June 2009 | Things to do in Butler & Warren County

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June 2009

CPAL Idol competition winners announced

On June 13, Claire Muenchen, left, and Courtney Popp were voted the 2009 CPAL Idol winners.

Popp won the 8-12 year old division and Muenchen won the 13-15 year old division, determined by an audience vote.

The CPAL Idol competition, produced by Children’s Performing Arts of Lakota, started in May with an audition where judges decided who would progress to the performance round at the Keehner Park Amphitheater. Competitors who advanced to the “on stage” part of the competition were offered a Masters Class on vocal and stage performance. This was designed to help them prepare to be their best when they have the amphitheater stage to themselves.

The next step was a live show when a panel of three judges determined which ten of the performers would be invited to perform in the Saturday evening Finals.

On June 13th the top ten performers from the 8-12 year old division and the top ten performers from the 13-15 year old division were voted on by the audience at Keehner Park and the winners announced.

The 2009 CPAL Idol production was part of the West Chester Fifth Third Bank Concert Series and received additional sponsorship support from Photographer Len Kaltman and www.LakotaPhoto.com.

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The Hiders break in new members at West Chester gig, July 2

The Hiders, 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2, The Square @ Union Centre, 9285 Centre Pointe Dr. West Chester. Free. (513) 759-7308.

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While pre-production begins on The Hiders’ third album, the band is playing a few select gigs this summer to break in a pair of new members.

“We’ve been playing four-piece for a while now and that’s been getting hard for us,” said frontman and chief songwriter Billy Alletzhauser.

Glenn May, a West Chester resident who plays bass in one of Alletzhauser’s other projects, a band called the Sweep, has joined to “strum around on the guitar and fill out the sound a little,” Alletzhauser said, and Cincinnati West Sider Kevin Carlisle will man the keyboards.

Part of the addition is to help re-create the kind of sound that is on the Hiders’ two previous albums, but Alletzhouser said he’s not really been a stickler for that.

“I’ve never been a purist about making the live performance the same as the recorded one,” he said. “I just tend to write songs that sound better with a big group of people, although Glenn and Kevin have been able to pick up on some of the nuances from the records.”

For Thursday’s performance at the After Hours on the Square event in West Chester, the band will mix up old material with new songs that they’ve begun tracking in Alletzhauser’s home studio.

“We’ll try to squeeze in as much new material as we can and bring out some songs from the first records that we haven’t played in a while,” he said.

The Hiders got their start a few years ago when Alletzhauser, formerly of the well-known Cincinnati band the Ass Ponies, played guitar for the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and wanted to work more with Beth Harris, a frequent ETC performer, to help flesh out some of the songs he’d been writing while performing as a side man.

“We never got a chance to sing together at ‘Hedwig,’” Alletzhauser said. “But I loved hearing her in that process and I had a lot of respect for her singing and personality.

Their vocal blend in their “delicate demolition of roots music” has drawn comparisons to the combo Emmylou Harris and Neil Young, but Alletzhauser gives his Harris the credit.

“She could probably walk into a studio and sound that way with anyone in an afternoon.”

The band’s first two albums, “Valentine” and “Penny Harvest Field,” have earned the band some national exposure on the NPR program “World Cafe.”

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July 4 car show to benefit Booker T. Washington Center

A group of concerned citizens has organized a car show to benefit the Booker T. Washington Community Center, 2 to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 4.

Registration for the “Peace is the Key to Life Car Show” begins 9 a.m., according to organizer Frank Arrington.

“We are looking for all kinds of vehicles,” Arrington said. “There will be three classes: Corvettes, Street Rods and Street Machines, which is an open class for any kind of car.”

There is a $10 entry fee for each vehicle. Trophies will be awarded to first, second and third place cars in each class. Visitors can vote for the People’s Choice Award, which carries a $100 cash prize in addition to a trophy.

Live entertainment includes performances by the country band Tattoo Billy, above, at 3 p.m. and by r&b duo Lamar and Yolanda Drake, below, members of the band LYD: Live Your Dreams, at 4 p.m.

Tattoo Billy will perform songs from their upcoming third CD “South of Dixie.” Songs from the band’s first album “American Shakespeare” appeared in the vampire film “Immortally Yours.”

L.Y.D.’s debut CD, “The Beginning”, was released in the spring of 2001. Lamar O. Drake, a self-taught musician and arranger, has written TV and radio commercials for Cadillac and Oldsmobile commercials received TV and radio airplay.

“We’re just trying to help out the community center because we understand that we’re about to lose it,” Arrington said.

The car show is part of the BTW Homecoming Reunion and precedes a “tennis court dance” at 8 p.m. that evening.

For more information about the car show, call Eugene Wiggins at (513) 863-6889, or for information on the Homecoming Reunion, contact Theresa Troutman at (513) 867-8074 or Daria Daniels (513) 504-0885.

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North Texas Wind Symphony blows into Oxford, July 7

The North Texas Wind Symphony, conducted by Eugene Migliaro Corporon, will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, at Hall Auditorium on the Oxford campus.

The North Texas Wind Symphony is acknowledged as one of the premier ensembles of its kind, selected from the most outstanding musicians attending the North Texas College of Music.

Known for its adventurous programming and commitment to American music, the ensemble pursues the highest professional standards and is determined to bring its audiences the finest artistic repertoire from all musical periods, cultures, and styles.

The ensemble has been called a group in a class all its own that has the ability to handle complex materials with aplomb, to glitter and dazzle, and to drive with manic energy, according to information provided by the Miami University Department of Music.

Corporon is Regents Professor of Music and director of wind studies at the University of North Texas. He is featured in recordings of over 600 works, including many premieres and commissions, and has appeared on two Grammy nomination ballots.

The program will include “Vanity Fair” by Percy Fletcher; “Medieval Variations” by Bruce Yurko; “Ecstatic Waters” by Steven Bryant; “Cathedrals’ by Kathryn Salfelder; “Popcopy” by Scott McAllister and “Wildnights!” by Frank Ticheli.

The concert is sponsored by the department of music and the Performing Arts Series. For more information, call (513) 529-3014.

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Kamishibai for Kids at the Oxford Lane Library

Children ages 6 to 12 are invited to learn the storytelling technique Kamishibai for Kids, Monday, July 13 at the Oxford Lane Library, 15 S. College Ave. Japanese storytellers used to bike around the countryside with miniature theaters on their bikes.

Sessions are 6 p.m. for ages 6 to 8 and 7:15 p.m. for ages 9 to 12.

Registration is required and can be made by calling (513) 523-7531, ext. 218. The Oxford Lane Library is located at

For more information about this and other programs at the Lane Libraries, please call (513) 894-6557.

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Image set for “Always…. Patsy Cline,” through June 28

Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre presents “Always … Patsy Cline” by Ted Swindley, 8 p.m. June 26-27 and 2 p.m. June 28, Garfield Junior High School, 250 N. Fair St., Hamilton. $20 advance, $22 at the door. (513) 737-7529.

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LIVE! From Cincinnati set to rock Pyramid Hill

LIVE! From Cincinnati, 7 p.m. Saturday, June 27, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, 1743 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., Hamilton. $8 adults, $1.50 children. (513) 868-8336.

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After performing many years with the oldies band Richie and the Students, Hamilton drummer Randy Mistler decided it was time to move on.

“I just got to the point where I wanted to do something different,” he said. “So I put out an ad on Craig’s List looking for musicians to do a ’50s and ’60s revue.

He was amazed at the quality of musicians who responded, including a singer who had been on the Disney World Productions staff and a guitarist who was once a member of the Marshall Tucker band among them. The resume of others included stints with Delbert McClinton, Bob Hope, Trisha Yearwood, Lionel Hampton, the Bee Gees, Chaka Kahn and more.

“They’re not the kind of people that go around bragging about it, either,” he said. “You’ve got to pry it out of them to get them talking about it.

“By the time we got to our first rehearsal, the band started telling me they loved doing ’50s and ’60s music, but that there was no market for it,” Mistler said. “They changed my perspective. I wasn’t about to object considering the group of musicians I found myself in.”

So the band dubbed itself LIVE! From Cincinnati and decided to expand the repertoire on up through the 1980s and be a variety show band and dance band.

“A lot of show bands don’t want people to dance, but we like that,” Mistler said. “We want everybody to have a good time, whether they just want to listen or if they want to dance, that’s fine with us.”

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Free tattoos at Kings Island on Saturday, June 27

Thomas Pendleton, star of the hit A&E hit television shows “Inked” and “Tattoo Highway,” will be at Kings Island 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27, to meet park visitors, sign autographs and answer questions about tattoos in the Festhaus. The legendary tattoo artist will also be a judge in the Best Tattoo contest. Entry into the contest is included free with park admission.

In honor of his visit, the first 5,000 park visitors will receive a free Diamondback temporary tattoo.

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West Chester artists trades in brushes for welders

When Pattie Byron first started studying art, she was prepared to work with palettes and brushes.

But in recent years, her work has taken on a more industrial track and the tools of her trade have shifted to torches, welders and grinders.

“A lot of artists will have their metal work fabricated by a shop,” she said, “but if you spend six or seven hours a day, you build a relationship with the piece, so it becomes more personal.

