Do you have what it takes?


Do you have what it takes?

It's perfectly natural to dream big, but I often asked myself that very same question--do I have what it takes?

I was working full-time as a receptionist/secretary/office supply room monitor, and going to business school at night. As I typed letters for the President, I wondered how he got his company to grow to what it had become--he had to have started somewhere.

More importantly, I wondered if I could ever do that.

Did I have it in me to be an entrepreneur--because it takes a certain kind of personality, you know? Could I start something as big as Starbucks or Apple? I could almost hear my Mother tell me she had "no intention of bursting my bubble, but to become a fashion model, you need to be at least like ten feet tall," and I, unfortunately, was what the kids called me in grade school, "just a shrimp." Terrific.

Fast forward many years, and I did in fact open my own business. I had a crazy idea that I didn't know would work, and just rented a vacant storefront in downtown Woodstock in the middle of a very bad recession. I remember the landlord handing me the keys and basically said "good luck, and don't forget to pay the rent." 

Six years later I'm hosting another chamber mixer, and I catch myself telling the Mayor that one day I'm going to have locations all over the place, and that right now, I'm just getting my feet wet. It's exciting that the business' story will start with opening the first storefront on the lovely square in Woodstock, IL...across from the Farmer's Market...the same way Starbucks opened their first location by Pike Place Market in Seattle. 

It's so real in my mind, I can practically see it. 

But it's not there yet, by any means.

I can tell you this though.

I opened a second store in McHenry in September 2016, and in just 6 months, the location is doing just as good, if not better than the Woodstock store. 

Why is this good news?

Because it means it can be repeated. Over and over. In a variety of hometowns. 

It also means that all the hours, tears, and money I've invested in this dream will one day return the gift a gazillion fold, and I can finally say to myself...yes, kiddo, you do have what it takes.

And so do you! 

When people ask what the mixin mingle brand is all about, I want to look at them with a straight face and say it's a playground for people who refuse to push the snooze button one more time in life.

If you are someone who has ideas bursting through every vein, and the guts to go out and make it happen, then we invite you to join us, because you will be right at home here.

See you soon!
Naté @ mm
Chief Troublemaker


McHenry Party and Event Space


McHenry Party and Event Space

First it was Woodstock. Now, we've taken over McHenry. Next stop... the world! 

Mixin Mingle is party central - the event venue for affordable and unique celebrations of every kind. Choose your own decorations, food, drinks, and entertainment. 

Our rental space can be used for private and public events of all kinds, including: 

  • Baby showers
  • Baptisms
  • Bridal showers
  • Dances
  • Family reunions
  • Farewell/Bon Voyage parties
  • Fundraisers
  • Graduation parties
  • Holiday parties
  • Mixers
  • Musical performances
  • Pop-up shops
  • Professional training or seminars
  • Retirement parties 
  • Weddings - ceremonies and/or receptions
  • Workshops

Fun, funky, elegant, professional... whatever your style, Mixin Mingle is a perfect fit. Call 815-308-5170 now to schedule your next event at our new McHenry location or our Woodstock location


Get Poppin'!


Get Poppin'!

We love pop-up shops at Mixin Mingle. We love helping local creatives, business people, and entrepreneurs cultivate their business. We love welcoming the community for shopping, services, and socializing. 

And now, we love to offer a brand new way to plan your pop-up store with Mixin Mingle. Schedule a weekly weekday pop-up store offering your products or services and pay a commission split rather than a rental fee. 

Interested? Give us a call or fill out the online pop-up store application

Mixin Mingle


New year, new look at Mixin Mingle in Woodstock


New year, new look at Mixin Mingle in Woodstock

The end of a year can make you feel worn down, tattered, and maybe even torn up.

In fact, that's how we felt about our Woodstock venue at the end of 2016, so we decided it was time for a remodel. We changed the wall and lighting treatments, updated the kitchen and bathrooms, and threw on a fresh coat of paint throughout.

Now the new year has Mixin Mingle feeling larger, brighter, and refreshed, and more ready than ever to host every kind of event imaginable. 

This is the perfect time to book your "new you" event at Mixin Mingle. Celebrate a major life event, host a workshop or performance, or throw a big bash just because. 


