February 3 2011

RHS bands participate in Disney Magical Musical workshop

February 3, 2011 // 0 Comments

Christmas vacation took on a learning twist for the members of the Rockford High School (RHS) bands. Approximately 155 students and chaperones headed out early on December 27 for a fun-filled learning experience at Disney’s Magical Musical Days, including the “You’re Instrumental!” workshop in Orlando, Fla. The workshop gave the students a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the professional music world, and what it takes to be a successful studio musician, culminating with the creation of a soundtrack recording for a Disney animated film clip. Students started their musical journey by meeting with a Disney conductor in a professional recording studio located in the Epcot theme park. They learned what it is like to be a professional performer and the differences in the many areas of the music industry, including performing on stage and in a studio. They then were given a piece of music to sight-read and worked on basic intonation techniques and polishing their piece to a professional level. Once the music was ready, they learned studio-performance techniques. They then did a final “take” on the music, which was paired with a Disney animated film clip by the studio staff. The workshop concluded with a viewing of all their hard work on the DVD, which was presented to Mr. Phillips, RHS band director. “The entire trip was a wonderful success. The students were able to gain both a valuable musical experience, and have a great time in the parks,” said Phillips. In addition to the music workshop, the students were also able to enjoy the various Disney theme parks and concluded their Disney experience with a New Year’s Eve celebration in the Magic Kingdom. The students are currently preparing for their winter concerts on February 14 and 15, which the public is welcome to enjoy. February 14 will feature the concert band and symphonic band of the high school. The 15th will feature the eighth-grade bands from both middle schools and the RHS wind ensemble. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the RHS Fine Arts Auditorium. Tickets are not required, and it is general admission seating.

Community auction raises thousands for Strong Kids

February 3, 2011 // 0 Comments

by ELDON KORSON The Wolverine World Wide (WWW) headquarters in Rockford was seeing some night life last Friday evening, Jan. 21, at the third annual WWW Family YMCA charity auction for their Strong Kids campaign. Servers slipped between a mass of attendees in a wing of the main building’s lower level assembled not for the free food, but to raise $39,000 toward a goal of $130,000 this year for the overarching program. The money will go to fund YMCA scholarships helping kids in the Rockford and Belmont areas find many ways to get healthier and have a good time. They can become Y members and participate in programs like family nights, water safety and youth leadership, and day camps to “build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.” Why? The value and necessity of these scholarship donations, event organizer and Strong Kids campaign chair Dave Powers said, is in getting kids off the couch. In his day, kids skinned knees and ate dirt, but today they watch JONAS and Shake it Up. Video games on the Nintendo Wii, he said, are better, but not good enough. Helping kids use the Y facilities is meant to keep them happy and healthy, socializing with peers, learning skills, and living a healthy lifestyle while fighting the rising scale of obesity. The tables in the lobby were packed with items for a silent auction. A “home and auto” table featured such items as a ready-for-roughness kids’ wagon from State Farm Insurance; an electric grill for “barbies” in the backyard from Ace Hardware; oils, lubes and filters from Mason Street Garage for enhanced efficiency; and wooden artistic accent pieces by Raymond DeBoer and Bill Frost. An entertainment and sports table bore things like a family pass from Frederik Meijer Gardens to reacquaint with the green stuff, and gift cards from Burton Chiropractic for when kids fall off their wagons. A “personal items” table offered a makeover with items including Hush Puppies shoes, CAT footwear, and gift cards from Wolverine World Wide; clothes and jewelry by Nancy Hager; and rings and a manicure and pedicure set from Laura Karston. A later live auction was held in a huge conference hall packed with reserved tables for the almost 250 attendees. Up for […]


