1st Choice Music Services

Music Publication & Production Offices
505 Eliot Drive, Urbana, IL 61801-6727 USA
9AM-9PM Daily Central Time
Tel/Cellular 217-384-0874


Thank you for visiting our web site to find information regarding your live music needs. The following detailed information is available on this web site:

agency history and director resume
policies and fees
available services
customer referral lists and feedback
a music planning guide
artist listings
a “sound advice” article
a performance agreement
a consent of terms agreement
and more.

1st Choice Music Services offers consultation & search services to secure performing artists to perform live music. Events for which we provide search and performance services include: weddings, receptions, memorial services, commencements, surprise serenades, concerts, VIP receptions, country clubs & caterers, fashion & bridal shows, corporate events, restaurants & hotels, or any event needing live music.

Portions of the proceeds from our services fund charitable donations for:

The American Red Cross, The CU United Fund, CU Police Lodge Food Basket & Camp New Hope Projects, CU Humane Society, Empty Tomb, Urbana Boys & Girl Scouts, Libraries and Schools of Music at the University of Illinois, Philadelphia University of the Performing Arts, Rollins College, U of MN, American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund, Adoptees Liberty Movement Association (ALMA), WILL- FM and TV, The CU, Danville, and Northwest Symphonies, Opera Programs at the UIUC, Opera Illinois in Peoria, and Sugar Creek Opera Festival, Internet & Florida Cello Societies, the Williamsburg Arts Nexus, and others.


Directed by an award winning, highly experienced, professional cellist with over 35 years in the business, 1st Choice Music Services features Central Illinois' Premiere Performers. For a photo and biographical information on the director, go to www.cellomusicplus.com


Founded in 1984 as the String Society Artists, the agency was renamed in 2003, but continued on under the guidance of founder Barbara Hedlund. Information about our services and artist roster is listed in this web site. Telephone calls to our office or e-mails will be answered generally the same day or within 24 hours.

To see our 1st Choice Music Services Sound Advice Article, Customer Referral List, Wedding Music Planning Guide, and Pricing Information go to the links at the bottom of this page.

You may also find our listing in the Yellow Pages under Musicians or Wedding Supplies and Services, on the Allerton Park referral list, or check with area photographers, clergy, caterers, and organists, and customers listed on the web site.

Please be advised - To request and initiate professional research and consultation services with the express purpose of securing performers for your event, a signed agreement and a non-refundable retainer/deposit of $100.00 is required. Upon receipt in our office of the deposit and signed agreement, you will receive in person or within 48 hours a written guarantee of services and a detailed performance agreement. Immediate updates will be sent to you as they arise. The retainer/deposit will activate service as needed on your behalf until the completion of your event. In the event a contract is agreed upon, the retainer will be subtracted from the final balance due.


We specialize in securing performing artists when your life requires live music: strings, vocals, piano, brass, dance bands & small combos, bag pipers, harpists, organists, folk music groups, & orchestras.

We offer suggestions - when requested - to assist you locate area vendors and suitable locations. However, we have no financial agreements with them to do so, nor do you pay additional fees for the referrals.

Our fee quotes are based purely on administrative research, consultation and event preparation time, plus performer fees, and travel costs when applicable for all events over 15 miles from our office.

1) Solo Cello or Violin and Piano or Organ,
2) Violin & Cello Duo
3) Solo trumpet & organ
4) Harp & flute

1) String Trio - Violin (or flute), viola, & cello,
2) Piano trio - piano, violin or flute, & cello
3) The Virtuoso Obbligato Trio - (baritone singer, cello, & piano) for recitals, work shops, & master classes including vocal health symposiums

1) String Quartet- Two violins, viola & cello or flute, violin, viola, & cello (or trio with organ/piano)
2)Cello quartets (concerts and in school programs)

Piano & 4 strings, 5 strings, or brass quintet

Solo Instruments
Harp, Bagpipe, Cello, Saxophone,
Violin (Classical, jazz, fiddlers, strollers)
Trumpet (+ 4 strings, + strings & organ, or trumpet & organ)
Flute (or with 1- 3 strings)
Pianists - acoustic or electronic (solo or with
other instruments)
Harpsichord or Organists (solo or with other instruments &/or vocalists)
Guitar-classical or electric

Vocalists - Opera/Classical/Pop/Jazz/Folk

Dance/Jazz Combos, Dixie Land Bands, The Celebration Variety Band, the New Orleans Jazz Machine, Irish Folk Bands, The Prairie Dogs, Travelers Band, Bluegrass Groups

for churches, symphonies, Opera Illinois,
UI Opera Theatre, touring show orchestras

