Arts & Entertainment

Rockford Aces present annual charity concert

June 5, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Aces are celebrating their fifth successful year with their annual Charity Concert on Thursday, May 30 at 7pm in the RHS Auditorium. The twelve men of the Rockford Aces, all members of the RHS Choirs, will perform a wide variety of popular and classical music, including music from their two CDs. Additionally, they will welcome  alumni, surprise guests, and the singing men from both Rockford middle schools. A special performance by Aces alum Bill Davidson on piano will be the first in a planned series of distinguished alumni performances. The Aces, directed by Jed Scott, have had an outstanding year, including top ratings at festival, a CD release in December, their orchestral premiere with the Battle Creek Symphony, and a featured performance at Herman’s Boy’s Grillapalooza. They are less than a year removed from their acclaimed performances at the 2012 World Choir Games, where they earned two silver medals and were the top American ensemble in the Young Male Choirs category. Admission to the concert is free, however they suggest a $5/person donation to support the cause they have selected. This year, all proceeds will go to support the arts in Chicago Harper High School, a severely challenged inner-city high school recently featured on NPR’s This American Life. Following the concert, the Aces will celebrate the end of the 2012-13 performance year with an ice cream social for all who attend.

Rogue River Artists’ Association and Epic Coffee House collaborate to provide new exhibition space

May 23, 2013 // 0 Comments

Members of the Rogue River Artists’ Association recently installed a hanging system for two-dimensional art on the interior south brick wall of Epic Coffee House, 9 N. Main Street, downtown Rockford. Diana Sorensen, new owner of Epic Coffee House, suggested that the local non-profit artist’s organization utilize the space to exhibit member’s work. Only members of the Rogue River Artists’ Association are eligible to exhibit with plans for one or two artists at a time displaying their work for 30 days. The opening exhibition, on display now, features Lila Harmon, Vice-President of the organization. Harmon is a landscape watercolor artist painting West Michigan landscapes, lighthouses, and seascapes. She lives in the Rockford area. Sorensen and Mary Myszka, President of Rogue River Artists’ Association agree that promoting the arts in the Rockford area will serve to showcase the many talented individuals here as well as building greater interest in the downtown area and creating opportunities for economic development. “The Rogue River Artists’ Association offers something for everyone interested in the arts,” says Myszka. “Currently we’re working with the Rockford Area Arts Commission in hopes of someday establishing a permanent arts center in the area. Meanwhile, Diana is providing us with a beautiful venue to showcase works by our many talented members.”          

Rockford Chamber Singers perform at prestigious recital

May 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

It’s the highest honor a high school vocal ensemble can receive in Michigan: to perform at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF). And once again this year, Rockford Choirs will be represented at the MSVMA Solo & Ensemble Recital on May 10. The Rockford Chamber Singers, directed by Mandy Mikita Scott, earned this honor by receiving top scores at both district and state solo and ensemble festivals. At state festival, they were selected as one of the top six ensembles in our region, thus being considered for this recital. A listening panel reviewed thirty such performances before settling on the thirteen which represent the highest achievement in vocal music across the state. The Chamber Singers, an auditioned mixed ensemble, won praise from their judges throughout the process, noting their poise, maturity, and artistry. Says Scott, “Michigan Youth Arts Festival is such a remarkable testament to the amazing students and arts educators we have across our state. I feel proud and humbled to once again see a Rockford choir honored.” According to the nonprofit Michigan Youth Arts, “More than 250,000 students statewide participate in the selection process that results in 1,000 being invited to participate in the annual three-day arts spectacular.” The recital performance isn’t all, though. In a one-time only event, choirs were invited to submit recordings to be a part of a vocal jazz choir led by MYAF 2013 Artist-in-Residence Dr. Stephen Zegree. This choir will perform for the Gala Opening Concert of the 2013 MYAF weekend. A blind listening panel selected four outstanding choirs from across the state to participate, and once again the Rockford Chamber Singers were chosen. This is the fourth consecutive year that a choir from Rockford has been selected for performance at MYAF. They will perform with the Honors Vocal Jazz Choir on Thursday, May 9 at 7pm in Miller Auditorium (WMU) and at 9am Friday morning as part of the MSVMA Invitational Recital.  

Legacy competition brings former Rhythm Dance Center star home

May 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

Rhythm Dance Center (RDC), located in Belmont Michigan, recently competed in the Legacy National Dance Competition in Coopersville and celebrated the homecoming of one of its own, Rachel Siegel. Studio owner and artistic director, Jen Hanes, was glad to see her former student (who also happens to be a cousin) and knew her competitive dancers would enjoy it as well. “It’s not every day that our students get a chance to see what life after school-age dance classes can be like,” Hanes said. “It was really amazing to see Rachel in full professional mode, pursuing dance as a career and working with one of the best national dance tours in the country.” The competitive dancers delivered inspired performances throughout the weekend taking home 12 Platinum, 16 Elite Gold, and six Gold awards. Ten of the competition entries placed in the top ten of their respective categories as well. “The competitive spirit was palpable in the dressing rooms and it carried out onto the stage,” Hanes said. “I was so impressed with the teamwork the girls displayed and their ability to maintain an incredible level of energy throughout a very long weekend.” The judges certainly noticed and awarded some special recognition: The Junior Hip Hop squad won a Teamwork Award; the Junior Jazz and Contemporary groups earned Intensity Awards, soloist Alexis Gerard received the Future Fierce Award; Jasmine Gerard won a Judges’ Award for her Commitment to Character and the duo of Maggie and Mary Camp took home the Judges Award for Energy. While there is still one competition remaining in this year’s season, preparation is underway for the upcoming recital scheduled for June 1st. The venue has changed this year due to RDC’s growth. The recital has been moved to the Devos Center for Arts & Worship on the campus of Grand Rapids Christian High School. There will be performances at 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm. Tickets will go on sale to the public after May 20th at the studio. The competitive dance program is a big source of the studio’s growth. Auditions for positions on the competitive dance team are once again open to the public and will be held on May 18th. Interested dancers can register by calling the studio at […]

100th Anniversary Celebrations of the Kent Garden Club

May 9, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Kent Garden Club (KGC) will celebrate its centennial celebration at the Women’s City Club (WCC) at the corner of Lafayette and Fulton on May 15, 2013. A play “Thanks for the Memories” commemorating many of the ground-breaking, community minded activities of these women will be performed by members in period appropriate clothing. The Kent Garden Club will also celebrate its centennial year with a standard flower show at Meijer Gardens June 28th – 30th. Critiquing will be done by National Garden Club accredited judges. The public may view the show as part of the admission cost to the gardens. They also may vote for the People Choice Award Winners; one is awarded for both horticulture and floral design. The show will showcase horticulture exhibits of plants grown in Michigan, floral designs which were popular during the various decades of the past 100 years, educational exhibits, a youth division, artistic crafts and a new photography category. There will be special children’s activities daily. Kent Garden Club Members will gather at the museum to dedicate the Anniversary Garden, a Knockout rose and Green Velvet boxwood garden, on the banks of the Grand River. Dedication will be held July 10th at 10:30 am. There will be a short ceremony to unveil the marker that signifies Kent Garden Club’s commitment to the past and future. We hope that people will stay to see the Kent Garden Club exhibit on the second floor of the museum that Donna Koledo and her committee designed for our 100th Anniversary. For more information about centennial events, contact Karin Maupin, or 616-682-1434.

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