“But I love it because I come home dirty and sweaty and I feel like I’ve been playing all day.”

Currently, Byron is busy creating a large piece of public art called “Community Chain,” commissioned by West Chester Township and AK Steel for the new Square @ Union Center.

“It’s an abstract piece like a metaphor for community, three metal rings with another metal ribbon running through them,” Byron said. “The three rings represent individuals and/or businesses, joined together by a common thread of community.”

The rings on the 11-foot sculpture will be made of brushed stainless steel, and the “thread” will be painted, color still being kicked around.

Originally from Colorado, Byron move to the area seven years ago and started working for Byron Products, a Fairfield company that specializes in creating a variety of metal products.

Mark Byron, the boss who would soon become her husband, had her designing things like display cases and fireplace screens.

It turned out a little troublesome, however, because she was turning out designs for items that were impossible to build.

“So I spent a year learning how to use all of the machinery,” she said, “and started making small metal sculptures along with my paintings.”

She soon found, however, that the metal sculptures started outselling her paintings, so she went back to school and finished degree, adding sculpture to her painting curriculum.

“And I’ve been busy ever since,” she said.

To help prepare the community for the installation - not yet scheduled but Byron said it should be sometime this summer - she’ll be at the Farmer’s Market in the Square @ Union Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 4, with hands-on activities for children and a chance for people to submit a link for a paper community chain to be used in conjunction with her metal one.

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Image set from the Music Cafe, June 23

Photos by Sarah Lintner

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City of Sculpture one step closer to ‘A Conversation in Six Parts’

July 8 has been set for the installation of “A Conversation in Six Parts,” a new sculpture for the large planter in the middle of Journal Square in downtown Hamilton.

Eric David Laxman, a sculptor from Valley Cottage, N.Y., was in Hamilton on Tuesday, June 23, to check on the forms that have been created for the pouring of a concrete base for the work, which was chosen from more than 40 proposals submitted from an international call for entries.


Go to the jump for more information about Eric David Laxman


“A Conversation in Six Parts” will consist of six large curlicue shapes, three of brushed stainless steel and three in bronze, arranged in a seemingly random order.

“The forms are great,” Laxman said after taking extensive measurements. “The only surprise is that the planter dimensions aren’t the same as what’s on the plans.”

That is, Laxman designed the work based on the original diagrams provided by the city of Hamilton, but somewhere along the way, the dimensions changed and the space is eight feet narrower than he expected.

“Fortunately, it won’t effect the arrangement of the individual pieces, but sculpture will fill the space more and look much bigger,” he said. “It’s really going to be interesting to see how the final sculpture interacts with this space.”

Indeed, the issue of scale has been a constant, but pleasant, surprise for Laxman, who created the design on a 1/24 scale.

“I started with the biggest one,” which is about 11 feet high, Laxman said, “and when we stood it up, it seemed a lot bigger. When you have a model this small, you can see it all at once, but it’s really hard to project yourself into that situation, so it’s a totally different experience to actually walk around these pieces.”

Laxman said that he and his crew are currently working on the last of the six pieces, and that it shouldn’t take more than one day for the actual installation.

The installation is being supervised by Robert Saurber of the Hamilton firm Saurber Construction. Landscaping will be designed by Jon Doepker of Lakeview Nursery to complement the sculpture, according to City of Sculpture spokesperson Sue Samoviski.

The commission has been funded by the City of Sculpture’s fundraising activities, including IceFest, and private donations, Samoviski said. The committee works with the city to help find appropriate places for art and to prepare the sites, but no taxpayer money has been spent on this commission.

From Laxman’s studio:

Eric David Laxman says he didn’t plan to be a sculptor; he went to college as a chemistry and pre-med major at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

“I chose Tufts because they had a relationship with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (in Boston), and (I) could take art classes there,” he said.

He took several drawing and other art classes as an undergraduate, but in his senior year he took a stone carving class that inspired him to change majors.

“I had been to Italy when I was younger and saw the works of Michelangelo,” he said. “I was very inspired by the old traditions and how his work epitomized the skill that it takes. I felt a connection with that like nothing else I’d ever experienced.”

His family, however, was none too pleased.

“I come from a big Jewish family, so I had a lot of people trying to convince me that I could do both, be a doctor and make art on the side,” he said. “But I didn’t buy into it. I just said, ‘I don’t know any better, so I’m going to follow my art.’”

After changing his major, he also stayed around Boston for a few years to study at the School of the Museum of Fine Art. In 1992, he moved to Valley Cottage, N.Y., about 30 miles north of Manhattan, to begin his career in art.

Laxman still uses stone in some of his work, but more often than not, he works in metal these days. “A Conversation in Six Parts” uses some themes that Laxman has used in previous work, but in different contexts. This is the largest commission he’s received to date.

The proposed sculpture will be in six pieces, three in bronze and three in stainless steel, forming giant curlicues that touch and interact with each other. He was also inspired by the way Journal Square is set up as a public meeting place.

“Abstract sculpture is a great opportunity to create dialogue,” he said. “People see different things, and I thought about mixing materials together so that it creates a metaphor for urban life.”

He said he also found inspiration in Hamilton’s public arts projects and the City of Sculpture organization, citing it as a rarity.

“I was impressed by the values of the community,” he said. “It’s rare for a city to recognize the value of art as a way to define a community and to bring people together.”

Originally published Dec. 21, 2008

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Reading & All That Jazz programs continue at the Lane Library

The Hamilton Lane Library, 300 N. Third St., continues its Reading & All That Jazz with a Brown Bag Book Review, noon Tuesday, June 30, when reviewer Joe Ford will discuss “The Steel Wave” by Jeff Shaara.

This book is the second volume of a trilogy begun with “The Rising Tide,” that tells the story of the Second World War in Europe. As Shaara has done so many times before, this story is told through the points of view of some of history’s most colorful and dynamic characters. “The Steel Wave” focuses primarily on the Normandy campaign, what we more commonly know as “D-Day”, the Allies’ invasion of France.

Readers of “The rising Tide” will again see the story through the eyes of General Dwight Eisenhower, who once again commands a diverse army that must find its single purpose in the destruction of Hitler’s European fortress. His primary subordinates, Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery must prove that this unique blend of Allied armies can successfully confront the might of Adolf Hitler’s forces, who have already conquered Western Europe.

The next Reading & All That Jazz program will be a jazz concert featuring the Rob Allgeyer Duo, noon, Tuesday, July 7. Enjoy these outstanding area musicians as they play modern jazz on keyboard and bass on Tuesday, July 7 at noon.

This popular series of alternating weekly book reviews and jazz performances will entertain you all summer long, June through August. All programs, free and open to the public, are on Tuesdays at noon at the Hamilton Lane Library, 300 N. Third St.

For more information about these and other programs at the Lane Libraries, call (513) 894-6557.


Synopsis of “The Steel Wave” courtesy JeffShaara.com

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Monster Mini-Golf launches ‘appreciation campaign’

Monster Mini-Golf, 7058 Ridgetop Dr., West Chester, noon to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. $5.50-$7.50 per 18 holes. (513) 759-5400; www.monsterminigolf.com.

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Monster Mini Golf, the monster-themed indoor glow-in-the-dark mini golf franchise, has launched an “appreciation campaign” through July that includes a lot of give-aways.

Until the end of July, visitors — no purchase necessary — of the entertainment center can enter to win a number of great prizes, including mini golf for life, free parties, free rounds of golf and a custom Monster Mini Golf Epiphone Guitar, according to spokesperson Kristen Kohler.

Each entry will be awarded with, at the very least, a discounted round of mini golf. The promotion is coming along with warm weather, family vacations, and a hurting economy, said Christina Vitagliano, the co-founder of Monster Mini Golf in a press release.

“By coincidence, the whole concept was created because I was looking for something that would be fun and affordable for families,” she said in a press release. “I think any time is a good time for a promotion but right now I think people love to hear that they have a chance to win something that will just plain make them smile. That’s our job, to make people smile.”

Monster Mini Golf is a franchised chain of entertainment centers that features 18 holes of indoor glow-in-the-dark Monster-themed mini golf, three-dimensional props, an in-house faux radio station (W.I.R.D. Weird Radio), an array of video and redemption games and haunted mansion-style party rooms for hosting parties and other special events.

This appreciation campaign will be available to everyone on a national scope through the Internet as well as the West Chester location, but if the winner enters the contest in person, they will receive $500 cash in addition to the Monster Mini Golf Guitar and Mini Golf for Life.

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Great Miami River Days set for Sept. 12-13

After having been canceled due to the economic downturn, Great Miami River Days is back on.

“The committee had canceled the event for this year,” said local businessman Tony Traub and chairman of the River Days committee. “We knew we wouldn’t have any money coming from the city and talking to sponsors, we just didn’t feel we could raise the money.”

But after overcoming some personal health issues in early March, Traub had some time to think about it and re-consider the cancellation.

“I started making some calls to our sponsors and an anonymous donor came forward and said they’d make a donation matching dollar for dollar up to $25,000 for the event,” he said.

With that promise in hand, Traub said he’s so far been able to secure $20,000, which was enough to take back to the committee last week for consideration.