The secret is to find your passion


The secret is to find your passion

People ask me all the time how I came up with the idea for Mixin Mingle.

It’s such a long story, how it all went down.

I can tell you I felt lost nearly all of my childhood and into my adult life. I didn’t know what I was really good at, or how I could find my place in this world.

Other people seemed to have their answers, and their lives appeared to be in control. I really wanted what they had, but more than anything, I wanted to find my passion, so I went looking for it at work, at school, at home, wherever. I started thinking I was just getting really good at checking things off my life to-do list, but none of it made me feel alive.

I decided to see a therapist to help me sort things out, but this doctor didn’t treat me like any other expert I had seen before (hours upon hours of talking = problem still unresolved). Instead, this doctor used hypnosis and worked to help me go within and to release what was blocking me at the subconscious level.

I consider what he did for me nothing short of a miracle, because my answers came to me one day as I was standing in my kitchen doing dishes. How mundane is that by the way?!? Dishes. Of all things....
Anyhow, I knew right away good things were happening because all these ideas started to flood my mind, and I suddenly felt this huge burst of energy and a deep certainty that I needed to get started and create it right away (time was ticking, ya know).

So I just went and did it--just like everyone else who I had seen blindly following their passion.
I never considered myself capable of being an entrepreneur, but today I marvel at the fact that I created a business from scratch--that the idea came from inside of me, and it wasn’t just some cheap knock-off I copied from someone somewhere else (trust me, I googled the matter for days in disbelief it didn’t exist yet).
The path to getting here has been a thrill ride with plenty of highs and lows, but I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Opening a business is terrifying. But when you’re doing it because you are following your passion and have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself, nobody will be able to stop you.
We believe everyone should have the opportunity to have a platform to share their gifts.

We like to work with people who are driven to turn their dreams into reality. If you're one of them, then let's work together and use this space as a creative outlet for all that pent up magic you have inside.  

To get started, call us at 1-815-308-5170, or visit our website

We can’t wait to see what you do here.

Naté Grindeland, Founder
Mixin Mingle 


Just enjoy the ride


Just enjoy the ride

So here we are entering the last half of 2015. The first half blew by pretty fast, didn't it?

We started 2015 with a commitment to ride out the year without knowing what was going to happen, and to remember to smile. To trust that whale knew what it was doing, where it was taking us, and to just go with the flow.

That's really tough some days. Really tough.

We never know what's going to happen at Mixin Mingle. Everything is always up in the air, always changing. It's exhilarating, yet challenging.

But the key question is, did we smile?

The answer is yes.

We got to smile every time we saw someone sparkle because they did something that made them proud of themselves. We got to see them work hard planning and preparing. We got to see it all come together beautifully, making a huge impression on guests. We got to see it all come apart, the event wrap up, and everyone go home exhausted, but feeling on cloud 9.

That's the fun part about this work. Being able to see everything that comes and goes--from every walk of life--it's simply magical. 

Thank you for making this year so great!

Please keep coming back, and check out what's coming up for an even better half of 2015.

Mixin Mingle


Love love


Love love

We all need to give and receive support now and again. It's a critical component in relationships with friends, relatives, co-workers, partners, and the community as a whole.

Truth be told, we love to be showered with kindness, and it makes us want to do the same in return (you know, in a Pay it Forward kind of way).

Here's an example. A few days ago, we shared a promotional photo on our Facebook page and noticed some very dear friends started re-sharing it to their connections.

We see these kinds of things happening regularly in our circle of friends, which leads us to believe, that despite news to the contrary, this world really is filled with good people, doing good things to help those they care about.

It isn't easy fighting to create something you believe in. The amount of time and money it takes alone is enough to put most people over the edge. But the world isn't falling apart, and everything is going to be okay.

The people who have become our friends over the years really matter to us, and we just want to tell them thanks for providing the love and support we need to keep trucking. It never goes unnoticed. :)

Mixin Mingle


“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” Dorothy Parker


“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” Dorothy Parker

We like curious people.

It's becoming easier these days to spot them.

They are the go-to people in the community, have impeccable style, and appreciate the finer things in life. They immerse their senses with unique activities, music, food and drink. They have the low-down on the town's best kept secrets and feel good sharing what they love with others.

They never complain about being bored, because they're usually on the move (unless they're meditating).