Arrangers, copyists, & music researchers


Customer Critical Reviews & Feedback

"1st Choice Music is the only choice (IMO)!"
Diane W. Marlin, University of Illinois, The Pampered Chef Family Resiliency Program, November 2, 2004

"Amanda and I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful job you and your colleagues did with the music for our wedding. We had many people comment on how the trio added a nice touch of class to the ceremony. The music sounded great and I especially liked your choices of filler music before the service. Thank you again for all your help and effort towards making our wedding turn out wonderfully. Feel free to use our note on your website. We will be happy to recommend your services to anyone who asks. Thanks again." Zac and Amanda Schultz, November 3, 2004

"I want to thank you again for being a part of our wedding. The music was beautiful. Your group was the finishing touch to the wedding!" Melanie Scott and Chad Wasson, September 24, 2004

"I wanted to thank for everything you did to provide such beautiful music for our wedding. It was wonderful working with you to plan everything. I have received so many compliments about the music. Apparently one of our guests is a violinist and he was extremely impressed. Those who are less experienced were also very impressed." Jennifer Donahoe Mills 9/23/2004

"Our wedding just wouldn't have been the same without you. The care and heart you put into your repertoire were appreciated by our guests. We feel privileged to have our ceremony and reception graced by such consummate pros. Your talents are admired, and your friendly manner greatly appreciated." Marla and Reed Johnson

“What I heard was amazing and the vocalist impressed the entire crowd. Thank you for the wonderful job you did at our wedding. The music and vocals were unbelievable. We cannot imagine our special day without your wonderful performance. Thanks for making our day so special.“ Stacey & Rich Manderino.

“Thank you for playing so nicely tonight and for all of the times when you have graced events over our years here.” Larry Faulkner, former Provost UI, current President University of Texas at Austin

“You proved again and again that you are much more than an extremely talented musician. I had no idea how instrumental you would become in the entire process. From costumes to music to vocalists, you provided me with the leads to help transfer a concept into a performance.”
Robert Mindrum, Former Director UI Union Special Events.

“The trio was terrific! The event was a huge success, and I had people tell me that they thought the music was wonderful. At one point, I even saw people dancing! Please pass on my thanks! And, thanks again to you, Barbara. I trust you completely when we're looking for musical groups.” Laura Wilhelm-Barr UI Foundation

"Your professionalism is obvious, not only in your performance, but also in your attention to detail. Thank you for being one of the "details" that I don't fret about once I have your services secured.This was our third annual International Achievement Awards Banquet, and we've been lucky enough to book your services each time. We hope that you will always be a part of this event."
Cheryl L. Kappes, Secretary International Affairs Development and Communications International Programs and Studies

“Her ability to recognize quality prompt my unreserved encouragement for you to take advantage of her consulting services.” Dr. Marion Van Der Loo, Music Director 1st Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL & IL Symphony Chorus

“Your persistent attention to detail has transformed this performance into a musical experience the members will never forget. Thank you for making this performance an expression of triumph and love.” Dr. Barbara Zachow, Director Parkland Chorale

“A talented, intelligent musician operating with an informed viewpoint in all musical styles. The rare combination of technical mastery, musicality, sensitivity, & authority. She is exacting, demanding, extremely effective in her methods, and always with an encouraging, positive attitude.” Maestro Paul Vermel, Conductor North West Symphony, North Suburban Symphony, & Music Director Emeritus CU Symphony, Professor Emeritus, UIUC School of Music

“A lovely appearance, graceful poise, radiant smile, endeared her to an already appreciative audience. One of the most professional and satisfying recitals we have heard this year.“
Dr. George Sanders, Eastern Illinois University, Professor Emeritus of Piano

"An enthusiastic, charismatic performer of great distinction: talented, responsible, and disciplined." Maestro Hugh Wolfe, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

“A rare quality player devoted to the cause of the highest degree of music making."
The late Maestro Thomas Michalak, NJ Symphony

“You were the only vendor we dealt with in planning Latoya’s wedding that did not disappoint us. You kept your word, treated us well, and did everything we expected”. Latoya & Beverly Miller, Danville, IL

"Many thanks for your wonderful assistance this spring with our alumni awards dinner. The pianist provided just the right touch at our Friday reception with his keyboard magic. We here at the Alumni Association are grateful to you for providing such quality, professional service."
Gratefully, Ellen Amberg, UIUC Alumni Association

"Thanks for enduring the hot & humid conditions at the wedding reception. All of our guests were so impressed with your performance--your music selection was perfect. Thank you again for providing the perfect backdrop to our celebration." Bob Kary, TK Service, July 12, 2004

