Face to Face: Don Wheeler, Bonner Springs City Band Commission
Name: Don Wheeler
Family: wife, Vicky; two sons, Brad and Michael; and five grandchildren
Occupation: semi-retired pharmacist after 40 years with Miller Pharmacy
Dream job as a child: Aside from a brief dream of becoming a basketball player, Wheeler said he has long known he wanted to be a pharmacist thanks to some good family friends who were pharmacists.
“I started taking typing in ninth grade with all the girls because I knew I’d need
it as a pharmacist,” he said.
Hobbies: Sports, both playing them and watching them. He still plays tennis and basketball and watches multiple sports, in particular KU basketball and his grandchildren’s sports teams, along with their other scholastic activities.
Digging deeper: Wheeler played trumpet in high school, so he joined the Bonner Springs City Band Commission about 30 years ago. He and his sons played trumpet in the band at various times but for the last 15 years, he’s been busy as the
commission chair, a role that lets him do fun things like cook hot dogs for the 70 to 100 band members at the first band practice prior to the start of the season.
New this year for the band is using the Bonner Springs Community Center as an inclement weather location while the high school cafeteria is renovated. The band had to move its very first concert there, but Wheeler said now that the gym is air
conditioned, it is a great location.
“I think it worked out very, very well,” he said. “The acoustics were good and the sound was good ... And we want to make it comfortable not only for our audience but also for our band.”
The band members are all volunteer, and Wheeler said the concerts bring in audiences ranging from 75 to 200, with the Tiblow Days and Bonner Blast concerts the most popular.
The band has a concert tonight and on Saturday prior to the Bonner Blast. It will not play on July 2.