Where in the world is Angelo Iovinelli? The beloved music educator, music man to hundreds of students in our area, is living in a western suburb and still following his passion of music.
Iovinelli taught at five grade schools in the area, including Hauser Junior High school and most of the schools feeding into Riverside Brookfield High School.
His tenure at RBHS started in 1970, where he became determined to build a successful music department in the school, which he did until retiring in 1995. Students at the school discovered it was “cool” to be in the band and were happy to be a part of a program that became recognized way beyond the boundaries of District 208.
They learned what it meant to be a member of a marching band and march they did. Members of the band performed at events such as the Peach Bowl and the Orange Bowl. And who wouldn’t want to perform at Disney World on New Year’s Eve?
In Oak Brook they appeared at the polo grounds. They went to Nashville to the Grand Ole Opry and up north for the Canada Games in Montreal. They even went to Washington, D.C., where they received two gold medals.
Of course, they were present locally, particularly as the halftime event during football games.
Iovinelli also instituted the RB Raiders, a summer program which included grade school, high school and former band members, who could be seen proudly marching on the Fourth of July at as many as five parades.
None of the programs could have been possible without fundraising, and Iovinelli fondly remembers the dedicated parents who worked spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfasts and sold grapefruits from Florida.
He may be “retired” the past 20 years, but the word doesn’t seem to fit in his vocabulary. He plays French horn with the American Wind Band and performs whenever possible.
This week, in recognition of his 20 years since teaching at RBHS, he will return to be the “music man” as a conductor at the school’s spring concert. The concert will be held on Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at the high school, 160 Ridgewood Road in Riverside. The concert is free and will give people the opportunity to visit with Mr. I and hear the talent of the students under the direction of James Baum.