Members of the 33rd

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Darcy Ackley

Band Manager

Darcy Ackley was born and raised in Tucson, AZ. She moved to Bloomington-Normal, IL in 1987. After working her way through college in Iowa, she became an executive with Von Maur and later was the General Manager/Innkeeper of a 36-room bed and breakfast in Bloomington. She currently works as a nanny. Darcy works diligently for the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band by promoting the band; overseeing the sale and distribution of band merchandise; and coordinating all travel plans for the band. She has been with the band since its inception. She currently serves as Band Manager and formerly served as President of the Board and later as Treasurer. Darcy has always loved history and enjoys working with the musicians, which she considers her “extended family.” In her spare time, she enjoys golfing, reading, genealogy, traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends. Her father was a career Air Force man and a veteran of the Korean Conflict and WWII. One of her brothers is a veteran of the United States Army, who served in the Vietnam War.

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John Bergmann

Eb Cornet & Bandmaster

John Bergmann lives in Bloomington, IL with his high-school-sweetheart wife Carmen. They have three children. After earning BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, John worked as a structural engineer for 19 months before returning to Illinois State University to earn a second bachelor's degree in physics education. His first and only job in education has been at his alma mater, Normal Community High School in Normal, IL, where he has taught chemistry and physics since 1997. John has also served as the Science Department Building Chair at NCHS since 2006. He is a National Board Certified Teacher, an avid vegetable gardener, and a member of American Mensa. John first started playing with the 33rd in 1998, and he is truly honored to have served as bandmaster and narrator since 2017.

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Kirby Reese

Assistant Bandmaster, Eb Alto Horn, Bb Tenor Horn

Kirby Reese is a graduate of Youngstown State University with a BME, and Illinois State University with a MM in Trumpet Performance. He has taught in the Normal-based Unit 5 School System for 33 years and retired in 2012. He is married and the father of two daughters, and grandfather to a grandson, aptly named Reese!

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Jim Achenbach

Eb Cornet

Jim Achenbach, a retired engineer and graduate of the University of Illinois, resides in Collinsville, Illinois with his wife Patti. He is an Eagle Scout and is very active in his community. Jim's ancestral roots run deep in Illinois history. His family tree includes Civil War veterans from both the Illinois 7th Cavalry and Illinois 41st Infantry including Great Uncle George Washington Hendrickson of Fayette County who was killed in action at Shiloh and his brother Thomas Franklin Hendrickson who died of wounds received just weeks earlier at Fort Donelson. Jim currently plays Eb Cornet with the 33rd and previously played both Bb Cornet and Eb Alto Horn. He has an interest in the history of American brasswind makers. He has an extensive personal 19th century instrument collection and is involved in researching and maintaining the band's original period instruments.

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Chris Adelman

Eb Bass Horn

Chris Adelman (shown with his wife Judy) has played the bass horn for the 33rd since the band started out in 1996. He is a native of Bloomington, and a graduate of Illinois State University, where many of the "original" 33rd came from back in 1861, although he does not claim to be from the same graduating class. He plays with other groups from time to time, including the Bloomington Community Concert Band, the Central Illinois Banjo Club, the Danvers Town Band, and others. Chris and wife Judy enjoy the history and music that the 33rd presents and look forward to making more music and friends along the way!

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Rusty Ayers

Tenor, Baritone

After taking a long hiatus from music in favor of reenacting the American Revolution and the Civil War, Rusty decided to pick up a horn again after he realized it weighs much less than a musket, and musicians get better pay and benefits than infantrymen. A proud member of the Prospect High School Marching Knights and Southern Illinois University’s Marching Salukis, Rusty now plays in the 33rd and another Civil War band in Wisconsin. Proving that you can never have enough period clothes, he reenacts with various other groups that interpret the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Blackhawk War, and sometimes helps run a period tavern on the side. Rusty works in communications for the Air Line Pilots Association and lives in Huntley, Il with his wife Diane and an ever-changing menagerie of cats and fish.

