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Poco a Poco Music Celebration Returns To Streator

Summer camp brings in world class music professionals, free concerts

Poco a Poco hosts its second annual sampler fundraiser from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Park Presbyterian Church, 201 N. Vermillion St., Streator.

Streator’s Poco a Poco kicks off Saturday, June 8. The week-long intensive and interactive vocal music training institute brings top-quality instruction and concert opportunities to high school students and others – culminating in some amazing free public concerts.

The unique music experience was founded in 2017 by a Streator native and professional mezzo-soprano, Executive Director Kate Tombaugh, who recently won first place in the 10th annual Mildred C. Miller International Vocal Competition, hosted by Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Poco a Poco is dedicated to bringing together passionate musicians, educators and fine arts lovers in an unexpected rural setting – providing an experience that students and concert goers won’t find anywhere else in the nation.

The Poco a Poco Summer Music Festival exists to make high-quality arts opportunities, performances and advanced music education accessible, and to encourage young talent. The annual, week-long Summer Music Festival for young musicians in central Illinois is inspired by the Italian term poco a poco (little by little), because consistent and steady dedication to a skill can spur tremendous growth. Through instruction and guidance, Poco a Poco hopes to instill a lifelong love for music and the arts in young musicians – and provide the community and visitors alike with a series of exciting free concerts.

Natalie Mustea (foreground) sings "Bridge Over Troubled Water" along with her fellow choral members during a special coffeehouse concert Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at More On Main in Streator as part of the Poco a Poco Festival.

Here’s a look at some of Poco a Poco 2024′s upcoming public events:

Community Choir Rehearsal

Calling all singers of Streator and beyond! Enjoy a delightful afternoon of song and camaraderie at Poco a Poco’s Community Choir Rehearsal from 3-4:30 p.m. June 8 at Park Church.

Whether you are a seasoned vocalist or just discovered your love for singing, the multi-generational choir welcomes all levels of experience. The choir will be led by Streator native and conductor Shelbie Wahl-Fouts, who has a real knack for picking diverse repertoire that offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Linc 182 Barbershop Quartet

Join the Linc 182 Barbershop Quartet for a special performance and interactive class at Park Presbyterian Church from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 11. The event is free and open to the public, made possible through funding by the Voices in Harmony Fund.

Linc 182 is a new and exciting a cappella ensemble, mostly versed in the barbershop style of singing. The group recently won the 2023 Illinois District State Barbershop Quartet Contest. Members of the quartet have won multiple Illinois District quartet championships and have competed internationally, as well as winning chorus championships with the award-winning Sound of Illinois Chorus based in Bloomington-Normal.

Faculty & Friends Concert

From 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, join the esteemed Poco a Poco faculty at Park Presbyterian Church for an evening of live music. The concert is free and open to the public; arrive early to attend a roundtable with the talented performers and educators at 6:30 p.m., with the show beginning at 7 p.m.

Fun with Music

Enjoy a morning of musical adventures at the Streator Public Library on Wednesday, June 12, starting at 10 a.m. Open to all kindergarten through fourth-grade students, the event is a fun and interactive way to introduce your children to the magic of music.

Coffeehouse Concert

From 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, enjoy free refreshments and an afternoon of music at Streator’s Silver Fox, featuring Poco a Poco’s Jr. Faculty performing solos, duets and more.

Community Instrumental Ensemble Rehearsal

New for 2024, the Community Instrumental Ensemble is open to musicians in junior high and up who play any band or orchestral instruments. Two rehearsal sessions will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday, June 13 and 14, at Park Church. Poco a Poco welcomes players of all ability levels to join the ensemble, led by trumpeter Shelbie Wahl-Fouts. Rehearsed selections will be presented at the Community Concert, the festival’s final event. Interested participants are requested to fill out a brief form at

Student Showcase

Come hear and support the talented Poco Young Artists, and see the hard work and new skills they’ve honed throughout their week of instruction. The concert will be held at Park Presbyterian Church from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, June 13. Youth events will kick off at 6:30 p.m., with the performance starting at 7 p.m.

String Jam Session

Take part in an evening of harmonious melodies and string symphonies at Park Church in Streator on Friday, June 14, starting at 7 p.m. All guitarists, violinists, cellists, mandolin players and string enthusiasts of all skill levels are invited to the free public jam session. Guided by resident guitar teacher Ascher Taylor Schroeder, there is no performance for this group, but festival attendees are encouraged to watch and participate. Interested participants are requested to fill out a brief form at

Community Concert

Poco a Poco’s annual Community Concert can’t be missed. This final event of the camp will feature performances by the Community Choir and Community String Ensembles, alongside special appearances by Poco a Poco’s Young Artists and esteemed faculty. Come see the efforts of a week’s worth of rehearsals and training. The concert, held from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Streator Township High School, is free and open to the public.

Interested in joining the Community Choir or String Ensembles? Visit to learn more. For more information, be sure to follow Poco a Poco on Facebook.