The biggest expense in previous years was the cost of bringing in the speed boat races, Traub said, so without that, he felt there could still be a good festival with a $50,000 budget, especially considering the gist of the event was the educational component, to teach people about the need to protect and preserve the Great Miami River.

“We got back in contact with the food vendors and other participants to re-confirm since many of them had already been notified the event had been canceled,” Traub said.

“We had a phenomenal response, so we voted on Friday to go ahead and have the festival,” he said. “With the cancellation of September Dayz in Fairfield, we felt even more of a civic duty to have an event because you can’t take everything away from the people.”

The event is now set for Sept. 12 and 13.

There are options open to replace the speed boat races with events equally-thrilling but less expensive to present, Traub said.

But there’s still the matter of the remaining $5,000 to raise for the matching grant.

“Small sponsors mean a lot now,” Traub said. Anyone wishing to make donations to Great Miami River Days can contact the Hamilton Community Foundation, (513) 863-1717, which has set up a fund for that purpose.

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West Chester Symphony honors Honest Abe, June 27-28

The West Chester Symphony Orchestra, 7 p.m. Saturday, June 27, Keehner Park, 7211 Barrett Rd., West Chester. Free. (513) 759-7304; www.westchesteroh.org.

The West Chester Symphony Orchestra, 3 p.m. Sunday, June 28, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, 1743 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., Hamilton. $8 adults, $1.50 children; free to Pyramid Hill members. (513) 863-8873.

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With 2009 being the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, conductor Susan Schirmer will lead the West Chester Symphony in a program to celebrate music of his era and inspired by his life.


“We’ll be doing a lot of Americana,” Schirmer said, “some folk tunes, some Stephen Foster, a piece called ‘An American Salute’ based on the Civil War tune ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home.’ There’s also a more recent piece called ‘A Prairie Song’ that has some good fiddling in it.”

Also in the program will be Aaron Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait,” which includes narration from some of Lincoln’s most famous speeches, including the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address.

“Copland, along with some other composers, was commissioned in the 1940s to write a patriotic piece in regard to the war effort,” Schirmer said. “It premiered in Cincinnati, so there’s also a local connection to the piece.

“It has been performed all over the world and in the score you can see his words translated into different languages,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of research on it and I found out that a lot of people have attributed it to helping start some revolutions.”

Indeed, according to an article on the National Endowment for the Humanities Web site, “a fiery young Venezuelan actress” narrated a performance in her home country .

Copland was present at the concert and later wrote that after the final lines “the audience of six thousand rose to its feet as one and began shouting so loudly that I couldn’t hear the end of the piece.”

As it turned out, that was the first public demonstration against military dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez, who was soon was deposed in a 1958 revolution and sent into exile. “So a lot of people believe that it was ‘A Lincoln Portrait’ that started the revolution,” Schirmer said.

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HFSO to commit Random Acts of Music beginning June 25

The Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra’s Random Acts of Music presents The Quintessential Quintet, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25, Miami Hamilton Downtown, 221 High Street, Hamilton. Free. (513) 895-5151.

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The Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra is expanding its offerings with the addition of a new “Random Acts of Music” series.

“Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Ernst Bever, we will offer this series of chamber music performed by small ensembles all over Butler County,” said musical director Paul John Stanbery. “You can expect to hear our fine musicians popping up in all sorts of new venues.”

First up is the Quintessential Wind Quintet, comprised of veteran members of the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, playing 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25, at Miami Hamilton Downtown.

“We’ve been playing together for over 20 years,” said bassoonist Paula Aronoff. “We love playing chamber music and a quintet is such a cool ensemble because it combines four woodwinds and one brass to create a fullness of sound.”

The group’s repertoire ranges from Hayden and Mozart to George Gershwin and contemporary show tunes, she said, and for the Random Acts of Music performance, they’ll probably be keeping it “on the light side.”

Aronoff has been principal bassoon with the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra for 37 years and also performs with the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra, the Middletown Symphony and the Simon Winds. She also plays in a woodwind trio.

The quintet also includes Jacqueline Bender, HFSO’s principal flutist and a band director in the Fairfield City Schools; Julie Fuqua, HFSO’s principal oboist and band director at Hopewell Junior School in the Lakota School District; Margaret Cheatum, clarinetist and a associate professor in the Business and Economics department at the University of Cincinnati/Raymond Walters College; and Todd Fitter, HFSO’s principal french horn player and third horn with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dayton Opera Orchestra.

Future Random Acts of Music include another performance at Miami Hamilton Downtown on July 30; an appearance at the Midday Music in Oxford series on Sept. 16, and a performance by the Hamilton Fairfield Chamber Orchestra, featuring 25 of the HFSO’s best players, Sept. 20, Fairfield Community Arts Center, the only scheduled program with an admission fee, which is $10.

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Get a jump on fireworks shows at Summerbration, June 26-27

Summerbration 2009, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 26; 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 27. Bridgewater Falls Lifestyle Center, Princeton Road at Ohio By-Pass 4, Fairfield Township. Free.

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If Independence Day just isn’t enough to satisfy your love of fireworks displays, you can get an early eyeful this weekend at Bridgewater Falls’ second Summerbration.

“We felt that Fairfield Township deserves their own fireworks show,” said Bridgewater Falls’ spokesperson Julie Krause. “But being close neighbors of Hamilton and Fairfield, we didn’t want to take anything away from them, so we’re doing it a little ahead of time.” The two-day event kicks off 6 p.m. Friday, June 26, with a “Best of the Classics Night.”

“Our friends from Class X Radio 88.9 FM will be there broadcasting live and we’ll have a car show that people can vote for the best car for each decade,” Krause said. “We’ll also have living statues of Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, and Elvis will be there for our car show people.”

There will also be a concert by Eight Days A Week, a Beatles tribute band, 6:30 p.m.

“We’ll have more of a circus-type atmosphere on Saturday,” Krause said. “The Amazing Portable Circus will be there with a Cirque du Soleil style aerial show from 3 to 7 p.m., and there will be stilt-walkers and face painters all day.”

Musical performers include the Rhedd Khatt Jazz Band, 1 p.m.; the Dan Henning Band, 6 p.m. and the Danny Frasier Band, 7 p.m.

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Hamilton Parks concert season starts Tuesday, June 23

The Hamilton Parks and Recreation Department has announced the schedule for the summer Concerts in the Park Series.

With the theme — “Where There’s Music in the Air, 2009” — the 10-concert series concerts starts this week and continues through August.

The events, paid for by the city, the Cincinnati Musicians Association and the Michael J. Colligan Fund, are free and open to the public, said Parks Director Bob Harris.

All concerts start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

>> Tuesday, June 23, Hamilton Concert Band at Virginia Avenue Park;

>> Tuesday, June 30, Hamilton Concert Band at Veteran’s Park;

>> 10 a.m. Saturday, July 4, Hamilton Concert Band at the Historic Butler County Courthouse gazebo;

>> Tuesday, July 7, Franz Klaber Band at the park on Riverfront Plaza and Dayton Street (across from Courtyard By Marriot);

>> Tuesday, July 14, Lisa Biales and Company at the park on Riverfront Plaza and Dayton Street;

>> Tuesday, July 21, Jack Carr Band at Virginia Avenue Park;

>> 2 p.m. Saturday, July 25, Ft. Hamilton Jazz Band at the Historic Butler County Courthouse gazebo (antique car parade);

>> Saturday, July 25, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Shakespeare in the Park” at Veteran’s Park (paid for through anonymous donation);

>> Tuesday, July 28, After Hours Band at Lindenwald’s Minor Avenue Park;

>> Tuesday, Aug. 4, Ft. Hamilton Jazz Band at the park on Riverfront Plaza and Dayton Street;

>> Tuesday, Aug. 11, Finale Jazz Band at the Historic Butler County Courthouse gazebo

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Local residents advance to ‘Opera Idol Cincinnati’ conest, June 24

Opera Idol Cincinnati finals, 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, Jarson-Kaplan Theatre, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut, Cincinnati, $10. (513) 621-2787.

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Miami University student Phillip Jennings (above) may be on the verge of getting his big break into the opera, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to give up the day job. So while the other 160 or so singers who showed up at Cincinnati Music Hall for the first set of auditions dressed to to impress the judges, Jennings came in his Skyline Chili uniform.

“I wasn’t sure about the process or what was going to happen,” he said. “Everyone else was dressed in ties and evening gowns, and here I am ready to make cheese coneys.

“After I sang, the judges asked me about it, so I was just honest with them,” he said. “I didn’t know how long it would take and I had to go all the way back to Oxford to go to work.”

Still, he made the first cut and will be among the 10 finalists to perform Wednesday at the Aronoff Center for the Arts to determine the five finalists.

A life-long resident of the Hamilton-Fairfield area, Jennings went to Miami University to study music education, and while he still hopes to teach, he also fell in love with the opera and plans to take graduate work in vocal performance.

West Chester mother of four Jenny Smith (below)is also among the 10 semi-finalists. She was a voice major at Northern Kentucky University in her youth, but dropped out during her last semester for unspecified reasons.