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Carl Bennett

Bass Drum & Cymbal

Carl is the Bass Drum Player-Equipment Transporter-Librarian-Village Idiot for the band. His extreme good looks, razor sharp wit, incredible talent and his inability to say “no” have led him to work like a dog for the band. While Carl’s lack of musical ability is legendary, his interest in the history of the bands and the music of the Civil War has led to much of the information used in the narration of the band’s programs. Although he is frequently accused of “making this (stuff) up” he says he can document it all. “Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah.” On occasion, Carl, disguised as a mild-mannered, retired pharmacist, becomes a wool-wearing, drum-toting Civil War soldier/historian possessing an almost pathological desire to educate the public about the importance of music to the Civil War soldier and the role of the brass band during the 1860’s conflict. Carl has been in the band since its creation in 1996. While he can do a mean cover of “Feelings” when he has a microphone, he still cannot write a serious autobiography.

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John Hamann

Percussion

John is a charter members of The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band and served as band manager from 2000-2003. Back in 1995 he had obtained a large collection of rope tension drums and contacted the 1st Brigade Band of Wisconsin looking for a band to play with. Coincidentally the 1st Brigade Band was assisting Gary Borling in Bloomington as he was putting the 33rd Band together; but didn’t have a drummer. The rest is history. John organized the 2005 Presidential Inauguration parade trip to Washington D.C. John played all through grade school and high school and was a member of the Pekin Municipal Band for twenty-nine years. He played with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra for three years, starting when he was a freshman in high school. He played under the direction of "The Leader of the Band," Larry Fogelberg (Dan Fogelberg's father) and was strongly influenced by him. John is now semi-retired, having served 22 years with the Pekin Fire Department, retiring as Fire Chief. He also served as the City of Pekin Risk Management Director for 10 years. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Administration from Western Illinois University and subsequently instructed all levels of Fire Science classes at Illinois Central College for 15 years. After leaving the Fire Service John served as a code enforcement officer for McLean County for 2 years and Zoning Administrator/Flood Plain Manager for Woodford County for 5 years. He then worked for Peoria County for 4 years as Rural Economic Development Director, Rural Public Transportation Coordinator, Emergency Management Director and Adjudication unit officer for the Zoning Department. . He spearheaded an Asian Carp remediation project that brought together partners from all over the U.S. and China. He now drives a shuttle bus part time at a large insurance organization in Central Illinois and does handy man work for a number of individuals in the Bloomington/Normal area. In his spare time John works on his WWII Jeep and is a member of the 9th Infantry Division re-enactor group.

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John Hansen

Bb Cornet, Eb Alto Horn, Bb Tenor Horn

John Hansen has been the Band Director for Midland CUSD #7 since 2008 where he teaches 5-12 Band. In addition to his teaching duties, he also drives a full time bus route. John is a graduate of Pontiac Township High School and earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Illinois State University in 2006. Besides playing with the 33rd Band, John currently plays horn with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony and serves as horn player and guest conductor with the Pontiac Municipal Band. He is a substitute player with the Brass Band of Central Illinois and the Chicago Brass Band.

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Amy Hemann

Eb Alto Horn, Bb Tenor Horn

Amy Hemann joined the band in 2010, playing the Eb alto horn and Bb tenor horn. She currently plays the French horn in the Heritage Community Band and Carlinville Municipal bands as well as in the Blackburn College Community Band. Amy began playing the flute at the age of 10 and started playing horn at age 14. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville with a Masters in Social Work. Amy currently enjoys singing and occasionally playing the hand bells in the St. Paul’s Church Choir.

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C. Roland Hill

Piccolo (In Memorium 1928-2016)

C. Roland Hill (1928-2016) is a retired businessman. He is a member of the Bloomington/Normal Community Band from which the 33rd originated. As one of the early members of the 33rd, he played an Albert System clarinet and later acquired a “Simple System” clarinet c. 1840. In recent years he switched to the D flat piccolo. He grew up in Raton, New Mexico, and came to Illinois as a Senior in High School. Without any formal music lessons as a boy, he learned to play the clarinet and saxophone. Upon retiring, he learned to play the flute and piccolo. After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University, Roland entered the Army, married his lady, Marie Ann, and then was sent to Korea. Upon his return home, he started out in the hotel business and then expanded into coin laundries. He and Marie Ann have been married since December 1951 and have raised a son and two daughters. Their family now includes eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. They have enjoyed many years of travel including all 50 states and all of the seven continents. Roland still spends many hours playing in dance bands, combos, sax quartets, and flute choirs. He especially enjoys the camaraderie and professionalism of the 33rd. He has always said, “I expect to make music as long as I live.” Sadly, we lost Rollie, the 15th of April 2016.