To be taken curiously, one doesn't have to travel to Fiji or become a wine and cheese connoisseur, you just have take time out to explore. 

Woodstock alone is filled with some of the finest specialty shops and family-owned businesses, and there are very few places with as much charm. We are proud to reserve a storefront on our historic town square for curious minds to connect and explore.

This month marks a turning point as we endeavor to introduce new offerings and expand beyond our own gates. We look forward to watching the year unfold together.


Now we know why they call these moments "precious"


Now we know why they call these moments "precious"

You could say we got lucky over the weekend.

A surprise birthday party came to us with an out-of-the-box theme: casino night. Poker, black jack, and roulette tables were set up in honor of the birthday boy who has a passion for winning. The room was decorated to the nines. Everything was in place when suddenly someone whispered, “HE’S HERE!” Everyone immediately ran to the giant windows, opened the curtains, and yelled “SURPRISE!”

The look on his face was priceless--and the time his family spent with the secret planning, hiding of decorations, and trying to keep it on the down low--seemed totally worth it!

We have never had our space turned into a fabulous pseudo-casino like this before, and we will cherish the memories for years to come.

At Mixin Mingle, the possibilities are endless. You can literally have any theme for an event and turn it into something amazing. Whether it’s zombies, Lord of the Rings (if hobbits are invited, please ask them to wear shoes), 80’s or a gazillion other ideas, you can make your lucky guests feel so special.

Just give us a call at 1-815-308-5170, and we can put your plans in motion.


We know you like to have fun


We know you like to have fun

Permission granted.

Have you ever called a place to book their venue only to find the list of things youcouldn't do was actually way longer then the list of things you could do? And minutes after the fun police racked up your bill you thought to yourself -- "maybe we'll just squeeze everybody in to our house so we can do what we want and save a bundle while we're at it." 

We get it. It really isn't fair. Rules, schmules.

That's why we made Mixin Mingle FUN, and we define that as Festive, Unique, and Near-to-your-heart.

What does fun consist of? Well…parties for one. But not just any party. One that you can plan without the long list of don'ts. We give you the space, and you have the freedom to bring your creative ideas to life. 

Parties aren’t the only thing to get the fun juices flowing. Mixin Mingle is home to a variety of events like fundraisers, mixers, and even pop-up markets that can cause a surge in happiness. Anyone can come to an event here, or you can host your own. (Pinky promise: both are guaranteed to deliver a huge amount of the “feel-goods.")

With the year zooming by and the calendar filling up quickly, don't forget to schedule in some fun time. Experiment with a new recipe, learn a new craft, or take time to do something humbling for yourself.

We’ve got your back.


Let's Get Jiggy With It.


Let's Get Jiggy With It.

We love a good reason to reminisce on 90's rap songs by Will Smith.

Anyone know what happened to January?

Um, what does that have to do with Will Smith, or the 90's for that matter?

Realistically? Probably nothing, but here goes.

Stop and think for a moment how quickly January has zipped by, and how the 90's, while it may feel like yesterday, actually happened more than fifteen years ago. Time just seems to have a mind of its own!

But knowing what we know now, don't you think we would have savored each moment a bit longer, and tried to pack in as much fun as possible?

We wouldn't have cared so much what people thought we should be doing with our lives--we would have just been ourselves--completely content with finding our own way and exploring every opportunity life presented.

Want to know our recommendation for enjoying every minute?

Do what you love. If you don't know what you love, find out.

How do you find out?

Try new things. Explore. Insist on time for you. Find people and places that make you feel energized and support your journey.

The answers will be there.

And don't forget, you are always welcome here. 

We would love to see you for parties, events, classes, meetings, etcetera.


Goodbye. (Almost.)


Goodbye. (Almost.)

Sayonara 2014. Can't wait to see the surprises in store for 2015!


It's a new year, and that's always exciting.

Pick your palette, paint your year.

2014 was a breath of fresh air, but 2015 is making room for a whole new scene!

What's going to be different? 

It's going to be filled with surprises.

People love surprises, and so do we.

Families, businesses and charities are putting their personal stamp here by planning fun events, parties, meetings, classes, or whatever else will breathe life into an empty room--how cool is that?

