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Letter: A Musical Thank You – Music at the Mansion

A little over ten years ago, I was driving north on First Street one evening and came to the stoplight in front of the Ellwood Museum House, and as I glanced in the direction of the lighted Mansion, I said to myself, this could be the next “Ravinia” waiting to happen.

I met with the Ellwood House Director and Park District Director and proposed having a concert on the lawn. They agreed and the first summer we had one concert. The following summer, we had one concert each month (June, July, and August). After much great success in year three, we scheduled six concerts each summer and branded these concerts as “Music at the Mansion-Music with the Stars.”

As they say the rest is history.

The program was created to provide a summer entertainment venue with no cost to taxpayers or admission charge to the audience, plus an opportunity for local and regional musical acts to perform.

After the final concert in 2021, the new Park District executive director advised me that the Park District would be reviewing the future of the ‘Music at the Mansion’ program.

In January of 2022, the Park District held a meeting with its executive director, the new Park Board of Commissioners president, Ellwood House executive director, and two additional Park District staff members on the future of Music at the Mansion. The decision was made that the ‘Music at the Mansion’ program would become an official event for the Park District and that the Park District would be taking over all facets of the program, including selecting all future entertainment music acts and concessions. With the conclusion that my involvement with the Music at the Mansion was no longer required.

I would like to personally thank all the great people that attended the concerts and supported the program over the past ten years. A special thanks to all the entertainment acts for being part of the program and for being willing to perform for less money than they normally get. The pre-show opening acts were an opportunity for local entertainment and events to be showcased. Thank you for being part of this event. A special thank you to Fatty’s Pub & Grille for the willingness to provide refreshments with less than break-even cost – but offering a community service.

A final thank you to all the people and organizations that supported this program and acknowledged the efforts it took to create an event that has become an extremely popular weekly event for all members of our community and a tourist destination for the City of DeKalb. I wish the ‘Music at the Mansion’ program all the best in the future.

Michael Embrey


Source: The Daily Chronicle

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