February 3, 2011 // 0 Comments

Confused  by CRAIG JAMES  I admit to being confused about many things, but this time it is about record low temperatures. I doubt many people spend much time wondering about such things, but once a weatherman, always a weatherman. The idea for this article was put into my head by a post on the blog, “WattsUpWithThat” by E. M. Smith. Consider the following. The coldest temperature ever seen in New England is -50°F, which has happened twice. A remote site in northern Maine recorded a minus 50°F reading on January 16, 2009, that tied the record set back in 1933 in Bloomfield, Vt. Also, on January 16, 2009, a new state low temperature record was apparently set in Illinois when a reading of -36°F was recorded in the town of Rochelle. However, the state climatologist determined that this record would not be accepted, even though the thermometer had been recalibrated just the day before, because this thermometer had not been recalibrated by the National Weather Service. What does that have to do with it? The point is, it was recalibrated and was working just fine. Another questionable exclusion happened in Michigan in 1994. The Michigan State Climatologist Office reported the following: “Low temperatures on the morning of the 19th reached near all-time record low levels nearly statewide as readings of 20 to 40 below zero were quite common. Numerous daytime and monthly record lows were broken as well as numerous daytime record low maximum temperatures. The all-time record low for the state of Michigan was also challenged on January 19 with Amasa, Michigan coming in with a remarkably low temperature of -53°F surpassing the old record of -51°F. Unfortunately, this reading cannot become an official state record low since the thermometer site was too close to the observer’s house!” Say what? Wouldn’t the thermometer have read even colder if it had been farther away from the heated house? This is an especially puzzling statement since temperature readings that are taken from thermometers mounted on the side of a brick building facing into the sun are considered official in other locations, such as this one in Urbana, Ohio. Why wasn’t the Michigan temperature accepted? Or the one in Illinois? Could it be because they represented all-time […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

February 3, 2011 // 0 Comments

Upgrade Recently I had the pleasure of an hour spent in the hope of finding my replacement when I retire from writing this column. The process involved a lot of give and take about ideas for the column and how I come up with them. It’s not an easy job finding someone who can spread a little humor in the world. Checking out writers is serious business, even though the writing topic may not be especially serious. I may have some prospects. I’m referring to the 30 kids in Conrad Klima’s fourth-grade class at Roguewood Elementary. Mr. Klima is teaching them about writing. I talked to all of them. It would please me if one of them had his or her name at the top of this column someday. It may take a few years, but “be prepared” is a good plan for all of us. Amazing #1 It’s wonderful to actually see improvement in the human condition, even though the quality of life varies by geography. In developed countries, at least, our world has escaped from the hard, slow, messy dependence on literal horse power. I’m old enough to remember the remnants of it. (Watch where you step!) As we move to electric cars powered by renewable sources, it seems amazing that all this happened in just about one century. Amazing #2 After years of hard work, an ambitious yuppie books himself on a Caribbean cruise. He has the time of his life until the boat sinks and he ends up on an island. After a month of barely surviving on coconuts, the man looks out to sea and sees a gorgeous woman rowing to shore. He asks her where she’s come from. “I was shipwrecked last year,” she says. “I’ve been stranded around on the other side of the island.” “Where did you get the rowboat?” “I made it out of gum trees and palm branches,” she replies. “But you had no tools!” “I used volcanic rocks to whittle the wood and eucalyptus jelly as glue.” The woman takes the man to the other side of the island and leads him into an elaborate bungalow with ceiling fans and furniture she made out of vines. The man can’t believe his eyes. They sit down, […]

BIRTHDAYS — January 29 – February 4, 2011

February 3, 2011 // 0 Comments

29th Maggie Huber, Julie Zalud-Huston  31st Andy Fowle, Zachary Grant, Marie Heyboer, Kim Van Dorp FEBRUARY 1st Joe Deering, Ayriel Mawby, Luella Wallen 2nd Joyce Brown, Scott Purcey, Dano Richard  3rd Betty Basel, Noah Carriere, Denise Davidson, Frieda Gulliver, Eli Thompson 4th Ray Armock, Esther Barr, Pete Kruer, Betty Wyckoff

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