Welcome to 1st Choice Music Services, serving Central Illinois clients since 1985.
1st Choice Musicians entertain, create, engage, inspire, and support clients when their important life moments require live music. Lean on us for immediate, one on one supportive service, peace of mind, & award winning experience! Benefit 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 clients and have records and reviews to prove it.
We communicate with clients regularly for months until their event ends.
All photos on this page are 1st Choice Personal photos
up orchestras, birthday celebrations, school programs, churches, adult living centers, VA Hospitals, restaurants, hotels, commencement ceremonies, receptions or commencement ceremonies for 60 + university departments,
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 us 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.
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, Morton, Normal, Paxton, Peoria, Pesotum, Philo, Rantoul, Savoy, Springfield, Tolono, Urbana, Villa Grove, Washington, & Watseka
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.
Agency History: Founded in 1985, sophisticated customers have trusted and relied on 1st Choice Music Services to create special ambiance and warm, positive memories with live music performed at their special event. 1st Choice Music Services helps plan your special event and 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 to 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.
Unsolicited reviews are below & under the links to “Client Raves & Reviews” (<<click here)
A Wedding Wire 5.0 Review Quality of Service: 5.0 Responsiveness: 5.0 Professionalism: 5.0 Value: 5.0 Flexibility -
Mrs. Gloria Wilhelm - Wedding Mass Holy Cross Catholic Church - "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 wedding at West Side Park Gazebo - "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!"
1st Choice Photo Shannon & Jordan Johnson - Wedding at Allerton Park - "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
Sarah Leach & Michael Frazier - Wedding at Allerton Park - "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!!"
Janie Esposito (MOB) wedding & 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 - Wedding at Holy Cross Catholic Church - "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."
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 1st Choice Photo
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 - Pear Tree Estate Wedding - "Your 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!"
Dr. Brent Reifsteck & Kevin Burnside - Wedding at Stone Creek Country Club - "Thank you for being a part of our celebration. Your hard work and attention to details were appreciated and reassuring.
Sara Devine & Tony Steele - Wedding at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church - “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 - Sottos/White 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 - "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) Used with permission by Alex Ruggieri, CI Business Host
Music Studio - 505 Eliot Drive, Urbana, IL 61801- 6727 | Tel: 217-384-0874,
No FAX | E-mail: email@example.com | 9AM-9PM CST Daily
Photo by Timothy Hartin used with permission