Although she’s not kept up her opera chops, she is the choir director at Christ the King Lutheran Church in West Chester and has passed the love of opera on to her children.

“My goal was to teach my children a nice lesson that you don’t give on on the things you love,” she said.

She said that when she got to the audition, she realized that other than drinking a cup of coffee, she hadn’t warmed up, so she went into the ladies room, where she ended up running other contestants through some vocalizations.

“That was fun,” she said. “They all had wonderful voices.” It was so much fun, in fact, that she went to the men’s room to lead some warm-ups there, too.

Alex Kozlovsky, also of West Chester, grew up around opera. Well-known Russian tenor Muslim Magomaev was a friend of the family and Kozlovsky ended up marrying his daughter Marina nine years ago

“He gave me my first love of opera and the American star at the time, Mario Lanza,” Kozlovsky said.

In 1989, Kozlovsky came to the United States for a visit and “happened to stay here since,” he said.

He worked for a while at the now-defunct Forest View Gardens restaurant as a singing waiter and got to know a lot of people from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

“When I came to my senses, I started taking college courses in computer programming and I am now a technical engineer for a local software company,” he said.

Although he’d gladly accept the $3,5000 contract that is the main prize for the Opera Idol competition, he said that he’s not looking to change careers at age 50.

“Singing the opera was my dream, but that was 30 years ago,” he said. “I truly believe that there are a lot of talented people in the competition, and I wish them the best that they will start their opera careers at a more appropriate age.”

During the intermission at Wednesday’s concert, audience members will vote for their favorite performer and videos of the top five performances will be posted on the Cincinnati Opera’s website for voting by the general public.

The winner will be announced during a performance of “Carmen,” the final production of the Cincinnati Opera’s 2009 summer season.

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Area’s oldest community choir performs at Pyramid Hill, June 21

The Circle Singers, 2 p.m. Sunday, June 21, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton. Park admission $8 adults; $1.50 children; free to members. (513) 868-8336.

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One of the region’s oldest extant community choirs will raise their voices Sunday, June 21, afternoon for an outdoor concert at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park.

“As far as we know, we are the oldest community chorus still in existence,” said Ted Sippel, president of the Circle Singers.

The mixed-voice, adult chorus traces its roots to the 1950s as the General Electric Glee Club, created by employees at the Evendale GE Aircraft Engines plant.

“It transformed itself into a community chorus and has had several names since then, most recently as the Patchwork Singers,” Sippel said.

In the fall of 2000 the group realized that most of its members lived in places close to I-275 ­— the circle freeway around the greater Cincinnati area - and changed its name to Circle Singers.

Circle Singers repertoire includes a wide variety of musical styles and plan to perform medleys from Beethoven and Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber as well as patriotic tunes and spirituals.

“We like to think we offer a broad range of material,” Sippel said, “but we’re not into hip-hop… not yet anyway.”

The Circle Singers are led by director of music Bill Osborne, a singer and actor who has sung lead and supporting roles in Broadway and opera productions worldwide.

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Image set for HFSO’s Oxford concert…. Fairfield next, July 12

Last night (Thursday, June 18) was a perfect evening for the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra’s performance in Uptown Oxford - especially after the soggy Pyramid Hill show last weekend….

The Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra’s summer season concludes 7 p.m. Sunday, July 12 with “Concert on the Green,” 7 p.m. July 12, Fairfield’s Village Green Amphitheatre. Rain location will be Sacred Heart Church.

Also, the symphony is launching a new series of chamber performances called “Random Acts of Music” that will feature smaller ensembles playing in a variety of locations. Concerts currently slated include:

> 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25, and Thursday, July 30, Miami University Downtown, 221 High St., Hamilton, free;

> Noon, Wednesday Sept. 16, at the Oxford Presbyterian Church as part of the Midday Music in Oxford Series, free;

> 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, Fairfield Community Arts Center, $10.

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Liberty Center uses A.R.T. to create art

Somewhere around 1993, New Jersey artist Tim Lefens was showing slides of his work to a school group, but he was distracted by something he’d seen before going on.

The school was the Matheny School, a New Jersey residential facility for children with disabilities, many of them quadriplegic, and as Lefens made his presentation, talking about the joy of creating art, he wondered how people like those children, unable to move and in many cases unable to speak, could experience that kind of joy.

So he started doing his research. He found that most of the time, so-called “art therapy” would have a staff person or volunteer clasp their hands around the hands of a client who would be holding a pen or crayon.

“But who’s really making the art?” he wondered.

Lefens volunteered to teach at the school and developed what he calls “Artistic Realization Technologies,” as system that still uses a staff person or volunteer to assist the client, but allows the client to make all of the artistic decisions.

“In other situations, they were never even asked what size a canvas they wanted, or what colors they want to use,” he said. “A.R.T. was designed to empower people who are quadriplegic and in many cases non-verbal to take control of the artistic system.”

With grants from the New York Community Trust and the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation, Lefens has been traveling the country recently to train trackers in this system. On Wednesday and Thursday, June 17 and 18, he was at the Liberty Center, a Butler County MRDD facility in Liberty Township, where InsideOut Studio has already shown some success in dealing with developmentally disabled people.

Some of the artists use a laser pointer, attached to either their head or their hands depending on their levels of mobility. Others can simply respond to a series of “yes and no” questions posed to them by the tracker, the person who actually applies the paint to the canvas according to the instructions he or she receives.

“This has proven to be far more sophisticated than art therapy,” he said. “They really become artists. They go home thinking about this and start planning their next work. I’ve seen some deep changes come over people, but no one else is doing this because this is about trust. Art is a little too freaky for some of them.”

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Miami University Steel Drum Band performs at VOA park, June 19

The Miami University Steel Drum Band, 6 p.m. Friday, June 19, Voice of America Lake, Cox Road at Tylersville Road, West Chester. Free.

Permits are required in all MetroParks park areas and can be purchased at the program for $5 for a daily pass, $7 for an annual sticker, or $10 for an annual hangtag. For more information, check out our website at www.metroparksofbutlercounty.org or contact MetroParks at (513) 867-5835.

The Miami University Steel Band was founded in 1994 with a complement of ten players and six instruments. Under the leadership of founder and director Chris Tanner, the program has grown to encompass two separate ensembles with a combined enrollment of over seventy members, and twenty-five university-owned instruments. The ensemble is one of the most active in Southwest Ohio, performing annually in diverse settings such as on-campus concerts, regional performing arts venues, school outreach programs and summer park concerts. The goal of the Miami University Steel Band is to present excellent performances of quality literature in the steel band idiom, with a special emphasis on original music by contemporary composers.

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SOURCE: Miami University Steel Drum Band website

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Hamilton native edits new book on local Amish Mennonite history

Celebration of the release of “The Transplanted German Farmer: The Life and Times of Christian Iutzi” by Neil Ann Stuckey Levine. 10 a.m. Saturday, June 27. Lane Public Library, 300 N. Third St., Hamilton. Free. Copies of the book will be for sale for $20. Teachers attending will receive a free copy (limited supply). (513) 896-9930.

Following the program, there will be an 11:30 luncheon at the YWCA, 244 Dayton St., Hamilton. $12. Reservations required by June 22 by calling (513) 726-5265.

Books will also be available at the Butler County Historical Society and the Chrisholm Historic Farmstead.

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In 1832, Christian Iutzi, a 44-year-old lease-farmer from Mittledorf in the Hesse region of Germany, left his homeland to seek a better life in America. He brought with him his wife and children and enough money to purchase nearly 200 acres of land in Madison Township, Butler County, Ohio for approximately $4,000.

He also brought with him two diaries, hand-written records of the minutae of his daily life and a remarkable insight to the customs and times of the Amish Mennonites who settled in Butler County around the same time.

While the second later volume, the one that describes his life in America, exists only in a summary created by one of his descendents, the first volume survives, owned by the Butler County Historical Society, and has been a boon to genealogists. Both the summary and the existing diary are the subject of a new book, “Transplanted German Farmer,” edited and translated by Neil Ann Stuckey Levine, a Hamilton native and independent scholar now living in Princeton, N.J., whose specialty is the lives of Amish Mennonite immigrants before they left their homelands.

Levine said that she became fascinated with this particular set of immigrants because of her own family history and interest in genealogy.

Both sides of her family were settled in Butler County by 1850, her father’s side were from Switzerland and the same Anabaptist religious traditions that spawned the Amish and Mennonite Sects. Her mother’s family, named Neilan, left Roscommon County in Central Ireland during the potato famine of 1845 — and whose name survives in Neilan Blvd., after her grandfather, a prominent Hamilton attorney, and in the author’s own first and middle name.

But it was the Amish Mennonite part of the story that really captured her fancy. Many of her 110 publications are based on a collection of letters that were sent to Christian Iutzi and his wife Maria Sommer.

“They saved every letter from anyone who ever wrote to them,” Levine said. “There are 145 of them, and their content is not reflected in the book because they were not written by Iutzi, but to him from a wide range of people. Some of them I can identify who wrote them, some of them not. Sometimes, they’re full of jokes - if you can get them, and some are very personal, but I think it’s OK to spy on these people after so much time has gone by.”

Simply being a landowner was an important step forward for Iusti and his folk.

