ABOUT US

Celebrating over a half century of music and dance at Prospect Park.

Quad City Music Guild is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high-quality musical theater entertainment in the Quad Cities. For the Guild, the 2016 schedule will mark the 68th season of presenting productions at Prospect Park Auditorium in Moline, Illinois. Visit our Gallery for pictures of our latest productions and our enclosed, all-season theater.

Our History

Formed in 1949, the Guild was the brainchild of area residents with the idea of creating a forum in which local talent could perform.

Founders of the organization, all now deceased, were Dr. Frederick J. Swanson, music director; E.E. Bartlett, dramatics coach; Dr. John C. Johnson, production coordinator; Earl H. Beling, first Guild president; and H.L. (Roy) Holst of the Moline High Twelve Club, the Guild’s sponsor during the early years.

The Early Days

It all began on the evening of June 22, 1949, when a small group of faithful supporters sat on park benches in the old Chautauqua building to see the first Guild show, Victor Herbert’s “Sweethearts.” Tickets cost $1.50.

The idea flourished and the enthusiastic response to the new organization’s first show prompted presentation of three shows in 1950, a pattern that followed until the season was expanded in the year 2000.

Prospect Park provides a historical setting for all QCMG productions. Nestled among trees, the park overlooks the Rock River valley. The Tri-City Railway Company built the ‘Prospect Park Pavilion,’ as it was then known, in 1903 on property that later became a Moline city park.

In earlier days visitors could arrive via trolley provided by the railway company. Often referred to as a little ‘Coney Island,’ the park housed a switchback railway ride similar to a roller coaster as well as pony rides and a zoo. Although the theater originally served as an auditorium for the popular Chautauqua programs, it fell into disarray after the advent of motion pictures and automobiles decreased the demand for such entertainment.

During 1949 the Quad City Music Guild chose the theater for the site of its first production, ultimately saving the pavilion from demolition. Over the years many improvements have been made to the building. A cement floor was laid, dressing rooms furnished, curtains purchased, and orchestra pit developed and a workroom constructed beneath the stage.

Today audiences can enjoy the view from the theater perched atop a picturesque lagoon. The soft drinks, candy, hot dogs, and popcorn available to patrons before the performances and during intermission are a throwback to a bygone era where park-goers often picnicked and swam in the lake.

By Quad Cities Performers, For Quad Cities Performers

Quad City Music Guild has always provided the excitement of live theater exclusively using Quad City area performers. The QCMG founders’ decision to use only local, non-professional residents in all production aspects became a governing principle of the organization. Through the years thousands of area residents have been involved in the productions, some for a single show, others for a season or several years, real veterans for decades.

One of QCMG’s original goals included awarding monetary scholarships to these participants for further study in a musical or dramatic field. Although organized as a non-profit entity, QCMG has provided over $30,000 to the Quad City community since first awarding training grants in 1953. QCMG allows area audiences to further reap the rewards of its scholarship program by also providing a creative outlet for application of these skills learned by past grant recipients in their studies.

Quad-City Music Guild relies heavily on the volunteer spirit for all aspects of their performances, including the directing, acting, choreography, orchestration, lighting, sound, set construction, and concessions. Guild workers range from senior citizens to grade school youngsters, contributing countless hours of community involvement to the Guild.

To date, QCMG producers and directors have utilized the skills of over 15,000 participants. To paraphrase a page from ‘The Vagabond King’ program (1950), “The actors, the actresses, the members of the ensemble on the stage,… the men and women backstage, in the orchestra, and those who have worked for many months on the multitude of details… these are your neighbors and friends.”

New Century, New Look

In June 2000, QCMG completed a $1.4 million renovation of the theater. The project included: a new 4800 square foot lobby; new restrooms; handicapped accessible parking; a new roof; new maintenance-free exterior; a new ticket office; a new concessions area; air conditioning and heating; and reupholstered/restored seating.

The complete project was met with great enthusiasm from our patrons. All of our productions in the year 2000 were completely sold out.

Since the renovation of the theater in 2000, QCMG has enjoyed tremendous artistic success and further expansion. By completing the new all-weather facility, the Guild was able to expand its number of productions from 3 to 5 for each year; creating a spring show and a holiday show in December in addition to the traditional 3-show summer season. Recent updates and expansions to the building have included new seats for the theater in 2011, as well as the brand new Costume Shoppe and stage-level Scene Shoppe, completed in 2014.

Still Giving Back

QCMG continues its extraordinary efforts to give back to the Quad City community that has graciously supported the organization for nearly 70 years. The Guild continues its training grant programs to those participants pursuing further study in music and drama, supported in part by a generous grant from the Robert V. Fairman Endowment at the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend. Additionally, Music Guild provides community outreach to various organizations throughout the region, including invitations to assisted living centers and other entities to invited dress rehearsals of every production at the theater.

The Costume Shoppe provides costume rentals to numerous area schools, community theaters, churches and other organizations for a small donation; featuring an extensive collection of costumes and accessories from every time and fashion period imaginable. In 2004, QCMG produced the fund raising event, “Some Enchanted Evening” which raised thousands of dollars to be used in the renovation of the Prospect Park picnic pavilion; a thank you to the city of Moline and Quad City community for their ongoing support.

