Dixon Municipal Band
Cathy L James - Webmaster
Mark Dempsey - Director
Mark lives in Dixon IL. He
graduated from SVCC
with an Associates in
Music and from Bradley
University with a
Bachelors in Music

Mark currently works for
Crest Foods in Ashton, IL
but will be starting a new
teaching career in the fall
with the Ashton-Franklin
Center school district. He
will be teaching band and
choir for the middle
school and high school.

This will be his first year
directing the Dixon
Municipal Band but he
has been playing with the
band since his junior year
in high school, has guest
conducted a couple of
concerts, and has been
the set up manager for
the past 4 years.

He also plays in the
Sterling Municipal Band,
the Rock River Jazz
Band, the Clinton
Symphony Orchestra,
and has been the vocal
and instrumental music
instructor for Dixon High
School musicals for the
past 4 years.
Cathy L James - 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, and
now Mark Dempsey.

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 also serves as Travel
Manger and Guest Liaison for
the Sterling Municipal Band and
prior to being appointed as
Band Manager, she served on
the band commission for 13
years. Cathy joined the Sterling
Municipal Band in 1988 and has
been solo chair clarinetist since
1999. In addition to the Bb
clarinet, Cathy has performed
on stage with the Flute,
Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bari and
Bass Saxophones, and the
E-Flat and 'A' clarinets.

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 two
municipal bands, Cathy regularly
plays in area pit orchestras; in
the Sauk Valley Community
College Concert Band on
Clarinet, Tenor  Sax and Oboe;
Class Act II Big Band on
Baritone Sax,Clarinet, and Flute;
and 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 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 a staff nurse at
Resthave in Morrison, IL. Cathy
and her husband Jon are
dedicated to the performance of
live music and have been
married for over 20 years.
Dave Johnson – Announcer
Dave has been a member of
the band for 32 years and
has been principal
Euphonium during those

For the last 27 years Dave
has been the “Voice” of the
band performing all
announcements and
narrations for the band.

He has a Bachelor’s and
Master’s degrees in
Industrial Technology from
Northern Illinois University
and currently is the
Operations Manager for
Donaldson Co. in Dixon.

While at NIU he was a
member and president of the
award winning NIU Marching
Huskie Show Band.
Ruth Johnson – Music Librarian
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
Elementary 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.