's Becker Field. The 350-member Marching Illini ensemble performs at all University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana home games, and post-season bowl games like the Rose Bowl. The band also does exhibition performances for the Chicago Bears, Bands of America and high schools across the state.
"Usually the first response I get is, 'Is our field big enough?'" said Wilmington High School Music Boosters spokesman Wes Smith. "The field is big enough. It's the stadium I don't know about. It's going to be very loud."
The Wilmington High School Music Boosters are sponsoring the band's visit and is accepting donations to help defray the $7,100 cost. Donations can be sent to Wilmington High School, 209 Wildcat Court, Wilmington. Checks should be made out to WHS Music Boosters, with Marching Illini in the memo line. For additional information, contact Smith at 815-476-5517.
For more on the Marching Illini visit, turn to the print edition of The Free Press Advocate.