The future looks promising, so we do plan to continue forward, to make improvements, and to expand. It's good to have goals, to put one foot in front of the other, to enjoy the ride, and most importantly--to smile. :)

Smiles are contagious, and we invite you!


Have a mile long ta-da list?


Have a mile long ta-da list?

Superhero kid

Ever have Ta-Da Moments?

They're the times when you feel a sense of pride because of something you've accomplished.

They can be little things like finishing ALL of the laundry (if that's even possible), or big things like graduating from college with a degree.

We work hard to achieve our goals, and we deserve a pat on the back for pursuing them to fruition.

Have any ta-da moments you're proud of?  We want to hear about them! Tell us in the comments below.

We also have a few ta-das up our sleeve too, from the people who host community events here.

Here Goes: Ta-Da!



Party and Event Hall Woodstock IL

Mixin Mingle is a great place to host private parties.  Choose everything for your party from the food, drinks, decorations, and entertainment. You can rent our space for:

  • Birthday Parties
  • Baby Showers
  • Bridal Showers
  • Baptisms
  • Family Get-togethers
  • Dances
  • Mixers
  • Reunions
  • Celebrations
  • Graduations
  • Receptions
  • Farewells
  • Weddings
  • Holiday Dinners
  • & More!


Interview with "What's Up Woodstock?"

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Interview with "What's Up Woodstock?"

Whats Up Woodstock

There are some great things happening in Woodstock, and a lot of people are coming together to fill the town with community spirit. One that is near and dear to us is What's Up Woodstock, a Facebook page and blog started by a girl who grew up in Woodstock, and it connects the community with the area's activities. The creator recently asked us to do an interview, and wrote this for us.

The complete interview is pasted below.

1. What made you decide to run Mixin Mingle?

Ever since I entered the workforce, I always wondered if I had what it would take to open a business. Back then, I was always looking to achieve the next milestone in my career and education. I thought to myself, “if I could only learn more skills”, or, “if I could get the right job or promotion (i.e., make more money)”, then maybe I’ll be “happy” or feel like I’m “enough”.  I was very frustrated in my career even though I was making great money. I spent 8 hours a day in a cubicle staring at a computer screen waiting for life to happen, waiting for life to become exciting. I was extremely bored and started daydreaming all the time about my dream business. I had just finished my Professional MBA at Northern IL University in Hoffman Estates. As part of the program our group was supposed to meet once a week to work on our projects and sometimes we needed to practice our presentations. This is where I began to identify how difficult it was to find a meeting space.  We ended up having meetings in a conference room of a library, or at Panera, or at a team member’s home or work. It was very hard to find a place that worked well for all our needs.

Then, I decided to have my graduation party and again found how difficult it was to find a room to have a party where we could bring our own food and drinks, have a DJ and alcohol. We ended up using a clubhouse at a condo association because it was affordable and could fit a lot of people. But we had to know someone to get in there.

A few months later, my longtime boyfriend and I decided we wanted to marry because we were expecting our first child.  I looked everywhere for an affordable place to have a decent wedding.  We didn’t belong to a church, and I really wanted to have our ceremony and party in the same place. We ended up getting married in the banquet room upstairs at Pirro’s.

In August 2010, a few months after giving birth to my son, I came down with a severe case of postpartum depression and was hospitalized at Centegra. During my stay there and in the outpatient program, they had a series of activities to help patients get well. There was everything from fitness to arts and crafts to music. I realized then that I needed to incorporate these activities regularly in my life.

Shortly after returning to work from the medical leave I was laid off from my job. My world turned upside down and I knew that finding a new job in the recession would not be easy.  At the time, I was seeing a doctor who was treating me using clinical hypnosis. One of the things I asked him to do was help me figure out if I should start a business. He said he could and he asked me to write down what I liked doing and what my skills were. I told him I wanted to use my skills in marketing to help small businesses. I also wanted to have a fun job that would work with the lifestyle I wanted to have. The best I could come up with at the time was to be an independent consultant, but I knew small businesses really wouldn’t have the funds to hire me. So he set the intention during one of our sessions that the idea would just come to me one day.