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Marie Ann Hill

Lady of Rollie Hill

Marie Ann Hill has lived most of her life in Bloomington, IL. She graduated from Bloomington High School and Illinois Wesleyan University. After graduation, she married C. Roland Hill. She describes herself as a “camp follower” because she is able to attend almost all of the 33rd activities. "It is fun to dress in costume and assume the role of a Civil War Lady." Marie Ann is active in her church choir and taught Sunday School for 18 years. She was on the Church Council, directed programs, and most recently was on the committee to select a new pipe organ for their church. Besides her church activities, she is an active alumnus of her Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. During the year, she supervises the major projects to keep her 1869 sorority house in good condition. After 50 years, Marie Ann and Rollie are now retired from the hotel and coin laundry business. They have raised a son and two daughters who have given them eight grandchildren. The family now includes two great granddaughters.

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Bob & Susan Jackson

Eb Alto Horn

Bob Jackson plays Alto Horn in the Band. He joined the band in 2006 when a member in the band asked him to come to a performance. He was so impressed with the authenticity of the sound and uniforms that he asked to join. The rest, as they say, is history. Bob enjoys the encampments the best because he gets to meet others and compare uniforms. Bob's first love is his music, specifically his trumpet. He plays trumpet in a Jazz Band and the Wesley Methodist Church Brass Quintet. He has a wonderful family. Susan has joined in the spirit and accompanies the band in a period dress she has created herself. They have four children, three that are married and one at home, and two grandsons.

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Rich Kriegsman

Bb Cornet

Rich Kriegsman is from Pekin, Illinois. He is married and the father of 3 nearly-grown children. He was attracted to membership in the Thirty-Third Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band by “the opportunity to play a vintage instrument surrounded by some very talented musicians.” Rich started playing in grade school and was ultimately under the direction in high school of the "Leader of the Band," Larry Fogelberg. He had set aside the trumpet in the winters while in college. But more recently he has performed regularly with the Pekin Municipal Band for over 40 years (“scary”). Rich claims that he is not a professionally trained musician. He stays very busy managing a family-owned warehousing/packaging company that has been in business for over 90 years. Currently his nephew is serving in the Air Force in the United Arab Emirates. His father was a liaison pilot during World War II. A movie depicting his father’s service is currently being screened around the Central Illinois area. His service experience, along with many others, was quite unique. Rich’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, racquetball, and golf. His “wife would tell you that the list is endless.”

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Mark Lareau

Eb Cornet

Mark Lareau was raised in the small town of Coal City, Illinois where he started playing trumpet in the fifth grade. He eventually graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1992 with a BA in Biology and in 1993 with a BSN. Mark has remained in the Bloomington area and currently works as a nurse manager of the Emergency/Trauma Services department (ER, if you must) of BroMenn Healthcare. Mark has continued playing his trumpet through the Community Concert Band, which is where he met Gary Borling who invited Mark to fill in for another player at a 33rd gig. Mark must have passed the audition, because he's played with the group for several years now. Mark has also played in the musicals, “Cabaret” at his alma mater and “Man of La Mancha” at Community Players. Mark feels privileged to be a part of the 33rd family and would like to thank his wonderful wife, Tori, for being so understanding of the many weekend gigs on top of long hours at the hospital.

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Steve Loomis

Eb Alto/Bb Tenor Horn

After a career as an educator Steve Loomis is now a researcher at the Centralia Historical Society Museum. He has had a lifelong interest in the Civil War era and bands in general. Steve plays both alto and tenor horns with the 33rd. He also enjoys playing in the Kaskaskia College Community band An enthusiastic sports fan, Steve avidly follows the Southern Illinois University Salukis, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, and Nashville Predators. He currently enjoys biking and running on trails near his home. The quality people are why Steve enjoys playing in the 33rd. He says, “I consider being in the organization both a privilege and wonderful opportunity to play in one of the top Civil War Bands in the nation.” We are proud to represent the state of Illinois.