“His forebearers couldn’t own land but were paid to work on farms and be paid from a share of the harvest,” Levine said. “So having your own land was an important motivating factor to come to the U.S., but land in the east was too expensive, so they had to move further west, and at the time, Ohio was the West.”

The Iutzi homestead was a few miles from his brothers Peter and Jacob and his brother-in-law Peter Holly, but right next door to Christian Augspurger, one of the area’s most prominent citizens of the time.

“Iusti was Mennonite and Augsperger was Amish,” Levine said, “but I think they were pretty cordial as neighbors. They started worshiping together in 1835, but then they split off to different congregations when there was a rift in the church. Some of their children intermarried, though.

“Augspurger owned 1,900 acres of farmland, had 13 children and the 12 that survived were each given a full farm as part of the legacy,” Levine said. That’s why the Augspurger name is more well-known and remembered in place names in Butler County, while Iusti, who had 8 children but whose only son married but never had children himself, is known only for the journals and letters he left behind.

But in spite of his greater success in whatever measure, “to talk about Christian Augsperger, you have to rely on Christian Iusti because Augsperger didn’t leave anything (written).”

“I was not the first person to work on this diary,” Levine said, “but the problem with the other research is the bulk of the material was farmed out to different people to be transcribed and translated to English. So there is no consistency or reflection. It just didn’t work, so I started over.”

It was difficult, partly because Iusti’s “handwriting was terrible,” she said, but also because he often spelled place names phonetically, which made it hard to find them on the maps of the day.

But the diary is an important document for both historians and persons interested in genealogy.

“I have spent so much time on it because is it’s very rare to have a handwritten record of someone’s life if that person is an Amish Mennonite farmer,” Stuckey said. “They either weren’t educated enough or their records were thrown out a while ago, someone thinking, who needs this, no one can read it anyway.

“But those things are unique and rare, and I hope if people out there have old journals like this they’ll contact the Historical Society and not just pitch it,” she said.

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Music Cafe features old and new faces, June 23

The Music Cafe, 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton. Free. (513) 863-8873;

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Jeremy Francis (above) has been playing the Music Cafe since the very beginning, and next week will make his 10th (or so) appearance in as many years.

“My father and I even went down and helped them set up the sound for the first Music Cafe,” Francis said. “Since then I’ve played by myself, with my father, with my father and my uncle and with multiple bands,” including short-lived ensembles like Radio Bloom and Imagination Station.

In fact, his very first solo public appearance was at the Music Cafe.

“I remember that they gave me a bottle of water and I had to turn my back on the audience to drink it because my hands were shaking so hard.”

Although he’s a full-time medical technician, pursuing music as a career is still his pipe dream, he said. He performs regularly at area clubs, including upcoming gigs at Pier 27 in Ross, and has been invited back to the Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival for the second year in a row, this time playing all three days at the Eastern Kentucky event.

Francis said that he plans to play a mix of original tunes and covers, and he’s always open to the obscure request.

Kevin Loving (below) will be making his first Music Cafe appearance next week after coming out of his self-imposed musical retirement.

“The last band job I had was in 1990, the Route 4 Band,” the Hamilton native said, “which was pretty much a flash in the pan.”

But lately he’s been getting back on the circuit, playing at Ryan’s Tavern last weekend for the Taft High School ’70s reunion and several appearances at the Riverbank Cafe.

He said he’ll being doing mostly cover songs, but songs that don’t get played a lot.

Also on Tuesday’s bill are some folk/rock/country tunes from Roy Bushman, solo cello music by Michael Ronstadt and one of Music Cafe’s popular regulars, the Circle of Rhiannon Belly Dance Troupe.

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Do you look like Marilyn Monroe? Win prizes!

Argosy Casino is changing its name to Hollywood Casino at the end of June - and to celebrate, they’re hosting a Marilyn Monroe Look-Alike Contest on Fountain Square, noon, Friday, June 26.

Contestants will speak for 30 seconds and do a runway walk. After a final parade of all contestants, judges will choose the winners.

A grand prize of $500 will go to one Best Overall winner, with $250 each going to winners in Best Appearance and Best Acting categories.

To enter, send an e-mail to intern@3cdc.org with your full name and “Marilyn Monroe Contest” in the subject line. Deadline to enter is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24.

Contestants will check in on Fountain Square at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 26, dressed and ready.

Contestants must bring photo ID and sign a liability and publicity release on site. Contest rules can be downloaded here. Entry is free and open to U.S. residents 18 years of age and older.

Hollywood Casino will be sending its own Marilyn Monroe look-alikes to mingle with the crowd and hand out coupons and gift items. Visitors can also get their picture taken with Marilyn in a photo booth on the Square.

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Shadowbox Cabaret revives its best for summer show

“Best of the Shadowbox,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Shadowbox Cabaret, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky. $30 adults; $20 students/seniors/active military personnel. (859) 581-7625.

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While Best of Shadowbox is full of material that has premiered over the past season, audiences will not see a simple “rerun” performance at The Sketch Comedy & Rock ‘n’ Roll Club.

Instead, the original sketches and rock music will be retooled with new ensemble members and fresh casting that will breathe new life into the show.

“Each production we create is an opportunity for our actors and singers to hone their skills and deliver a show that will amaze our fans,” said Stacie Boord, Shadowbox general manager and lead performer. “Best of not only gives us that opportunity again, but this time we can make what works even better.”

Among the repeat offenders this year are “Monster News,” “The God Pod,” “Date the Vote” and “Mr. Tazer.”

The resident rockers of BillWho? compliment the laughs with music from Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Living Colour, Linkin Park and many others.

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Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre revives ‘Always…. Patsy Cline,’ June 26-28

Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre presents “Always … Patsy Cline” by Ted Swindley, 8 p.m. June 26-27 and 2 p.m. June 28, Garfield Junior High School, 250 N. Fair St., Hamilton. $20 advance, $22 at the door. (513) 737-7529.

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As soon as Julie Joyce Smith stepped off the stage from the title role in “Always… Patsy Cline” for Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre in 2001, she was ready to do it again.

And in honor of GHCT’s 50th anniversary season, the group is producing it again with three performances the last weekend of June.

“I had no idea it would be so well-received,” she said. “Word of mouth really got out on this one, and by the end of the run, they were selling seats in the orchestra pit — although they didn’t bother to tell us until we walked out on the stage.”

There are several reasons that it proved so popular, said Smith and her co-star, Joan Kirsch, who plays Louise Segar, a fan who befriended Cline in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961 and corresponded with her until the singer’s tragic death in a plane crash in 1963.

“It’s a real show about real people,” Kirsch said. “And I’m not a big country music fan, but her music is something I like to listen to. She sang the same kinds of songs as Rosemary Clooney, Brenda Lee and Connie Francis. She would say that she had no range, but she had an extreme range.”

“When I was growing up, my dad had a record collection that was full of the Ink Spots and Nat ‘King’ Cole, but he also had Patsy Cline, so I didn’t really think of it as country music when I was growing up,” Smith added.”

“She was easy on the ears and there was nothing trite about it,” Kirsch said. “If she didn’t feel it, she didn’t sing it, and that’s the way she was with her friendships.

Although the show features 27 of Cline’s songs — including the its “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Walking After Midnight,” the story of the friendship between the two women make it more than a musical revue.

“Patsy’s music made her feel good,” Kirsch said of Louise. “When she hears her sing for the first time, she says, ‘That’s the way I always wanted to sing.’ So when she goes to see her in a club, she just walks right up and says ‘Hi.’

“She was a relative unknown at the time and having fan meant a lot to her,” Kirsch said.

Louise was a single mother, divorced from an abusive marriage. And although Cline was still married, she may have seen a lot of herself in Louise and her situation. On one of her last recorded songs, “Faded Love,” Smith notes that you can Cline’s voice choking with tears, perhaps because she was thinking of her own troubled marriage.

The two wrote letters to each other for two years — with Cline signing each letter with the show’s title — until Cline’s death.

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Neil Armstrong, Mormon Choir performs with Cincinnati Pops, June 18

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Neil Armstrong and Ben Utecht, 8 p.m. Thursday, June 18, Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati. Tickets start at $25; children 12 and under are half price in the pavilion and free to the lawn. (513) 381-3300.

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Legendary aviator, engineer and astronaut Neil Armstrong and Bengals tight end Ben Utecht joins the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra for the orchestra’s first summer concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of Riverbend Music Center.

Armstrong appeared with the Cincinnati Pops at Riverbend’s inaugural concert on July 4, 1984 narrating Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, and appeared again in 1989 to celebrate the facility’s fifth anniversary. He returns to that stage for the first time in 20 years to narrate the Finale from Lincoln Portrait.

In addition to this being Riverbend’s 25th anniversary, 2009 also marks the 40th anniversary of Mr. Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” when he became the first person to walk on the Moon.

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Ben Utecht, who recently released a self-titled contemporary Christian album, will perform the National Anthem and “God Bless America.”

The world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform choral masterworks, American folk tunes, hymns, music from around the world and patriotic favorites.

“This is more than a choir — it’s an American icon,” said Kunzel in a press release. “I have had the pleasure of working with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for several performances and every time it is so inspirational, revelatory and stirring.”

