Evening of Percussion Keeps the Beat

Evening of Percussion with the Crystal Lake Strikers wowed audiences for another sold-out show on Saturday, February 10 @ 7p at Raue Center For The Arts in Crystal Lake.

This annual local fan favorite put the spotlight on a night of music featuring the best percussion and drumming groups around! Evening of Percussion featured the performing ensembles of the Crystal Lake Strikers and some surprise guests, performers ranging in age from seven to seventy. The Strikers also award scholarships to local high school students including the Tim Althoff, William Laskey, and Aaron Shepley Memorial Scholarships.

The Crystal Lake Strikers was formed in the fall of 2007 when three area men sat in a local coffee shop imagining the possibility of forming an organization that would achieve the essential goals of providing a performing outlet for drummers of college-age and beyond as well as supporting and educating aspiring young performers. In the 15 years since, the Strikers have performed in front of millions and have created seven ensembles for area students.


Audiences on their feet for One Voice Manilow Tribute.

It was an unforgettable night of music with ONE VOICE: The Music of Barry Manilow on Sunday, February 11 @ 2pm at Raue Center For The Arts.

Pop icon Barry Manilow has an astonishing 50 chart-topping hits and Billboard Magazine ranks him as the #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all time. Mark Sanders, Broadway Actor and Recording Artist, Mark Sanders, along with his live band, brought Manilow’s music to life with powerful, yet personal, renditions of favorites including “Mandy” and “I Write the Songs.”




Mark Sanders grew up in Marion, IL, spent 15 years in NYC and now calls Fort Myers, FL his home. He has appeared in theatrical productions and concerts around the world. Mark was seen as ‘Perchik’ on the Broadway National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof opposite the great Theodore Bikel and has become a favorite soloist with the Gulf Coast Symphony, performing at the Barbara B Mann PAC in Fort Myers. He has shared the stage with Broadway stars including Sutton Foster, Stephanie J. Block, Alice Ripley, Robert Cuccioli, Beth Leavel and Andrea McArdle as well as Hollywood stars Jeff Goldblum, Ana Gasteyer, Adrienne Barbeau, Morgan Fairchild, Sally Struthers and more.

Mark garnered critically acclaimed performances from contemporary musicals such as Next to Normal, Murder Ballad (Carbonell Award), Mamma Mia!, Phantom and Jesus Christ Superstar to classics such as Carousel, My Fair Lady and Guys and Dolls. His most acclaimed performances, however, have been his solo concerts. His soaring tenor voice and connection with audiences have given him a following across the United States for which he is both honored and humbled.


McHenry Chamber Auditions for Murder Mystery March 27th!

We are excited to host our third McHenry Murder Mystery event on October 7.  This year’s event is Alice in Wonderland themed!  Right now, we are looking for Chamber member “actors” to play the roles of our suspects and witnesses.

  • If chosen as a suspect, you will dress in character for a quick headshot and record an interrogation room video that our participants will watch the day of the event.
  • If chosen as a witness, you will dress in character the day of the event at one of the business stops where the participants will interact with you to reveal a clue.

Auditions will take place during the week of March 27.  If you are interested in auditioning, please CLICK HERE to fill out the google form.

If you have any questions, please contact Molly at 815-385-4300 or molly@mchenrychamber.com.

Click here for more information on the event.

Best-selling author Sheila Glazov reveals her Invisible Gift.

Why is Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift such a valuable book for children?

My book is valuable for children because it is a timely and timeless story. 

In the tumultuous world we are living in, I believe Princess Shayna is an invaluable book to help children to navigate and steady themselves when they feel the world has been turned upside down. 

The universal lessons within Princess Shayna are critical! Children learn how to demonstrate respect, acceptance, and compassion for others, who may look or live in a manner that is different than theirs, and who might have a dissimilar perspective, feelings, behavior, and/or intention. They also discover how to effectively communicate and harmoniously work together and tear down walls that have been built around themselves in their classroom, home, and/or community.  

