"Kevin is an excellent musician," Herder said. "One of the things we liked about Kevin is that his needle points up. His future is very, very bright. We saw only the upside with Kevin and how he and the band can grow together."
Another trait the selection committee liked about Macha is his strong commitment to the band, which included moving to Joliet. Since his appointment in July, Macha has recruited eight new members, Macha said.
"He's absolutely thrilled to be in the position he is now," Herder said.
What are Macha's plans for the band? For now, he wants to coast and learn. He wants to continue the band's tradition of excellence in Joliet. But he'd also like to bring back one tradition – taking first place at national competitions, something that hasn't happened in a few years, Macha said.
For that reason, Macha would like to introduce some new music for the band to play, while keeping the familiar standards the Joliet community enjoys. In that regard, Macha is not foreseeing difficulties.
"We have a wonderful band library of almost 2,000 pieces of music," Macha said. "I've got lots of stuff to pick from."