"Thank you for your tireless search for a harpist for Amanda's wedding. It was a "magical" day according to the bride and groom. I truly appreciate all of the effort on your part and wish to convey my best wishes for success in the future. Best wishes, Rosalind Wirtz, July 13, 2004


Sutton Ensemble, Alpine, NJ July 28, 2004

Tarble Arts Center, Charleston, IL 3pm October 17, 2004 www.eiu.edu/~tarble/home.html
Eastern Illinois University Campus
600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston IL 61920-3099
phone: 217/581-ARTS(-2787)

WILL-FM RADIO 90.9 FM SECOND SUNDAY CONCERT SERIES http://www.will.uiuc.edu/fm/programs/secondsunday/

January 9, 2004 - 2pm - Live broadcast recital "The Parting Kiss" featuring Salon & Palm Court Music & music played on the Titanic. Works by Haydn, Kreisler, Saint-Saens, Offenbach, Leveridge, Sullivan, Bernstein, Schumann, & Schoenfield - performed by the "Salon Divas" Barbara Hedlund, cello & music co-coordinator, Georgia Hornbacker, violin, Maureen Murchie, viola, & Susan Teicher, piano) with guest Bass - baritone Ronald Hedlund


DANVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA http://www.danvillesymphony.org/
Jeremy Swerling, Music Director
(All Concerts at Danville High School unless otherwise noted)

October 16, 2004 - 7:30 PM

December 11, 2004 - 7:30 PM March 12, 2005 - 7:30 PM - Barbara Hedlund, Cello Soloist in “Don Quixote"

May 14, 2005 - 7:30PM

June 25, 2005 Arts in the Park Concert, Lincoln Park

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA SYMPHONY http://www.cusymphony.org/
Steven Larsen, Music Director
All concerts in Krannert Center KCPA unless otherwise noted.)

August 21, 2004, 6-8pm - Downtown Arts Festival Westside Park- soloist in the William Tell Overture, Orpheus in the Underworld, & Porgy & Bess Selections

September 18, 2004 - Virginia Theater CUSO with Flash Cadillac

October 2, 2004-7:30 PM - Czech Mix

November 16, 2004 -7:30 PM - Carmina Burana - Eduardo Diazmunoz, guest conductor

December 11, 2004 - 7:30 p.m. - Holiday Pops - A Hometown Showcase

January 30, 2005 - 3:00 p.m. - The Family Concert

February 4, 2005 - 7:30 p.m. - German Romantics featuring Four time Grammy Winner & Internationally recognized Metropolitan Opera Tenor Jerry Hadley (http://www.onatech.com/jerry-hadley/)

Mr. Hadley will premiere a new opera "A Wedding" by William Bolcom at the Chicago Lyric Opera. Performances will be on Dec. 11, 14, 19, 2004, and Jan. 5, 8, 12, 14, 17, & 21, 2005.

He will also appear at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, in Bernstein's "Candide" on Feb. 24, 25, 26, & 27, 2005, (www.krannertcenter.com/) and in recital in Manlius, IL on March 3 & 5, 2005.]

March 13, 2005-3:00 p.m.- Spring Pops - Big Bands with Rich Ridenour, Piano

April 2, 2005-7:30 p.m. - A Gallery of Artists


OPERA ILLINOIS - PEORIA http://www.operaillinois.com/  
Maestra Fiora Contino, Music Director

La Traviata - Feb. 11, 2005 at 7:30PM & Feb. 13, 2005 at 2PM

Tosca - May 20, 2005 7:30PM & May 22, 2005 at 2PM

Benefit concert - TBA

SUGAR CREEK SYMPHONY & SONG FESTIVAL, Watseka, IL http://www.sugarcreekfestival.org/
August 6, 2004 -8pm & August 8 -2pm Gounod's "Romeo & Juliette"

The Cast of Roméo et Juliette: Roméo Matthew Chellis, Juliette Helen Todd, Stephano Jane Dutton, Mercutio Robert Garner, Friar Laurence Matthew Lau, Pere Capulet Ronald Hedlund, Tybalt Justin Vickers, Conductor Antony Walker, Stage Director Gina Lapinski, Scene Designer Carey Wong, Lighting Designer Michael Paolini

CHURCHES -(as cellist and contractor)
First United Methodist Church of Champaign
Sunday Morning Services, Dec. 19, 2004

First Presbyterian Church of Champaign
Sunday Morning Services, Dec. 12, 2004

please contact our office.


1st Choice Music Services(founded in 1985 as String Society Artists)
Barbara S. Hedlund, Owner/Director
505 Eliot Drive, Urbana, IL 61801-6727
Tel/Cell 217-384-0874, 9am-9pm daily
vcello1@insightbb.com, www.cellomusicplus.com

STEP #1 - To initiate and retain comprehensive musician search and consultation services......