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Pyramid Hill Art Fair seeks exhibitors

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park is looking for artists, craftsmen and artisans of its seventh annual Art Fair at Pyramid Hill, Sept. 26-27.

Booth rentals range from $100 to $350.

Download an application here or call (513) 868-8336.

Deadline for application is July 15.

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Area artist debuts new medium at Village Green Art Fair, June 20

Fifth annual Village Green Arts Fair, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 20, Village Green Park and the Fairfield Community Arts Center. Free. (513) 967-5348.

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Although Jenni Doerger won the People’s Choice Award at last year’s Village Green Arts Fair, she a little worried about what kind of reception she’ll get on Saturday when the fifth annual edition of the event takes place in Fairfield.

“I used to do painted pottery,” she said, “but I have an auto-immune illness and the pottery was causing me problems. So at the urging of my friends, I have shifted to painting on canvas.”

But last week, Doerger exhibited at her first all-painting show at the Trillium Art Fair at Glenwood Gardens, and so far so good.

“I still have the same whimsical style, a lot of bright colors and a little spiritual touch,” she said. “People told me how the paintings made them smile, which is the same thing they said about my pottery.”

Doerger said that she likes doing big canvases, and that she also has prints and stationery available.

“A lot of my work is done from stories that people have given me,” she said. One of her popular paintings, “The Connection,” which she sold last week, is based on story about a friend’s late mother and how whenever the family gathers, a white feather always seems to turn up.

“The mother’s name was Iris,” Doerger said, “so I painted a girl standing in a field of irises with a dove and a white feather flying overhead.”

About 55 artists have registered to show their unique creations at this Saturday’s event, a joint project of the city of Fairfield Parks and Recreation Department and Art on Symmes.

“It’s a good way for people to see that they can buy original works of art and support local artists without spending a fortune,” said Sherry Armstead, owner of Art on Symmes. “The work on display is all affordable and made in America.”

In addition to the artists’ booths set up around Village Green, there will be performances from the Miami Valley Ballet, Cincinnati Gymnastics and local singer/songwriter Gregory Albright in the Village Green Amphitheater. In the Community Arts Center Janice Trytten will play a large collection of her native flutes.

Children of all ages are also welcome to contribute to a large sidewalk chalk mural.
The juried event also has Best of Show and Honorable Mention awards given on the day of the show in Fine Art and Fine Crafts categories. Visitors will again be able to vote for the People’s Choice Award, which carries a $50 prize.

There will also be a recycled art competition, Armstead said.

“This is another unique way to show the public that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have original works of art,” she said.

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Delta Kings present ‘Live in Cincinnati’, June 19-20

The Delta Kings present ““WBBS-TV Live in Cincinnati,” 8 p.m. Friday, June 19; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 20, Crawford Auditorium, Deer Park High School, 8351 Plainfield Rd. Cincinnati. $15. (888) 796-8555.

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The Delta Kings Barbershop Chorus, under the direction of Hamilton resident Robert McFadden, performs its annual musical comedy this weekend at Deer Park High School.

“WBBS-TV Live in Cincinnati” is an original musical comedy by Delta Kings member Don Gaffney about a fictional television station on the verge of bankruptcy that tries returning to the live variety programming of the early TV days in the manner of Ruth Lyons and Paul Dixon.

The plot involves a number of comic characters, and since the Delta Kings is an all-male group, some of them play women as they make fun of real Cincinnati news makers and communities.

Because the station is so bad the audience is there as offenders serving their sentences.

“We identify the audience as ‘sinners,’ and a lot of the jokes are played to them,” Gaffney said.

The “studio band” is the Delta Kings Chorus members who “hocked their instruments in Las Vegas” to come home, Gaffney said. So the first number is “Jazz Song,” sung a capella and without words as the singers imitate instruments.

All music is sung by the chorus and quartets in the distinct barbershop four-part harmony. The program includes a performance by the quartet Berzerk from Sycamore High. a local high school quartet. The songs range from traditional barbershop tunes as “Alexander’s Rag Time Band” and novelty songs like “You’ll Never Find Sin in Cincinnati” to swing tunes like “I’ve Got a Crush On You” not normally associated with the barbershop style.

The Delta Kings Chorus is the singing unit of the non-profit Cincinnati Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the nation’s largest men’s singing organization with affiliated barbershop harmony groups throughout the world. Founded in 1944, it is one of the earliest chapters in the national society.

It supports local community activities such as the Flying Pig Marathon and the March of Dimes Walkathon, is an organizer and sponsor of the annual Harmony Festival for high schoolers at Northern Kentucky University in June and competes with other barbershop choruses from three states.

Photos…. Top: “Doris Kay” (Dave Traut) flirts with Denny Daum of West Chester during rehearsal for the Delta Kings musical comedy “WBBS-TV Live in Cincinnati.” Bottom: Hamiltonians Dick Davis, Bob McFadden, (chorus director who plays band director Alexander in show) and Ted May (show chairman who plays newsman “Charlie Gypsum” in show) join “Doris Kay” (Dave Traut) during a rehearsal for the Delta Kings Chorus musical comedy.

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HFSO plays rainy Pyramid Hill… Oxford Parks next…

Afternoon thunderstorms kept the big crowd away, but the die-hards who attended the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra’s Picnic and Pops concert Sunday at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park were treated to an evening of good music.

Those who let a little rain keep them at home has a second chance on Thursday when the HFSO plays the Oxford Music Festival, 7:30 p.m. in the Uptown Parks.

For information, call (513) 895-5151.

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Local residents advance to ‘Opera Idol Cincinnati’ conest

Three Butler County residents have a shot at being the next “Opera Idol Cincinnati,” a competition by the Cincinnati Opera.

Phillip Jennings of Oxford and West Chester residents Alex Kozlovsky and Jenny Smith will be among the 10 finalists performing 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 24 at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater, Aronoff center for the Arts, 650 Walnut, Cincinnati. All seats $10. Call (513) 621-2787 or order online at cincinnatiarts.org.

These singers have been chosen from among the more than 160 singers who auditioned at Music Hall on Saturday, June 6.

The audience will determine the top five finalists by voting during intermission.

The winner receives a $3,500 contract with Cincinnati Opera.

The other semi-finalists include:

> Krystina Booker, Wilberforce, Ohio

> Daniel Moody, Moscow, Ohio

> Jesse Ragland, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio

> Margaret Russo, Cincinnati, Ohio (Hyde Park)

> Quarndra Ryan, Cincinnati, Ohio (Wyoming)

> Steven Shafer, Cincinnati , Ohio (Cheviot)

> Molly Stehn, Highland Heights, Kentucky

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Keep the kids busy this summer with Art Camps at the Fitton Center

By Sarah Lintner

If your kids are looking for a new and creative experience this summer then the Fitton Center for Creative Arts is the right place for them.

Starting June 22 and running through August the Fitton Center will be holding eight one week camps for children ages 6 to 13.

The camps will be centered around art, challenging them to use their creativity through sculpting, painting, drawing, creating wearable art, and other activities.
During these weeks there will also be guitar camps which will allow kids to explore basic notes, beginning chords, strumming, and singing. Guitars can be rented from the Fitton Center for $10.

Education Coordinator Jenn Acus’ Smith designed the creative summer camps so that each week has a unique theme catering to most children’s interests.

“I want the kids to be able to show their creativity through all different types of art,” Smith said.

Smith is hoping that the different themes will be a way for children to get inspired and create art using their imagination. At the end of each week campers will be able to show off their masterpieces to parents and family just like a real artist.

All art supplies will be included with the cost of the camp and scholarships are available, sponsored by Claire Fitton.

The first week will start off with Fun Fabulous Food, allowing campers to sculpt food items and dishes out of clay or paper mache. Campers may even use real food to create edible sculptures.

Other camps for the summer include In the Sky, June 29- July 3; Wearable Art, July 6-10; Art of the Renaissance, July 13-17; Bugs, Butterflies and Beetles, July 20-24; Art that Moves, July 27-31; Under the Sea, August 3-7; and Crazy Cartooning; August 10-14.

Applications are available at the Fitton Center, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton, or online at www.fittoncenter.org. For more information, call (513) 863-8873.

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HFSO begins summer season with Picnic and Pops, June 14

Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra’s Picnic and Pops concert, 7 p.m. Sunday, June 14; Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton. Free admission after 6 p.m. (513) 895-5151; www.hfso.org

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The Hamilton Fairfield Symphony Orchestra begins its summer season Sunday with a “Picnic and Pops” performance at Pyramid Hill.

Conductor Paul Stanbery and associate conductor David Burchfield will share the podium with selections drawn from a pool of music prepared for the three outdoor venues the orchestra will be performing this summer.

“Each show will be different,” Stanbery said. “While our indoor programs are much more targeted and specific, the outdoor concerts are programmed to have a little something for everyone,” Stanbery said. “It helps us expand and build upon our audience to appeal to a wider range of listeners.”

The musical numbers include some summer standards such as an armed forces salute and “The Star Spangled Banner,” but also some show tunes from “Grease” and “High School Musical.”