Well, that day came when I was standing in my kitchen putting dishes away. All of the sudden I was flooded with ideas because it dawned on me that in the last few months I went to all these different places to do different things. I went to a yoga studio for a meditation workshop, I went to a fitness center for a Weight Watchers class, I went to a church for an event with many classes, I went to a library for a cooking class, I went to a historic building to see a small play, I went to the Racetrack for an expo, and I went to Starbucks for a committee meeting. I realized I was going all of these places to do all these things and I saw no reason they couldn’t all happen in the same location. It was the perfect job for me. I was so excited that I told Steve (my husband) that I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

That motivation was powerful enough to lead me to take that leap of faith and dive head first into starting a company.

2. When did you open the shop?

We officially opened our doors on Thursday, May 5th, 2011. It was Cinco de Mayo. I had my friend Tracy Walker come and teach a Hatha Yoga and Meditation class. Nobody from the public came, but my family, friends and husband showed up. Someone was looking in the window at what we were doing so I went outside to talk to her. She said she would come if we did a Zumba class. So I found a Zumba instructor and people started coming for Zumba. That’s how I got my first real customers.

3. Have you had any help?

My family and friends have helped support my venture as much as possible. Plus every customer, instructor and event planner has helped shape the business and has worked hard to help it grow.  My business suffered three disasters over the years with two floods and a car crash. People in the community were a huge help during those difficult times.

4. What are you most proud of?

Every time there are people I don’t know in the space who are there for a class or event, it makes the hair on my arms stand up. Or when people say what a great idea they think it is. Because when I first started out, I had no idea what I was doing and frankly I felt stupid putting myself out there this way.

5. What is your favorite event to be a part of?

I think I’m the only person who has been to every single event, and for the most part, they’ve all been special in their own way. I am a person who likes variety and I have a short attention span, so I want my business to be a place that attracts popular activities.

6. What's the craziest thing you've seen or been a part of with mixin mingle?

Hands down it was the Homestuck party. Hundreds of young people came dressed in costumes and threw a dance party.

7. What are your goals with mixin mingle?

Long term, I want to create a repeatable and profitable business model in order to bring the concept to other places. Short term, I would like to fill the empty space with activities. I am also working finding other businesses that can make use the space to offer great public events.

8. Do you feel like you've been successful so far? Why?

From a buzz building standpoint, it’s certainly been successful. It’s hard for businesses to get people to visit their space and to get people talking about them. We have so many different people hosting and planning events and they are spreading the word for us. The more people who see the room and feel at home here, the better our chances they will think of us or recommend us in the future.

9. What is one thing you want to do with mixin mingle you have not done yet?

I always thought it would be cool if a big brand came in to do a pop-up store or event.

10. Is there anything else you feel we should know about you or the business?

We are one of the most open and flexible companies around and feel that we can accomplish more through partnerships than we could by ourselves. We like putting other people and businesses in the spotlight to connect them with the community.  We can learn so much from each other and help each other succeed. If anyone reading this has the inkling they might like to try something entrepreneurial or out of the box, we urge them to contact us because we provide a low risk mechanism to do just that.

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A Place to Shine Music Songwriter Showcase Featured in PlanIt Northwest


A Place to Shine Music Songwriter Showcase Featured in PlanIt Northwest

A Place to Shine Music
This has been copied and pasted from the PlanIt Northwest site. Click here to go to original article on PlanIt Northwest.
January 30, 2014 • 09:27:10 a.m.

Aspiring songwriters showcase original music at Woodstock venue


Jim Green performs during the Songwriters Showcase at Mixin Mingle Friday in Woodstock. Cassandra Vohs-Demann owner of A Place To Shine Music studio on the Square, has started a monthly showcase to "bring Nashville to Woodstock," said Vohs-Demann. (Kyle Grillot –

Songwriter Showcase

WHEN: Third Friday of every month. Next showcase is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21.

WHERE: Mixin Mingle, 124 Cass St., Woodstock

INFO: To take part or for information, call 847-507-1352 or visit or

The hardest thing for a songwriter can sometimes be finding someone to listen.

Once a month in a quiet room on the Woodstock Square, a crowd gathers to do just that.

"This is my divorce angst song," Tim Merkel said after stepping up to the microphone, his guitar in hand. "It's pretty self-explanatory, an analogy to a house falling apart."

All eyes are on him as he strums and sings his creation.

