PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The state’s top student musicians and music educators are in Peoria for a week of band, chorus, orchestra, and jazz.

The Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) Conference is taking place at the Peoria Civic Center through Saturday. The event brings students and educators together to inspire each other and learn new ideas about music.

“It’s so exciting. The vibe and the energy and the joy that everyone has brought to the Civic Center and Peoria this weekend has been wonderful,” said ILMEA Executive Director Darcy Nendza. She said more than 10,000 students and educators are taking part in the conference.

According to Discover Peoria, the conference will bring more than $15 million in economic impact to the region.

“Our hotel block is from Morton all the way out past Grand Prairie,” Nendza quipped.

She said it is great to be back after missing the last couple of years.

“Last year was really difficult not being able to be here together. We’ve been in Peoria for over 30 years, and to not have IMEC in Peoria was heartbreaking. But now we’re back, we’re here, and it’s wonderful,” said Nendza.

Kelsy Martin, marketing manager at Peoria Civic Center, said it is wonderful to be able to bring back the long-standing conference.

“Just to be able to bring that back, you know it was gone last year because of everything going on in the world, so to have everybody back in an annual event like we had before is fantastic,” she said.

Nendza also stressed the importance of music education in schools.

“It brings such a key component to their education, and we need the public’s support so that school boards and school districts continue to support the arts, and arts education in schools,” she said.

All-State Jazz performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

All-State Grand Finale Concert and Honors Grand Finale Concert are on Saturday, the final day of the conference.

Concerts are open to the public, and masks are required at the Peoria Civic Center,