Home of 1st Choice Music Services

Welcome to 1st Choice Music Services, 
serving Central Illinois clients since 1985. 
1st Choice Musicians entertain, create, engage, inspire, and support clients when important moments in their life require live music. Lean on us for immediate one on one supportive service, peace of mind, & award winning experienceBenefit from our decades of experience serving clients.             

E-mails, calls, or texts are answered the day they arrive. Your special event becomes our 1st priority until it's over! We are well known for being highly responsive to  all our clients and have records and reviews to prove it. We communicate with clients regularly for months until their event ends. 

Events we assist & perform for are: weddings, civil unions, commitment ceremonies, memorial services, receptions, corporate events, concerts, touring back

up orchestras, birthday celebrations, school programs, churches, adult living centers, VA Hospitals, restaurants, hotels, commencement ceremonies, receptions and commencement ceremonies for 60 + university departments, 

and more.

1st Choice Music Services is an approved vendor with: The University of Illinois, US Government, Robert Allerton Park, Pear Tree Estate, Carle Foundation, Busey Bank, area country clubs (Champaign, Urbana, Lincolnshire, Stone Creek), hotels, adult living centers, Veteran's Hospitals. 

FInd our listings on line: the Manta Business Directory, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Wedding Mapper, Central Illinois Weddings, Wedding Wire, The Knot, Gathering Guide, 40 North/88 West Champaign Arts Council, area churches & bridal coordinators, ChamberofCommerce.com, & more. 

Area cities where we have performed in Central Illinois include: Arcola, Bloomington, Champaign, Charleston, Clifton, Covington (IN), Danville, Decatur, Farmer City, Gibson City, Gifford, Homer Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahomet, Mattoon, Monticello, Normal, Paxton, Peoria, Philo, Pesotum, Rantoul, Savoy, Tolono, Urbana, Villa Grove, Washington, & Watseka 

Unsolicited reviews are below & under the links to “Client Raves & Reviews” (<<click here)

For your peace of mind, feel free to verify our reputation & references with: the Robert Allerton Park Wedding staff, church music directors & organists, wedding planners, caterers, florists, clergy, hotels, photographers, UI offices of the President, Chancellor, Provost, Alumni Association, & School of Music, plus the Champaign Urbana Symphony, Danville Symphony, Heartland Festival Orchestra, Sugar Creek Opera, & customers listed on this web site. 

A 2016 Wedding Wire endorsement: "Barbara Hedlund of 1st Choice Music Services is a consummate professional and
I have referred brides to her for 
15 years. As a wedding planner, I must feel comfortable that a vendor I recommend
will be a good value for a bride, that they will be willing to respond 
to communication and provide information in a
timely manner and that they are a top professional in their field. All of those qualities describe Barbara and her work
through 1st Choice Music Services." - 
Gwen Wilson Nuptiae, The Wedding & Event Planners

A Wedding Wire 5.0 Review   Quality of Service:  5.0  Responsiveness: 5.0  Professionalism: 5.0  Value: 5.0 Flexibility  - Posted by Sarah Leach - Wedding April 14, 2014   Barbara Hedlund was so great to work with & very responsive! We used an acoustic guitar player through her & he far
exceeded my expectations..would definitely recommend!!

Mrs. Gloria Wilhelm - "You are absolutely an invaluable resource for any bride and mother. I have already told many people 
about your services. Thank you very much for all your support, help, organization, & encouragement! You are the best!"

John Peeler -"Their trio played at my wedding two years ago in West Side Park and did a great job! Hands down the BEST musicians money can buy!"

Shannon and Jordan Johnson - "Of all the people we worked with to make this day possible, you were definitely the best.
Your helpfulness and quick responses were greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for making our
wedding day wonderful!"

Feedback from a bride's mother for a 2016 wedding and reception at Robert Allerton Park: "Everything was perfect! We had so many compliments in regards to your musicians. It made the wedding and reception just perfect. I can't tell you how much we appreciate all you did. You are a class act!"

Hailey (Weber) Fowles
& Matt Fowles -
"Thank you for all the preparation, correspondence & musical execution for our wedding ceremony. The music for the wedding was everything our families and guests could have hoped for. Also of note, thank you for your professionalism over
the months leading up to our wedding in September 2014."

Laurie Tucker "A Bride’s Best Friend" Bridal Consultant retired - “I want you to know how much it has meant to me to get to know and work with you. Your professionalism and humor in tough situations is wonderful. I always knew when I recommended you that my brides would not only receive wonderful ceremony & reception music, but would also receive great care & compassion throughout the process. I will continue to recommend you and sing your praises whenever I can."

