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Kaneland Connection: Seventh-grader's concert to benefit Kaneland Arts Initiative

ELBURN – Bailey Cates has performed at numerous recitals and concert events, but the 12-year-old Elburn resident admits she’s a bit nervous about an event coming up on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday, she is performing a solo concert, with proceeds to benefit the Kaneland Arts Initiative.

She will be playing two instruments – guitar and piano – and will feature songs from several genres, including classical, jazz and pop.

It will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at Da Capo Music Studio, 140 E. Route 38, Elburn. It is expected to last an hour.

She said the reason she’s a bit nervous is that the seventh-grader at Kaneland Harter Middle School will be in the spotlight at the event, and “since it’s just me, if I make a mistake, it’s all on me.”

But she expects that she will have friends in the audience and is looking forward to it. She’s aiming to raise at least $1,000 for KAI. There will be no fee charged for admittance, but a donation will be accepted, with proceeds going to KAI.

Her mother, Deanna Cates, said her daughter has been playing the piano since age 5, and then added guitar in third grade and jazz guitar in sixth grade.

Bailey Cates also plays trumpet.

“I’m just a proud mom,” Deanna Cates said.

She said Bailey Cates likely looked to add the new instruments as a result of her training at Da Capo, which features co-owners Ben Westfall and Kristin Paxinos.

Westfall works with guitarists, and Paxinos provides piano instruction. Both will be at Sunday’s concert and will accompany the featured performer on some songs.

Westfall said Bailey Cates will perform as many as 20 songs at the concert. He said it is the first time Da Capo has featured a solo event.

“This is different for us,” he said. “We’re used to having a recital where we might have 12 performers. … We’re used to throwing an event or a concert, but we have just not done it with only one student. Hopefully, it’s the first of many.”

For information, call 630-777-2955 or email

Saving a spot

The annual Elburn Days festival begins Friday, with the big kickoff event of the annual parade, which starts at 6 p.m. on Route 47 in downtown Elburn.

Each year, it’s common to find items such as chairs, tables and barricades used to reserve a prime viewing spot for the parade. But at a board meeting after last year’s festival, Village President Dave Anderson warned that such items are dangerous when they are left on sidewalks, and he vowed to have them removed if they were to be set up this year.

Asked last week whether that still was the case for this year’s festival, Anderson reiterated that sidewalks should not be blocked, especially in the area of Route 47 that stretches from Shannon Street, south to the railroad tracks.

He said if he sees any such items there, “I’ll do what I did last year. I’ll move them. … It’s just good common sense.”

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at

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