What do “American Idol” and central Illinois music programs have in common? Springfield singer-songwriter Elizabeth Eckert, who is an American Idol Hollywood round finalist from season seven, will perform her Midwestern music, assisting area school music programs along the way.

Eckert will perform in Springfield at Samuel Music Co., a full-service retail music company. The company will hold a free block party at its Effingham and Springfield stores. All proceeds from party food sold will go toward area school music programs.

Liz Emmerich, regional manager of Samuel Music Co. says the food fundraiser is a great way to support music within the schools with a “mission to engage the community through music.”

Those who attend the Effingham party are also encouraged to wear clothing with their school’s logo. The three schools with the largest number of attendees will receive funds for their school’s music program.

In addition to local band performances, the parties will also include carnival-style stations for musical activities like piano painting, and even a music Olympics competition.

The event at the Springfield Samuel Music store, at 3730 Wabash Ave., is open to the public and will include a meet and greet with Elizabeth Eckert beginning at 5 p.m. on Aug. 26. Eckert will also perform in the store at 5:30 p.m., with a CD-signing following at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.samuelmusic.com.

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