Merkel ( was one of three performers on a recent Friday night invited to take part in a relatively new Songwriter Showcase hosted by Cassandra Vohs-Demann and A Place To Shine Music, the training program she runs for singers, songwriters, educators and artists.

A singer/songwriter herself who also performed that night, Vohs-Demann has brought in local and regional songwriters since October in an effort to promote original music and accentuate the art scene in McHenry County.

"I'm trying to bring Nashville to Woodstock," she said.

The Songwriter Showcase takes place the third Friday of every month at Mixin Mingle, 124 Cass St., Woodstock. The next showcase is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21. Admission is $7.

Songwriters take turns performing their original songs, often relaying the story behind them. Audience members laughed, then tapped their toes and nodded their heads as Jim Green ( shared his "Boxcar Man" song about a hobo jumping a train.

"It's not often a lot of us get to play to a very attentive crowd," he said.

Using his guitar as both a drum and a string instrument, he also played the harmonica.

He'd thought of the song while listening to an old cassette of "train songs" created by harmonica players, he told the crowd. The songs actually sounded like trains on a track.

"I thought the idea behind that was interesting, so I tried to translate it to guitar," he said.

Another song told the story of a man trying to jump a train with a time-sensitive freight, or a "hot shot," Green said.

"If you get on one of those, you'd better hang on because you're in for a ride," he said.

Behind the piano, Vohs-Demann's songs told a different story, one written for her niece's wedding, another for stressed women everywhere.

"No Time to Cry" is about how women tend to overextend themselves, she told the crowd.

"All of a sudden you wake up one day and say, 'Man, I'm a mess. I hate everybody. Nobody loves me,' " she said with a bit of a laugh. "You get overwhelmed, and I think sometimes we give so much we forget we need to refuel. I'm a better giver if I'm fueling myself."

Vohs-Demann performs often throughout the area, and her CD "Here I Am" is available on iTunes and elsewhere. Through her own songs, her studio and now the Songwriter Showcase, she follows the mission statement, "Believe in what is possible. . . "

Those who know her, have worked with her and attended the showcase admire her effort to bring the community together through music.

"She wants to let the community experience the wonderful artists right in our backyard. That's her goal," said Flora McIntyre of Woodstock, who attended the recent showcase. McIntyre's daughter, Alayna DeVar, has worked with Vohs-Demann as a voice instructor.

Vohs-Demann said she'd love to draw in as many diverse artists to the showcase as possible from all over the country.

"We hope to get the word out and fill the place," she said.


2014: A Dreamy New Year Workshop Hosted by Toni McLellan


2014: A Dreamy New Year Workshop Hosted by Toni McLellan

Dreamy New Year 2014 Vision Board Workshop

We are absolutely PUMPED about 2014 after participating in the Dreamy New Year Workshop hosted by Toni McLellan Coaching.  It was a really fun exercise and it was perfect timing because it is a NEW YEAR, and we are eager to make this year even MO BETTA' than the last. Toni started off the workshop with a brief intro about herself and sharing her tried and true methods for setting goals. Then, she turned the tables on the group to share more about themselves. We went around in a circle, spilling our dreams and aspirations, as well as our personal struggles. It was inspiring and comforting to hear everyone share openly to complete strangers. At the end of the sharing, Toni brought us over to the tables filled with vision board goodies. She brought everything from magazines, scissors, decorating materials and glue.

Vision Board Set-Up2

We each grabbed a blank board and began to clip pictures or text that we wanted to paste to our vision boards. Toni encouraged us to choose a word and a color to start.

Toni McLellan

After a little while, we posed for a picture with our visions for our fresh New Year. Excited to see it unfold. :)

Completed Vision Boards


McHenry County Workforce Pairs up with A Place to Shine Music to host a Youth Event


McHenry County Workforce Pairs up with A Place to Shine Music to host a Youth Event

A Place to Shine Music

We had some special guests recently--high school students from the McHenry County Youth Workforce Program traveled the Woodstock square and stopped at several locations to learn a variety of life skills from businesses. A Place to Shine Music hosted the group to teach participants about music, rhythm, and finding one's way through life. It was an hour long, interactive exercise with learning and singing.

A Place to Shine Music

A Place to Shine Music