Marge Weber has always loved music and, recently, at the age of 79, she debuted her first CD.
The Elk Grove Village, Ill., resident is married to Batesville native Lloyd Weber, son of the late Clint and Elnora Weber and brother of the late John Weber and Janet Kelley. “Lloyd’s family had a farm just outside of Batesville,” she says.
“I’ve always been interested in music. My parents were Salvation Army majors” and played various instruments. “My mother played the guitar for church services, and I have her original guitar on my wall .... In school, I played the trumpet and dabbled with the piano.”
The Wisconsin native recalls, “I met Lloyd in college. He was going to seminary there.” They were married about a year later and started a family. Since he was a United Church of Christ minister, the family traveled to different churches in Wisconsin and Indiana before settling in Elk Grove Village.
Between raising five children and several foster kids, she didn’t have much time to think about music. “I was a stay-at-home mom for years. I went back to school when I was in my 40s and got a degree in psychology in 1978. I worked at a community college in the counseling office for a time and then at a local rehab center.
“When I was 70, my son said, ‘We ought to take music lessons together.’ We took them at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. He and I would go down there once a week. It takes about an hour to get there, and it’s been wonderful to have that time with my son.” Weber also started attending a second time each week “because once just wasn’t enough,” she points out.
Now, nine years later, she’s still going strong. “In the beginning, I had different teachers, but then I met Mark Dvorak, and he’s been my mentor. He’s a full-time musician, and he continues to help me with my playing.”
Her musical tastes “are pretty varied, but I gravitate toward folk music. That’s what I really like,” reveals the grandmother of 15.
For her 75th birthday, she had a music festival in her backyard. Since then, it has become a tradition and is celebrated every June.
“About a year ago, Mark said, ‘Let’s get together and make a recording for your family’ .... We did that, and he took the recordings back to his studio and added some instruments and harmony.
“Then he said, ‘We need to do this for more than your family,’ so he had some CDs made.”
“The Circle Game,” available at amazon.com, features Weber performing songs by Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and others.
“I never expected that. It was a wonderful surprise,” she emphasizes.
Diane Raver can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.