Welcoming Audiences for Decades to Come

Continuously in pursuit of artistic excellence and variety of programming, QCMG has greatly expanded its repertoire of productions in recent years, all while continuing its tradition of producing classic audience favorites. Since 2000, the following shows have had their Music Guild premiere: Children of Eden, Jekyll and Hyde, Sugar!, Beauty and the Beats, The Drowsy Chaperone, Thoroughly Modern Millie, 9 to 5, All Shook Up, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Producers, Aida, Young Frankenstein, Urinetown, Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and many more.

Audiences continue to respond with joy and enthusiasm, and in 2015, QCMG welcomed its 750,000th patron to Prospect Park in Moline.

QCMG continues to add to its storied history of high-quality musical entertainment and community involvement into the 21st century and beyond, and we cordially invite you, your family, and your friends to be part of this long-treasured Quad City experience.

Show Archive

2016

My Favorite Year

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Into the Woods

Children of Eden

A Christmas Carol: The Musical

2015

Urinetown

Young Frankenstein

Cats

Mary Poppins

A Christmas Story

2014

Willy Wonka

Les Miserables

Legally Blonde

Oklahoma

A 1940’s Radio Christmas Carol

2013

Something’s Afoot

Cabaret

Peter Pan

9 to 5

A Christmas Survival Guide

2012

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Meet Me in St. Louis

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Hello, Dolly!

It’s a Wonderful Life

2011

Shout! The Mod Musical

Cinderella

The Drowsy Chaperone

The Music Man

Scrooge: The Musical

2010

The Pajama Game

Guys & Dolls

Grease

Curtains

White Christmas

2009

The Producers

All Shook Up

The King & I

Seussical

Babes in Toyland

2008

Once Upon a Mattress

My Fair Lady

Little Women

Evita

Nuncrackers

2007

Beehive

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Anything Goes

Miracle on 34th Street

2006

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Aida

George M

The Wizard of Oz

It’s a Wonderful Life

2005

Two by Two

Sugar!

Fiddler on the Roof

Beauty & the Beast

A Christmas Carol

2004

Working

Jekyll & Hyde

Sound of Music

Damn Yankees

She Loves Me

2003

The Fantasticks

Titanic

Kiss Me Kate

State Fair

Nunsense

2002

Little Shop of Horrors

Mame

Scarlet Pimpernal

Annie

The 1940’s Radio Hour

2001

Carousel

Children of Eden

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Scrooge: The Musical

2000

Jesus Christ Superstar

Peter Pan

Camelot

Nuncrackers

1999

South Pacific

Big River

Hello Dolly

1998

The Music Man

West Side Story

Oklahoma!

1997

Gypsy

Into the Woods

Crazy For You

1996

Guys & Dolls

The Will Rogers Follies

My Fair Lady

1995

Brigadoon

Hans Christian Andersen

Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

1994

Annie Get Your Gun

Man of La Mancha

Meet Me in St. Louis

1993

The King & I

Godspell

Fiddler on the Roof

1992

Do Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?

1776

42nd Street

1991

Showboat

Oliver

Cinderella

1990

The Sound of Music

The Wizard of Oz

The Music Man

1989

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Grease

Singin’ in the Rain

1988

Peter Pan

Where’s Charley

Sweeney Todd

1987

Hello Dolly!

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Bye Bye Birdie

1986

Evita

Mame

Anything Goes

1985

The Mikado

Oklahoma!

Annie

1984

South Pacific

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Camelot

1983

HMS Pinafore

Carnival

West Side Story

1982

The King & I

Guys & Dolls

Fiddler on the Roof

1981

My Fair Lady

Oliver

Company

1980

Shenandoah

Lil’ Abner

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

1979

Applause

Carousel

Pippin

1978

Kiss Me Kate

Godspell

Sweet Charity

1977

Fiorella

Gypsy

A Little Night Music

1976

The Music Man

Damn Yankees

Jesus Christ Superstar

1975

Zorba

The Sound Of Music

Gigi

1974

I Do, I Do

Promises, Promises

1776

Follies

1973

Student Prince

Take Me Along

Naughty Marietta

Paint Your Wagon

1972

George M

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Fiddler On The Roof

1971

Hello Dolly

Brigadoon

Man Of La Mancha

1970

Little Mary Sunshine

Cabaret

Mame

1969

Once Upon A Mattress

Oklahoma!

West Side Story

1968

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Li’l Abner

South Pacific

1967

Funny Girl

How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

The King & I

1966

110 In The Shade

Oliver

Camelot

1965

My Fair Lady

Babes In Arms

The Sound Of Music

1964

Can Can

The Fantasticks

Carnival

1963

The Music Man

Gypsy

Flower Drum Song

1962

Damn Yankees

Bye Bye Birdie

Fanny

1961

Finian’s Rainbow

Kismet

Guys & Dolls

1960

Song Of Norway

Bells Are Ringing

Kiss Me Kate

1959

Most Happy Fella

Hit The Deck

The King & I

1958

Showboat

Oklahoma

The Pajama Game

1957

South Pacific

Desert Song

Die Fledermaus

1956

Brigadoon

Of Thee I Sing

Carousel

1955

Student Prince

Girl Crazy

Annie Get Your Gun

1954

Blossom Time

No, No, Nanette

A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court

1953

Chocolate Soldier

Eileen

New Moon

1952

Roberta

Firefly

Rose Marie

1951

Naughty Marietta

The Merry Widow

Desert Song

1950

The Vagabond King

Sweethearts

Naughty Marietta

1949

Sweethearts