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Christopher Render

Eb Alto Horn

Adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor, Christopher B. Render currently serves as the Director of Bands & Orchestra at Richwoods High School and the Associate Director at Rolling Acres Middle School in the Peoria 150 School District, Peoria, Illinois. Prior to Peoria 150, Mr. Render served at Metamora Township High School. Some of his duties included conductor of the Metamora Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, World Drumming, Guitar and Athletic Bands. Mr. Render also served as the Director of Red Devil Bands at Eureka College in Eureka, IL and taught as Associate Director of Bands at Eisenhower High School in Houston, TX (Aldine ISD). He is a member of various music organizations including serving as the current Jazz Division President Elect of the Illinois Music Educator Association. He has also served as the ILMEA District 3 Jazz Representative and the ILMEA District 3 Senior Band Representative. Over the past 20 years, Mr. Render has been a music educator, clinician and adjudicator for various ensembles and organizations including (ACSI) American Christian Schools International. Born in Detroit, MI and raised in Houston, TX, Christopher Render received his Bachelors in Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, TX. As a graduate student at Illinois State University, Christopher received a Masters of Music Performance degree in Wind Band Conducting and Horn under Director of Bands, Dr. Stephen K. Steele and Horn professor, Dr. Joe Neisler. Chris Render has performed with ensembles such as the Houston Symphonic Band, the Orchestra of the Pines, the Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Peoria Symphony, the Prairie Wind Ensemble, the 33rd Volunteer Regiment Band and the Brass Band of Central Illinois (Alto Horn). He also maintains a dedicated role in his church worship team at Community Bible Fellowship in El Paso, IL.

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Margaret Ring

Bb Cornet

Margaret (Mills) Ring is affectionately called “Maggie”, claiming her place in the band with one of the band’s favorite tunes, “G.M. Maggie by my Side”. Her family includes husband Jackson and three children (Ashley, Lindsay, and Del). The Rings reside in the Tri-Valley school district east of Bloomington, Illinois and operate Advantage Plumbing. Maggie came to Illinois from West Tennessee, where the majority of her relatives remain. Jackson is from Bloomington, Illinois. Maggie’s father (along with several uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews) has served in the military. And it seems highly likely that some of her ancestors were involved in the Civil War. Maggie began playing the trumpet in the fifth grade and continued through college. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lambuth College in Jackson, Tennessee in 1987 with a Bachelor of Music degree. Then in 1989, she earned a Master of Music degree Cum Laude at Illinois State University. Maggie studied trumpet with Dick Brown at Lambuth and Rick Lehman at Illinois State. During the summer of 1986, she attended the Empire Brass Quintet seminar at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts, studying under the members of the EBQ and with many other coaches. Other influential music and trumpet teachers include David Duro, Jim West, Rolf Smedvig, Don Huneycutt among numberous others. She worked with the Jackson (Tennessee) Symphony Orchestra for two years, assisted with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and played with the Billy Valentine Orchestra in the Bloomington-Normal area. The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band provides a rare and unique opportunity by performing the “pop” tunes of the Civil War years as well as by using instruments dated from that time. This offers players a challenge not only for intonation but also for dealing with those unpredictable mechanical quirks of long ago. Maggie says, “It is a pleasure to join them and try something completely different!”