Fill in the information in this invoice template, sign one copy and return it to the 1st Choice Office with a back up copy as an e-mail text or file attachment format. Include payment of a non refundable deposit of $100.00. No response after 30 days from the inquiry date does not guarantee our services, the date and time or performers will hold the date and time for you.

Non-refundable deposit terms: A non refundable deposit of $100.00 is required to initiate and retain comprehensive musician search and consultation services, hold the date and time for your event, and secure performers. The deposit is applicable towards your final total.

In the event I, as the client, decide not to engage or cancel an artist, I agree to remain honor bound and obliged to waive the non-refundable deposit. This will help compensate for agency research and administrative services created and obtained at my request.

I acknowledge I have been informed how to find comprehensive policies and fee information on the 1st Choice Music Services web site. I have reviewed the complete agency information, contract template, fees, and terms available on the 1st Choice Music Services web site at www.cellomusicplus.com before signing this agreement and paying the deposit.

Sign & date below to accept and verify these terms.

date: ___________
accept 1st Choice Music Services as consultants and independent contractors/performers. I hereby agree to accept and abide by their guidelines and pay the appropriate charges incurred as the result of my request for services.

(Page 2 of 2)


Date this document was created:

Underline one - Office copy/client copy/artist copy

Date of event:

Time of set up on the date of the event:

Time of the sound check and warm up/run through on the date of the event:

Time for the beginning of the prelude music for the wedding ceremony: (generally 15 or 20 minutes prior to the ceremony)

Event(list one from the following): wedding only, wedding and reception, reception only, other

Location and directions:

Emergency Telephone Number for the date of your event:

Client address and complete contact information:
Hm. Tel:
Wk Tel.
Cellular Telephone:

Fiancé’s Name & Contact Information:

No. of Guests:

Clergy’s Name



Date of Inquiry:

Source of referral:

Date Demo Tape sent:

Date Tape returned:

Musician/s requested:

Musician attire (circle your preference): Tuxedo/formal black, festive formal wear, Sunday best, or costumes

Date Wk. sheets sent to musicians:

Musical Style/atmosphere/Reception Music requests: (The deadline to return your wedding music selections or make requests and changes is two weeks prior to the event.)

Equipment: One armless chair per performer is needed except for harpists who bring their own stools. Access to electrical outlets is needed if the lighting requires use of stand lights. Stands, music, & stand lights will be the responsibility of the artists.

For an event occurring during meal times, please indicate if you invite the musicians to partake in light snacks or non alcoholic beverages___, a boxed meal_____, dinner____ , not applicable___.

Musician fee: Gratuities are at the discretion of the client. Fees to artists are paid by the management prior to the date of the event. Clients pay the agency directly and not the performers.

No. of bridal attendants____No. of male attendants____
flower girl ____ ring bearer____
No. of parents being seated ____
No. of grandparents being seated ______
Bride processing with her father_______
Bride processing with her parents _____
Groom entering with the clergy _______
Groom processing with his parents_____
Vocalist _______ list tel & e-mail information if a vocalist will be performing with the ensemble.

Fee quote: Fee quotes include performance fees, agency consultation, administrative, librarian, and equipment charges. Travel costs are applicable for locations over 15 miles from our office at $.35/mi for one vehicle plus travel time at $.50/mile per artist. Events located over 35 miles one way require a two hour minimum.

The fee for a ..................performing for a .................................is $................

Initial here____________: In the event I, the client, decide not to engage an artist, I agree to waive the deposit as a consequence of my request for and receipt of their consultation and search assistance.

Grand Total: $
The balance due after the deposit is paid will be due by ..................

PLEASE FILE A COPY OF THIS CONTRACT/INVOICE WITH YOUR ACCOUNTING DIVISION TO EXPEDITE PAYMENT BY THE PERFORMANCE DATE. Please sign and return one copy of the final contract to the agency with payment due. Payment in full for final balance should be paid no later than @10 days prior to the event unless approved or final billing arrives too late. Checks not clearing the bank must be paid immediately in cash or by cashier's check or the performers are not obligated to perform.

ATTN: UI Payables, for UIUC event payments, please list payments to Vendor Banner ID # @00942301.

Late fees for all customers will be assessed after one month from the date of the engagement at 1.5% per month.

Program listing and announcements

The client agrees to recognize or list performers as "Music provided by 1st Choice Music Services" - when possible- in the event of advertising, publications, event announcements, wedding bulletins, TV or radio broadcasts. Except for sacred services, the client agrees to permit agency brochures, business cards, and/or a discrete sign to be available for guest information.

End of Agreement

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