The symphony also will revive “The Miami Suite” in honor of Miami University’s Bicentennial. The piece was originally commissioned by the symphony from composer Thomas Benjamin for the Great Miami Youth Symphony.

Admission to Pyramid Hill will be free after 6 p.m., but the park will be open throughout the day at the regular admission of $8 adults, $1.50 children, for those wanting to come early and see the sculpture and the newly-opened Museum of Ancient Art. Also, for the first time, the Picnic and Pops concert will be held in the new Pyramid Hill Pavilion, which will offer protection from the sun or rain.

Future dates on the Symphony’s summer season include:

> “Outdoors in Oxford,” 7:30 p.m. June 18 in the downtown Oxford Pavilion;

> “Concert on the Green,” 7 p.m. July 12, Fairfield’s Village Green Amphitheatre.

Also, the symphony is launching a new series of chamber performances called “Random Acts of Music” that will feature smaller ensembles playing in a variety of locations. Concerts currently slated include:

> 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25, and Thursday, July 30, Miami Univesrity Downtown, 221 High St., Hamilton, free;

> Noon, Wednesday Sept. 16, at the Oxford Presbyterian Church as part of the Midday Music in Oxford Series, free;

> 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, Fairfield Community Arts Center, $10.

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Summer string camps to be offered in Mason

Youth Orchestras of Northern Cincinnati are sponsoring two summer string camps in Mason.

> The Northern Cincinnati Suzuki Workshop will be held June 22-26, 8:30-3:30 at Oak Harbor Church, 221 S. Forest Avenue in downtown Mason. The fee is $280, with an option for half days, either morning or afternoon, for $150. Instructors include Weiyi Li, Rachel Schott, and Marva Rasmussen. Violin and viola students in Suzuki Books One and Two are welcome.

> The Second camp is the Northern Cincinnati Youth Orchestra Camp, held July 13-17, also at Oak Harbor Church. Violin, viola, cello, and bass students with 1-2 years experience may sign up for the Level 2 camp, held 9 a.m. to noon. Students with 3 or more years’ experience may sign up for the Level 3 camp, held 1-4 p.m. A beginning orchestra camp is offered for Suzuki students starting to read music, along with a parent, from 6-8 p.m. Tuition for Level 1 is $100; Level 2 and 3 tuition is $150.

Fliers may be obtained at Antonio Violins or A Violin Makers Workshop in downtown Mason, or by filling out a request on the orchestra website at www.ncyo.org.

For more information, call (513) 290-6278.

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Source: Junior Orchestra of Northern Cincinnati press release

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Cars can be art, too… Museum displays vintage ‘Vette for the summer

This summer, see one of America’s most iconic and artfully designed automobiles, when the Cincinnati Art Museum presents the limited-production 1963 Corvette Stingray Z06.

Supporting the Art Museum’s commitment to showcase art and design across multiple disciplines, classic and concept cars are exhibited to introduce visitors to industrial design and its place in the history of art.

Inspired by an encounter with a stingray while diving in the Bahamas, Chevrolet’s chief designer, Bill Mitchell created the fluid lines and sculpted body that defines the Corvette Stingray. The 1963 Stingray’s most distinguishing design feature is its split rear window—a feature that was discontinued after just one year of production. Other notable design elements include ornamental hood vents and side-by-side headlights that are hidden beneath an electrically operated panel.

This beautiful and rare Corvette Stingray Z06 is the first American car to be exhibited by the Art Museum. It is on loan from collector James Jaeger.

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SOURCE: Cincinnati Art Museum press release.

PHOTO: Corvette Stingray Z06, 1963. General Motors (Chevrolet division), manufacturer (1911­-), Bill L. Mitchell, body designer (1912-1988), Larry Kiyoshi Shinoda, body designer (1930 - 1997), Zora Arkus-Duntov, engineer (1909-1996), United States, Fiberglass body, On loan from the collection of James Jaeger, L7.2009. Photo Dave Wendt, 2009

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Rivertown Breakdown helps clean up the Ohio, June 13

The Rivertown Breakdown, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 13, Southgate House, 24 E 3rd St., Newport, Ky. $15. (859) 431-2201.

So far, Jake Speed and the musicians who have participated in the seven previous versions of Rivertown Breakdown have raised $20,000 to help keep the Ohio River clean by donating the proceeds of the annual event to ORSANCO’s River Sweep, the annual clean up of all 981 miles of our Mighty Ohio River.

“That’s not a huge amount of money,” Speed said in a phone interview, “but if you keep it in perspective, that is a lot of rubber gloves.”

All of the entertainers will perform at least one river-themed song as a way of showing their support for Cincinnati’s greatest natural resource. Speed said he hops this year’s Rivertown Breakdown hopes to make the event a $25,000 lifetime contributor to ORSANCO’s River Sweep, currently scheduled for the morning of Saturday, June 20, an effort to clean up litter and debris from the entire 981 mile stretch of the Ohio River.

“We’ve also been working closely with the P.A. Denny to host educational tours of the river with children,” said Speed. “So some of the money has gone toward that, which makes sense to me because I’m a high school English teacher.”

The P.A. Denny is a 109-foot long three-deck paddle wheel boat that cruised the Kanawha River in the eastern United States for nearly three decades as a tour boat.

The Denny is now based in Cincinnati, Ohio operated by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission’s educational foundation. It is renamed the P.A. Denny River Education Center and is used as a floating classroom, with periodic excursions. The facility is designed to introduce fourth through 12th graders to science and ecology concepts. The P.A. Denny features labs and equipment for the students’ use during their four or five hour voyage.

There are 15 bands on the line-up this year, occupying all three floors of the Southgate house, and seven of them are new to the event, Speed said.

“So it’s not the same-old thing,” he said.

In fact, while the focus has been on what is considered “roots music,” Speed said he’s been convinced that jazz and hip hop are also forms of roots music and has booked IsWhat? and the Seedy Seeds this year.

Speed said the highlight of the evening for him is the grand finale when he calls up all the remaining musicians on stage for a giant jam session.

“I call out songs no one knows, but the great thing about roots music is that by the end of the first verse, they’ve all figure it out,” he said.

Also new this year is the addition of a drummer and electric guitar to the Freddies’ set.

“You know we’re an acoustic band. Hopefully we’ll get booed off the stage and it’ll be a big scandal,” he said, referring to Bob Dylan’s famous first electric sets.

Ballroom (Basement)

9:00-9:40- The Katie Laur Band - Bluegrass

9:55 - 10:35- Rumpke Mountain Boys - Newgrass

10:50 -11:30- IsWhat? - Jazz/Hip-Hop

11:40-12:20- Straw Boss - Rockabilly

12:35 - 1:15 - Jake Speed & the Freddies - Folk Blues

1:15 -2:00- All Star Jam

Parlour (Upstairs)

8:00 - 8:40 - 46 Long - Delta Blues/Harmonica Blues

8:50 - 9:30- Cincinnati Dancing Pigs - Jugband

9:40 - 10:20- Magnolia Mountain - Country Folk

10:30 - 11:10 - Seedy Seeds - Electronic Folk

11:20 - 12:00- Lagniappe - Cajun

Lounge (Ground Floor)

8:30-9:10 - The Tillers - Mountain Folk

9:20-10:00 - Cuz ‘n Jake - Hokum Blues

10:10 - 10:50- The Sidecars - Western Swing

11:00 - 11:40- Comet Bluegrass Allstars - Bluegrass

11:50 - 12:30- Kentucky Struts - Folk Rock

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Photos: Top: Jake Speed and the Freddies at a recent Music Cafe, photo by Richard O Jones. Photo of last year’s Rivertown Breakdown musicians on the P.A. Denny, an educational vessel, by Nate Leopold.

Additional source: Information on the P.A. Denny from wikipedia.

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City of Sculpture gears up for a busy summer

With two new permanent installations in the works and an exhibition of temporary outdoor sculpture, the City of Sculpture committee is preparing for a busy summer.

The temporary exhibition will include 12 works of art by 10 different artists, said spokesperson Sue Samoviski, former City of Sculpture president.

The sculptures will line the north side of High Street in Hamilton, and some will be placed on the top of the river bank. Installation of the work is scheduled to take place by the end of June, Samoviski said.

Meanwhile, New York artist Eric David Laxman is putting the finishing touches on “A Conversation in Six Parts,” the work commissioned to fill the planter located in Journal Square.

Laxman will visit Hamilton in late June to supervise the pouring of concrete footings that will anchor the sculptures and to consult with landscapers to select the plants and rocks that will be a part of the overall design, the artist said in an e-mail.

Laxman said that he will arrive in Hamilton on July 8 for the installation. A dedication ceremony has yet to be scheduled.

By the end of the summer, “Family of Man IV” by Cynthia McKean will be in place in the green space on the west end of the High-Main Bridge.

“Family of Man IV” is contains the vision of four figures cut from a single plate of steel and painted bright red.

Samoviski said that the City of Sculpture organization is also busy consulting with seven artists who are participating in a project to place an original mobile in each of the Hamilton City Schools currently under construction.

“A couple of the artist have already sent us ideas and we’ll continue conversations over the summer,” she said. “The people making the decisions will be representatives from the school district, the architects and the City of Sculpture.”

