NIBA News & Articles


2017 NIBA Officers & Board of Directors

· President:           Tom Gerber     (815-312-3964)


· Vice President:    Kim Kraemer    (312-730-7469)


· Treasurer:           Cindy Kline      (224-569-6210)                     

· Secretary:           Mary Krasko    (815-879-2414)                


Board Members

Jim Berkland            630-479-6610

Bill Fulton                815-673-8694

Joyce Kraemer

Rich Krasko             815-879-2414 

Ray Ward                 815-732-4641




Please make all submissions for this newsletter by the 15th of each month to Send all printed copy and photos to:  NIBA, PO Box 310, West Dundee, IL 60118. This newsletter is copyrighted by the NIBA. 


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Including (but not limited to) member submissions, bio/song of the greats


Member Submission



It was a misty, cloudy morning as we packed our car for the NIBA summer picnic. As we drove the interstate, the clouds were thinning, and the sun started to peek through. By the time we arrived at the Ilini State Park at Marseilles, the sun was shining brightly. A NIBA member was cheerfully sweeping the small, outdoor shelter, to prepare for the NIBA gathering. A row of nicely placed tables lead to a rustic fireplace. It was a beautiful setting along the softly rolling river.

    More NIBA members arrived and people were washing and putting clean coverings on the tables. People were bringing food and greeting one another with a smile. The gift of friendship is a treasure indeed. People were visiting and soon a small circle of musicians began to play the old familiar songs we love.
    Then the smell of fried chicken enveloped the air. People stopped for a moment to thank God for the beautiful day, for the food, and to pray for others. Then the line formed to scout the table and decide what to eat. So many good cooks had brought such an array of tasty morsels that it was a task in itself. Then people gathered together at the picnic tables as they ate.

    By the time they finished lunch, the world’s problems had been solved and life's burdens somehow seemed lighter. Then again people gathered under the shady trees along the water to visit.

    A much larger circle of musicians started strumming their instruments. You could hear guitars, mandolins, a fiddle and a big acoustic bass. They played the classic great songs of long ago. You could hear" John Henry"," St. Annes Reel", Go to the Rock", "Hand Me Down", and others, floating through the air.
    A soft breeze suddenly blew a shower of small golden leaves on the musicians as they played their beautiful music. It was as if the Lord above, sent blessings of love, to kiss the earth.

    People were still trickling in during the lazy afternoon. There were sounds of laughter, of old friendships, and of new friendships. People were snacking and still checking out the goodies on the food tables as they sipped on cold drinks.

    A flock of geese honked their way across the sky. A huge barge was moving easily along the river. The sound of water lapping against a floating log along the edge of the water could be heard. Seagulls flew softly by. It was a peaceful day.
    Then, little by little, the crowd slowly started to leave. People lingered as they said their good-byes. The sun was still shining as they drove away. NIBA members again cleaned up the beautiful shelter to leave it for the next lucky occupants.

Yes.......It truly was...........a beautiful day!


Mary Krasko



NIBA Picnic




NIBA Dates to Remember:


      Dec 2    : NIBA Christmas Party,

                      Harding Community Center



Two Rivers Bluegrass Festival


    The festival was a great success again this 34th year.  A big thank you to NIBA for their support and participation.  According to ticket count, we had slightly over 1900 folks come through the gate in the three days. 

    We are beginning to think of ways to celebrate our 35th year in 2018!  If you have any suggestions of what we can do, email me at:

 Vivian Gaines







 In Memory of  Ed Cornell

Former NIBA President






















Ed’s wife Lee Cornell wrote the following:


"We are going to have a memorial service to celebrate Ed's life at the Community Center at 23 South Street in Fox Lake on Saturday, October 28th from 10ish in the morning to 6ish in the evening.  

I really hoped to find something a little closer to the southern people, but we had no luck.   This is a more casual environment, so it may be better after all.  I realize that it is a long drive and I'll understand if you are unable to attend.

I would like to have a tentative idea of how many people think that they may be able to attend, so we have an idea of how much food to order.  Please email me at or call me at 847-404-1383 (I am using Ed's address and phone number so responses don't get lost in my e-mail box).”


Chet Kingery Memorial Bluegrass Festival


    The 5th Annual Chet Kingery Memorial Bluegrass Festival was held on Saturday, September 2nd at The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, Illinois. The festival is located out in the country south of Arthur, Illinois on a working pumpkin farm. With its rural location in Amish country with shops, a bakery, a sweet shop and eatery, there is lots to do and see when you feel the need to get up and stretch your legs. Farm animals, pumpkin displays, old schoolhouse, mazes, and grain bin restrooms makes this a wonderful and relaxing location for a bluegrass festival. 


   The weather was perfect, and well attended. Everyone had a wonderful time with jamming in the air, workshops in the old schoolhouse, and marvelous music from the stage. Mackville Bluegrass band was the host band and worked very hard to bring this festival to life. They along with Bluegrass Express, The Harman's, Michael Cleveland and Darin & Brooke Aldridge played two sets each and delighted the crowd with their music and songs. 


    Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out was supposed to attend, but due to an arm injury and surgery, had to cancel at the last minute. Fortunately, Darin & Brooke Aldridge filled in for them. Russell Moore will be back to the Chet Kingery Memorial Bluegrass Festival onSaturday, September 1, 2018. Mark your calendars to return next year or make plans to attend for the first time. It's a must see, must do bluegrass festival! 

Thank you!  Amy J. Lee



Text Box: Note from your (soon to be retired) Pres.
    Hi folks. 

    Another year is slipping by. They sure go fast when you are having fun! 
    We are taking applications for officers and board members. Please consider this career change. It requires about 1 hour of work per month. I think most of our members can find that much time. Look at all the recognition you will get! The job really pays well -- about nothing per month, but the status you receive is worth it! 
    Please keep our homebound and deceased in your prayers. There is more information on these later in the paper.
    I hope to see you in Pontiac. I will probably see you before you read this, but that is OK. I certainly hope someone will take over the Pontiac Festival. It is always such a great venue. I’m already betting we had a good time.
    Our winter and spring jams are starting. Let’s keep them going with great attendance. We always welcome new attendees. If you know of someone that likes bluegrass music, point them in our direction. It is always nice to meet new members.     
    Let’s make NIBA a success like it has never seen.
    We welcome students also. Student membership is free for college students. 
     It is cheap for the rest of us! Just look at what you get: 12 newsletters, great comradeship, access to information on all the local jams, festival information, Picnics and Christmas parties, song lyrics and chords, Biographies of the greats, and the list goes on and on. 
     Where else can you get all of this for the measly price of a couple Starbucks coffees.

See you at the jams.
Tom Gerber, President, NIBA



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