Dedicated in 1950, the Music Shell in Sinnissippi Park is an acoustic amphitheater that can accommodate as many as 700 on benches, and up to 3,000 on the terraces and lawn. A favorite spot of many local congregations and arts organizations, the Music Shell hosts a wide variety of events throughout the season. For information on renting the Music Shell, please call 815.987.1697.
Sinnissippi Park | 1401 N. Second St. | Rockford, IL 61107 | Directions
The construction of the Music Shell was first promoted by the Rockford Civic Symphony Orchestra, which sponsored a two-day music festival in August 1948 to launch the project. The Lions Club coordinated many donations made to the project by local organizations, and underwrote additional construction costs of $4,000–$6,000.
The Music Shell was designed by A. Reyner Eastman, who contributed the plans and his time to supervise the construction. Eastman is also responsible for a number of other area landmarks, including the Mendelssohn Club, the YMCA Log Lodge, Henrietta and Westview schools, Spring Creek Congregational Church, and Rockford Clinic. He also was the designer of a bridge spanning the Rock River at Black Hawk Park, the first modern-type bridge in the state of Illinois.
The Music Shell was officially presented to the City of Rockford and the Rockford Park District on June 4, 1950 by Dawn A. Smith, president of the Rockford Noon Lions Club, "for the enjoyment and satisfaction of music lovers in Rockford and vicinity."
The Music Shell is best known as the home of the Music in the Park Summer Concert Series, since 1970. Also, every summer children young and old have enjoyed the summer matinee series Imagination Station since the early 90's.
The Music Shell may also be rented. Reservations may be made up to one year prior to the date of the event. To reserve the music shell and obtain a rental permit, please contact Community and Recreation Services at 815.987.1697 or click the link below.
Shining a light on Music Shell's equipment needs
In order to maintain the tradition of providing quality entertainment, the Park District is in need of replacing the sound and lighting system at the Music Shell as it is nearing the end of its natural life. The current sound system was installed in 2001 and current lighting system was installed in 1982.
The sound system will be replaced with state-of-the-art digital technology that will provide a better listening experience. The lighting will be replaced with LED lighting that will be more energy efficient. The cost to purchase a new sound system and lighting is approximately $65,000-$80,000. The Rockford Park District Foundation is also pursuing grants that will help offset the cost of new equipment.
The Sinnissippi Music Shell would appreciate your generous donation to help us keep the free programming running each summer.