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Sara Simpson

Eb Alto Horn

Sara Simpson attended Mt. Carmel High School in Wabash County, IL and played in the band with Director Floyd "Pappy" Perkins. She learned how to read music through piano lessons since the third grade. Sara earned a BME from Illinois Wesleyan and an MM from Northwestern. She taught public school music for 32 years and is retired. She has been a band director and choir director and has performed in orchestras, bands, and musicals, She studied band music in Europe through Illinois State University. She lives in a Victorian Cottage and is the custodian of her family tree. She is a member of DAR through William Simpson of Virginia. Sara plays to honor her Civil War ancestors: David S. Reel (115th Illinois), Henry J. Gard (115th Illinois Musician), Joseph M. Gard (66th Illinois), Timothy Gard (48th Illinois), Jacob Reel (48th Illinois), Capt. Joseph Crow (48th Illinois), and John H. Simpson (3rd Tennessee Cavalry). John Simpson was proprietor of the “Sultana Monument” erected in Knoxville, TN in 1916. Sara is a charter member of the band and has played clarinet, percussion, and Eb alto horn in the group. She has served as band secretary and board member and has contributed to the band's web site. Her fondest memories are performing in the Circus Parade in Milwaukee and at her home church, First United Methodist Church in Henderson, KY.

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Bryan Rowold

Percussion

Bryan Rowold joined the 33rd in the summer of 2005 and is currently the youngest member of the band. He resides and grew up in Normal, Illinois and started his musical career in grade school. He was a member of the Normal Community High School marching band, playing snare in the drum line. Bryan also played percussion in the NCHS Wind Ensemble and the Bloomington-Normal Youth Symphony. After high school, Bryan continued his musical career playing in the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band and playing snare in the drum line with the Illinois State University Big Red Marching Machine. Bryan graduated in 2009 from ISU with a degree in accounting and is currently an accountant in Bloomington. Bryan enjoys playing snare in the 33rd Band and hopes to continue as long as he is in the area.

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Charley Shallcross

Tenor Horn & Tuba

Charley enjoys playing unusual instruments and studying Civil War history. So it was only natural that he found his way into the 33rd Band. He has played in a variety of brass bands and jazz groups in the Chicago area, where he lives with his wife and family. He can be found playing tenor horn and tuba in the 33rd. And hardly anyone holds it against him that his distant relation Isaac E. Shallcross deserted at the Battle of Stones River in 1862.

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Doug Smith

Bb Tenor Horn

Doug Smith, tenor horn, is currently the AV designer and Director of the Office of Learning Spaces and Audio/Visual Technologies at Illinois State University. He holds a bachelors degree in music education from ISU, masters degree in music education from Indiana University, and a Ph.D in educational technology from Purdue. Smith was a band director for 14 years, teaching in Liberty, Illinois and 9 years at Indiana University. He has lived in Normal, Illinois with the love of his life and 4 children since 2002. Smith joined the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band in 2019.

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Charles and Doris Stoneking

Eb Bass Horn

Charles Stoneking, or “Stonie” as we call him, is a mechanical contractor from Springfield, Illinois and has been performing with the 33rd almost since its conception in 1996. Stonie joined the band at the request of our founder, Mr. Gary Borling in early 1997 to perform on the E-flat bass horn for The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band. Stonie started playing the E-flat tuba at a very early age under the guidance of his grandfather while just finishing 3rd grade. He performed his first solo, “Jolly Farmer”, while only in the 5th grade and received a first-division rating. As a young player, he won first-division ratings at both the district and state level and continued the same throughout his school years. Stonie attended Quincy College and went on to serve in the Vietnam conflict. He is married to Doris Stoneking, who loves to dress in period clothing with our band. They have two daughters: Kristine, who resides in Jacksonville, and Shannon of Springfield. Stonie enjoys collecting Civil War period instruments. He performs on tuba regularly with the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band, Calvary Temple Orchestra, University of Illinois at Springfield Chamber Band, Springfield Municipal Band, Capital Area Band, Fritz and the Flying Dutchman Polka Band, Heartland Brass Band, and the 10th Illinois Cavalry Band. Stonie says ever since his grandfather started him out playing a tuba bigger than he was in the early 1950’s, he has never lost his love for the instrument in all these long years!

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Larry & Connie Wachtveitl

Dance Instructors

Larry and Connie Wachtveitl reside in Peoria, Illinois. They have traveled with the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band to Washington, D.C. and Vicksburg, Mississippi. They serve as excellent dance instructors for Civil War period balls and are proud to be the band’s “biggest fans”! Connie serves as a volunteer at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. Both Larry and Connie are avid supporters of the Grand Army of the Republic Hall (GAR Hall) in Peoria. Larry is a member of the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band Board of Directors.