Cathy L James - Webmaster
Cathy L James - Personnel
Manager Cathy joined the Dixon
Municipal Band in 1974 and
continues to this day as their
solo-chair clarinetist and Band
Manager. She has been under
the direction of Robert
L'Heureux, Thomas Whitcombe,
Kent Nightlnger, Mark Bressler,
Mark Dempsey, and now Jon P.

She has also served under
several Dixon Mayors, including
Warren E. Walder 1971-75
William L. Naylor 1975-79
George W. Lindquist 1979-83
James E. Dixon 1983-91
Donald E. Sheets 1991-99
James G. Burke1999-2015
Liandro Arellano Jr. 2015-date

Cathy started playing the
clarinet in 5th grade at the age
of 10. She played in every
musical group offered in high
school and while in high school,
she played clarinet in the Kable
Concert Band for two years and
then joined the Dixon Municipal

Cathy was a member of Local
525 of the American Federation
of Musicians and served as
Sergeant-at-Arms for 17 years
in the Dixon and Rockford
locals. In addition to the
municipal band, Cathy regularly
plays in area pit orchestras; in
the Sauk Valley Community
College Concert Band on
Clarinet, Tenor & Baritone Sax
and Oboe; Class Act II Big
Band on Baritone Sax,Clarinet,
and Flute; and she played in
Bob Bullard's Big Band on
Clarinet and Baritone Sax.

Cathy and her husband Jon
manage several groups on their
own including The Rock River
Jazz Band and the Ain't
Misbehavin' Combo. Cathy also
manages Saxophonic Sounds, a
versatile group of saxophonists
that can perform a variety of
musical styles.

Cathy has subbed in with the
Johnnie Kaye Orchestra,John
Smith and Shenanigans, and
spent 11 years playing in Prime
Time West and the Night Time
Horns, a popular local band that
performed throughout the Sauk
Valley and Iowa. She also
played with the Sauk Valley
Community College Jazz Band
and Orchestra.

Cathy was the Travel Manger,
Guest Liaison, and solo-chair
clarinetist  from 1986 to 2018
for the Sterling Municipal Band.  
In addition to the Bb clarinet,
Cathy performed on stage with
the Flute, Soprano, Alto, Tenor,
Bari and Bass Saxophones, and
the E-Flat and 'A' clarinets.

Cathy completed the Medical
Lab Technician and Registered
Nursing programs at Sauk
Valley Community College, and
she worked with Sauk Valley
Pathology,  Ltd. for 11 years.

Cathy completed the course of
study and testing to become a
Certified Restorative
Rehabilitation Nurse (CRRN)
and earned a certificate in
Forensics. Cathy is a Notary
Public and Notary Signing
Agent. She completed her BSN
and MSN in Nursing Education
with Chamberlain College of

Cathy is a member of the
American Nursing Association
(ANA), and the National
Association of Nurses (NAN),
the Association of Clinical
Pathologist(ASCP), the
Association of Rehabilitation
Nurses (CRRN), the
International Honor Society-Phi
Theta Kappa (PTK), and the
International Honor Society of
Nursing-Sigma Theta Tau
(STTI), and the National Notary
Association (NNA). Cathy has
recently been chosen to be a
member of the International
Women's Leadership
Association (IWLA).

Cathy is the Restorative Nurse
at Oregon Living &
Rehabilitation Center, and a
staff nurse at Dixon Healthcare.

Cathy and her husband Jon are
dedicated to the performance of
live music and have been
married for over 20 years.
Ruth Johnson –
Music Librarian 1
Ruth has been a
member of the band
for 31 years and is
also principal Horn.
She is in charge of
distributing and
collecting all the
music performed by
the band each week
– about 500 pages
per concert.  

Ruth holds Bachelor’
s degrees in Music
Education and
Education from
Illinois State
University and a
Master’s Degree in
Curriculum &
Supervision from
Northern Illinois
University. She has
been employed as
an Elementary Band
Director and General
Music Teacher for
Dixon Public Schools
since 1986.
Jon P James was previously
the Conductor/Director for
the Sterling Municipal Band
from 2003 to 2018. Prior to
becoming the conductor, he
served 10 years as principal
chair trumpet in the band.
He received his Bachelors
Degree in Music Education
from Western Illinois
University in 1992 and is a
member of the Phi Mu Alpha
Sinfonia Fraternity
of America - Kappa Psi

Jon has been a member of
the National Band
Association (NBA), National
Association for
Music Education (NAfME),
the Illinois Music
Educators Association  
(ILMEA) and the
Association of Concert
Bands (ACB).
He is also active as an
adjudicator in the State of

Mr. James has been the
principal chair trumpet
in the Dixon Municipal Band
and the Sauk Valley
Community College Concert
Band since 1994.

He and his wife Cathy are
Directors of Rock River Jazz
Band, Inc., an organization
developed for the
continuation of the Big Band,
Swing, and associated
genres of music, by providing
free concerts to the public
through sponsorships.

He and his wife also have the
Ain't Misbehavin' Jazz

He continues to perform in
several area community
events including musical pits,
church services and

You may contact Mr. James
at -
Jon James
James Higby - Business Manager
James has played the saxophone
since the age of 9 and joined the
Dixon Municipal Band during the
summer of 1961.  He has also
played in the Sterling Municipal,
Rochelle Municipal, and Rock
Falls-Coloma Park Bands, as well
as the Sauk Valley Community
College and Northern Illinois
University Concert Bands.  His
combo work includes the Glenn
Lemmer Dance Orchestra, Rex
Flach's Orchestra, the Gary Boyd
Quartet, and Saxophonic
Sounds.  He attributes his interest
in instrumental music to two
outstanding music educators,
Bardell R. Bowman and Robert L.

In his professional life he taught
French at the high school level for
34 years and has been a
Registered Piano Technician
member of the Piano Technicians
Guild® since 1973.  Now in
retirement, James is a volunteer
historian at Lee County Historical
and Genealogical Society, a
member of the Dixon Historic
Preservation Commission, and
editor of Friends of Nachusa
Grasslands publications.  In his
spare time he enjoys astronomy,
amateur radio, and writing.
Don Burnett - Publicity
Manager 1
Nancy Burnett - Publicity
Manager 2
Reni Whitcombe -
Librarian 2
Paul Whitcombe -