My book also helps children learn how to deal with life’s triumphs and tragedies. It is bibliotherapy, which is an effective teaching tool for children to learn how to express empathy by relating to the story’s characters and feeling that their personal problems are less threatening. 


Why did you write Princess Shayna’s Invisible Gift?

I wrote this fairy tale version of my What Color Is Your Brain?® book because I knew children and adults could easily relate to a fairy tale because it speaks to the heart and soul of the child within all of us. As a mother, grandmother, and educator I believe that every child deserves to feel loved, safe, encouraged, and confident within a trustworthy home, school, and community environment!

The story confirms that life can present difficulties, but with healthy self-esteem and a loving, trustworthy, and encouraging environment, individuals can courageously overcome life’s obstacles and change those challenges into opportunities.

I know it is crucial to acknowledge, explain, and teach every child that: “No one is perfect. You do not have to be perfect to be loved. Not even Princess Shayna is perfect; the princess has Type 1 Diabetes.” This message also is meaningful to children and adults who face physical, mental, educational, or social challenges in their lives.


What is your personal back story of Princess Shayna?

My back story began when I attended a Creative Problem Solving Institute conference. After my certification class, I relaxed by going to a story-telling class. The instructor told us to select one of the Renaissance scenes that were taped on the classroom walls and feel free to write about what we saw. I selected one of a princess in a forest and began writing. I could not stop writing because of the creative flow in my brain felt like a tidal wave.

When I returned home, I told my husband Jordan about my experience, and he encouraged me to continue writing my story. As I continued the creative process, I realized that my writing was autobiographical. It was a joy to bring my beloved family members into the story and incorporate copious details from my childhood. It is said that authors often write from their soul, and I was! 


What is the “Invisible Visible Gift”?

The “Invisible Visible Gift” is the gift of self-esteem. It is invisible when you give it to 

someone, but visible upon them when receiving it. King Alexander and Queen Sylvia nurtured their daughter in a loving and secure environment; in which they were able to give Princess Shayna that gift that she would share with the villagers of the Kingdom of Kindness, while on her Vision Quest.

To give and receive the “Invisible Visible Gift,” there must be a high level of trust (openness and sharing of ideas and belonging) and trustworthiness (expressing a sense of cooperation, support, and acceptance) between the gift giver and the receiver. 


At what age can children begin to enjoy Princess Shayna?

Parents and teachers can begin reading Princess Shayna to their children and students when they are in kindergarten, or when it is apparent the child is mature enough to understand the story. 

Since the book is a chapter book that includes the Gift Giver Guide questions, at the end of each chapter, older children can read a portion of a chapter or complete a chapter, depending on their attention span. The Gift Givers Guide can be utilized when it seems appropriate for the readers and /or listeners.

To keep younger children’s interest in the story, I encourage teachers and parents to only read a few pages at a time and then talk about the messages within the storyline. I also encourage parents to read the book first. Then they can also use the Gift Giver’s Guide as a picture book to elaborate on the pictures and questions depending on the child’s age. 

I designed the book so children could personalize the pages by coloring the beautifully detailed black and white illustrations. 

Girls easily relate to Princess Shayna as a strong, courageous, and independent heroine. But boys enjoy reading it to!

Matthew – “I really love this book because instead of the princess being captured or kidnapped, she is very brave and she’s the hero of the book and she saves the Kingdom of Kindness from Meevillain’s Cloud of Chaos. I really love that about this book. It is amazing!


Kevin – “I am orange. My brother is like a boy Meevillain. Your book is the best. I am going to buy it one day. If you are only one color, you must be dull!”


Brian – “Your book teaches kids about the different kinds of people. That is a good idea. I like it is that we sit together because I made a new friend.”


Jeremy – “I think that the value of Princess Shayna is learning how to be responsible for the changes in your life, how to respect people who are different than you are, and be nice to other people, even when there are obstacles in your life.”