The Music Man Square is owned and operated by the Mason City Foundation, a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and it is governed by a volunteer board of directors.
The Music Man Square is not owned by the City of Mason City and the residents do not pay tax dollars to support it. All of the money earned by or donated to a not-for-profit organization is used in pursuing the organization's mission and keeping it running.
How to Help Music Man Square
As a non-profit organization we don’t receive any tax dollars for support, we must rely on donations and memberships. Help out by becoming a Sustaining Member today!
Mason City's Native Son
Robert Meredith Willson
Born in Mason City, IA on May 18, 1902, he is best remembered for his Broadway Musical “The Music Man” for which he wrote the script, lyrics, and music. Willson also wrote two other musicals, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and “Here’s Love”.
From a young age, Meredith Willson had an immensely successful career in the music and entertainment industry. He started playing the flute and piccolo in the Mason City High School Band, and went on to attend Damrosch Institute in New York (now Julliard). At age 19, he joined the John Philip Sousa Band playing first flute and went on to join The Philharmonic Society of New York (New York Philharmonic Orchestra) in 1924.
After playing in the Philharmonic, he worked in radio and the film industry, where he created radio programs and composed many pieces of music including film score for Charlie Chaplin’s first “talkie” movie, The Great Dictator (1940). His song “You and I” was the number one song for 19 weeks in 1941. Meredith Willson won many awards for his works including the first Grammy, 8 Tony Awards, and an Academy Award. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan. His compositions included marches, pieces for flute, 2 full-length symphonies, and over 300 songs.
The Mason City Foundation’s Mission:
- To cultivate and support efforts to enrich the cultural environment
of the community
The Music Man Square’s Mission:
- To promote, preserve and showcase the legacy of Meredith Willson, Mason City native and composer of “The Music Man”
- To promote music, music education, and to serve as a center for music events in the community
The Mason City Foundation Board of Directors
Dalena Barz - President
Ann Beasley - Vice President
Jon Prebeck - Treasurer
G.Conn McKercher – Board Member