Joseph Madden, Former Executive Director CU Symphony - "From my experience working with you, I know you take the best care of everyone involved (client and musician) every single time. I ALWAYS notice and appreciate it. Given all you do for your clients, I can't understand why anyone wouldn't follow through-- it's their loss. Your fully satisfied clients far outnumber people who are price shopping."

Dr. Chee Hyeon Choi, Piano Professor Bradley University - "Y
our selection of music was excellent. I learned a variety of music, not to mention enjoying performing with you. The way you organized music and logistics was very efficient! More people should contact you for their service music!"  April 2016 Pear Tree Estate Wedding

Agency History
Founded in 1985, sophisticated customers have trusted and relied on 1st Choice Music Services to create special ambiance & warm, positive memories with live music performed at their special event. 1st Choice Music Services helps plan your special event engage professional musicians of the highest calibre to perform. Choose from string players, vocalists, pianists, organists, brass players, jazz combos, dance bands, bagpipers, harpists, folk music groups, and orchestras. As the only full time, full access, insured professional musician contracting service in Central Illinois, we are an approved State of Illinois & US Government Central Contractor Registrant, & registered with DUNS. As the region's first source for music services, we specialize in musician contracting, search, and performance services and provide immediate, experienced, caring, attentive customer service, and moral support until your special event ends.

From first contact - the "get go" - we care about your needs & provide services. From your free first inquiry, planning information, policies, fees, instrument choices, a wedding music planning template, a wedding music planning guide, and answers to many FAQ is available on this web site.

Letters of Agreement and Music Planning Template 
A wedding music letter of agreement and music request template may be downloaded from
the bottom of this page. The template demonstrates the thorough planning process & care offered to every client.
                                        Our son's surprise proposal to his beloved at sunrise in Puerto Rico, Dec. 31, 2013 & Wedding June 2014.
More (unsolicited) Client Raves & Reviews links are below or (click here for more)

Dr. Brent Reifsteck & Kevin Burnside (September 2014)  - "Thank you for being a part of our celebration. Your hard work and attention to details were appreciated and reassuring.

Sara Devine & Tony Steele - “Barbara Hedlund was simply phenomenal - timely response to e-mails, caring, organized, efficient, conscientious. And most of all, she provided musicians of the highest caliber."

Mrs. Jennifer Dixson, former Executive Director, Danville Symphony Orchestra - “Barbara is an amazing asset to the DSO. She works as not only the Principal Cellist for our orchestra, but also functions to locate music and talent for the organization. Her commitment to music and education in the area has benefited Danville and Vermilion County beyond Measure. We are always happy to refer Barbara to other organizations or individuals looking for music or assistance because we are confident in her capabilities and talent.”

Maestro David Commanday, Heartland Festival Orchestra - "Outstanding HFO Contractor/Personnel Manager - thorough, conscientious, strong attention to detail, quick to respond, great communications, and ready to do what needs to be done - also my outstanding Principal Cellist." ..."I really appreciate your conscientious, thorough, outstanding professional work! "

The late band leader/keyboardist Gordy Wilson - Wedding and reception at Stone Creek Event Center (
October 2014 ) - WOW! You really went above and beyond for this one! You couldn't have put together a better group! Quiet excellence and professionalism, zero attitude, no egos. They made my life easy after all the worry and flurry! Adding the two players at 8:00PM provided a natural flow. Bravo, and thank you!"

A Windsor of Savoy birthday client (June 2014)- "The special program to honor our mother's birthday went “superbly”. We want to thank the performers & you from the bottom of our hearts. Our mother was “transported”. We hoped the recital would prove to be a gift to our mother & Windsor of Savoy community - and it was."

Angela Overholt, former Life Enrichment Coordinator, The Windsor of Savoy - "You were able to see my vision and make it come to life. Thank you so much for all your help and hard work making that happen!!"

Angelika Hustedt,
Music Therapist at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Danville, IL) & former Life Enrichment Coordinator, The Windsor of Savoy -  "Oh, I know you made a very positive impact. It was so well received (which has always been the case with you and any of your performers)...Angela and
I loved scheduling you... Always professional. Residents loved your music and any of your performers. I really hope they have you back
more often
 because you touch so many!! You do make a difference in their lives and make smiles on their faces! Trust me! I always enjoy it too."

"Central Illinois Business" on WDWS Radio with host Alex Ruggieri, featured 1st Choice Music Services on (3.19.2011) (begin @27 min. 30 secs
Music Studio - 505 Eliot Drive, Urbana, IL 61801- 6727 | Tel: 217-384-0874, No FAX | E-mail: vcello1@comcast.net | 9AM-9PM CST Daily

Subpages (1): Contact Us & Directions
Barbara Hedlund,
Jan 14, 2017, 6:27 PM