The funding for some of the mobiles has yet to be determined, Samoviski said, because the money is coming from private sources and not from the construction budgets.”

“We have funding for two of them already, but there will be four schools opening in the fall,” she said. “Our hope is to find people to provide funding for the other two so that each of the schools will have an original work of art in their lobbies. The budgets are within the $3,000 to $5,000 range, so we think its doable.”

For more information on the City of Sculpture projects, call (513) 895-3934.

Rendering of “Family of Man IV” by Mike Dingledein; other photos courtesy Eric David Laxman

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Museum Center expands Friday hours for ‘Dinosaurs Unearthed’

Dinosaurs Unearthed,” through Sept. 7, Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati. Non-members: $15 adults, $10 children . Members: $10 adults; $7 children. (513) 281-7000.

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Due to the success of late night Fridays this spring, Cincinnati Museum Center is extending hoursevery Friday through the entire run of “Dinosaurs Unearthed.” The exhibit will now be open until 9 p.m. on Fridays, with the last entry time being 8 p.m.

Visitors can also see the latest OMNIMAX film, “Dinosaurs Alive” , for the full dinosaur experience! OMNIMAX show times on Friday are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 p.m.

Food service and gift shops will be open as well, but all other museums will close at the normal 5 p.m. time. Visitors are also encouraged to reserve tickets ahead of time to both the exhibit and the film. This can be done by calling (513) 287-7001 or online at www.cincymuseum.org.

Dinosaurs Unearthed features more than 20 life-sized roaring, moving dinosaurs, full skeletons, fossils, and reports on significant dinosaur discoveries. The exhibit also features new scientific findings that prove the existence of feathered dinosaurs. In fact,Dinosaurs Unearthed is the first exhibit in the world to feature a set of full-size, feather-covered dinosaurs.

The feathered dinosaurs in the exhibit bring to life the variety of new bird-like dinosaurs being discovered in northeastern China.

“A selection of feathered dinosaur models illustrates the diversity of new forms discovered in recent years,” said Glenn Storrs, PhD, Museum Center’s Withrow Farny curator of vertebrate paleontology.

“The feathered dinosaurs of China confirm the long-suspected evolution of modern birds from extinct dinosaurian ancestors,” Dr. Storrs said. “With each discovery, another evolutionary “missing link” is added to our understanding of the fossil record.”

In addition to the full-size feathered models, the exhibit has another component sure to please visitors. To makeDinosaurs Unearthedmore interactive, the exhibit features four animatronic dinosaurs visitors can actually control. Powered by smooth, tiny electronic motors, the full-sized Baryonyx, Allosaurus and more come to life with the push of a button and the flip of a switch. With electronics instead of hydraulics, these models capture some of the most life-like motions ever created.

Accompanying the exhibit is the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX(r) Theater’s newest film,Dinosaurs Alive. The film takes visitors on an immersive journey back to the early Triassic period all the way through the late Cretaceous, following the tiniest of dinosaurs to the largest creatures that walked the earth.

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Source: Cincinnati Museum Center press release

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Mad Anthony Theatre Company revises 2009-10 season

Due to casting conflicts, the Mad Anthony Theatre company has canceled its production of “The Real Inspector Hound” and replaced it with “Four Beers” by David Van Vleck.

Four Beers,” scheduled for Sept. 16-20, is about five middle aged men spend every Monday night at a local bar to watch the game of the week. Only this week, when they get there the game is not on and for the first time ever they have to make conversation with each other.

The rest of the season includes:

Cinderella” by Fitz Patton, David Kisor and Joe McDonough, Dec. 9-13.

Guest Artist” by Jeff Bridges, Feb. 17-21.

Golf: The Musical”, May 19-23.

For more information, call the Fitton Center at (513) 863-8873.

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Show description provided by Mad Anthony Theatre Company.

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Gallery 42 exhibition explores ‘The Painted Word,’ opening June 13

“The Painted Word: Kirsten Bowen and Hal Shunk,” reception with the artists 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 13, exhibition continues through July 25, Gallery 42 in Mason. Gallery hours: noon to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday or by appointment. (513) 234-7874.

While Kirsten Bowen (above) paints in words and Hal Shunk focuses on the shapes of letters, both artists explore elements of our everyday world and have elevated them in their art.

Kirsten Bowen’s goal as an artist is to “interpret a wide range of literary expression through visual art.” Her multi-dimensional work reveals many levels of communication. The literal content includes anything from lyrics, poetry, and prayer to schedules, ingredients and personal ads. The paintings could be categorized as abstract landscapes, bands of color or monochromatic The more subtle communication is conveyed through Kirsten’s “Venetian impasto” technique which gives the pieces their rich texture. Kirsten lives in Columbus, but shows her work throughout Ohio.

Hal Shunk is a professor of art at Wilmington College. His work communicates to the viewer using marks in abstract form. In this instance the “marks” are letters. Unlike Bowen’s work these letters are not to be read but to be enjoyed for what they are, “marks employing color, form, line and movement”. The art “often takes the look of alphabet soup”. Hal lives and works in Wilmington.

Also exhibiting work are artists, Gary Breitenstein, Maureen Holub and Jim Wagner.

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Source: Gallery 42 press release; www.kirstenbowen.com. Paintings, top to bottom: “Royal Marks” by Hal Shunk; “Trilla” by Maureen Holub; “The Beginning of Love” by Gary Breitenstein.

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Win reserved front-row seats for Huey Lewis and the News, July 2

The Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation is raffling off two four-packs of front-and-center seats to see Huey Lewis and the News perform on July 3 at the Red, Rhythm and Boom festival in Mason.

In addition, the two winners will each receive a parking pass and four commemorative t-shirts.

One raffle ticket is $10, or three for $20. The drawing will be held July 2 at 4 pm. at the Mason Community Center. You need not be present to win. You will be notified by phone if you win and tickets must be picked up by noon on July 3 at the center.

To purchase a raffle ticket with a credit card, go to www.masonparksfoundation.org or send your check made payable to Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation to: Rachel Kopfler, Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation, 6000 Mason-Montgomery Road, Mason, OH 45040. Please include your contact information including a phone number. An order form to pay by check is on the Foundation’s website.

Purchasing a raffle tickets helps support the building of Common Ground, greater Cincinnati’s first “inclusive play experience,” a term used to describe non-traditional play areas. Children of varying abilities and disabilities will be able to play together side-by-side. Much more than a playground, Common Ground will be an experience for all children, including those with disabilities. Plans for the park, to be built off Snider Road and SR 42 on land owned by the City of Mason, call for equipment that is accessible and interesting to all children. For example, a swing that allows for a child in a wheelchair, a slide that can accommodate a child with braces, quiet area for autistic children, Braille for sight-impaired children and adults, and much more.

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Source: Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation press release

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Shandon Strawberry Festival to feature model train display, June 13

The 84th Annual Old Fashioned Strawberry Festival, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13, throughout the village of Shandon at the intersection of Hamilton-New London Road and Cincinnati-Brookville Road. Free. (513) 738-2962 or (513) 738-4005. The day includes: Traditional Picnic-style supper at the Community House, 3 to 7 p.m.; Outdoor arts and crafts vendors; Local shops in historic houses with Welsh gifts, country crafts, original art and local history; Antique Tractor Show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the old school yard; Live Welsh harp and organ music at various locations.

Morgan Township resident Don Guill is fond of the old joke: “When the Lord was passing out brains, I thought he said trains…”

And now that he has a pretty good collection of grand scale locomotives, he’s giving his trains back to God.

“When I was growing up, I had trains around the Christmas tree and such,” he said. “Trains have always been a love of mine, but not as much as they are now.”

In 2001 he bought his first large-scale train from a man in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, in 2001.

“The man was a retired Canada Pacific Railroad Engineer and he built himself a replica of the train he ra n all his life,” Guill said. “I bought it without knowing a whole lot about trains, but I found out how easy it is to make them.”

Well, easy for a man who has operated a metal fabricating shop, creating custom-made trailers since 1974, and who has restored 24 antique automobiles in his spare time.

Guill makes what is known as “grand scale” model trains. His are one-fourth the size of actual engines and cars, but he used as his model not the full scale trains, but HO scale models.

“I took an HO model, a measuring tape and a pair of calipers to make my plans,” he said. “You can occasionally find drawings to work from, but mostly you have to improvise.”

Since then, he’s made several engines and cars for them to pull, some for other folks with grand scale lay-outs, some for show, and some for his own mile and a half of track that he laid on his property in Morgan Twp. between Shandon and Okeana. He’s also restored a steam engine that was built in 1966 in Denver. When he bought it, it was painted up like Thomas the Tank Engine, but Guill took it all apart and gave it a more historic look.

He built a small town to go along with his railroad, including a grocery store, a church and a school house, naming the buildings after beloved relatives, and his wife Tonia did all of the decorating of the interiors.

They now operate the For His Glory Train Ministry on the site, allowing churches and other groups to bring children in for a train ride along a route that includes miniature billboards with Bible verses and tableaus of scenes from the life of Jesus, including the three crosses on Calvary and a life-size tomb, complete with the burial garments that Jesus left behind.

To top it all off, Guill recently purchased the large train light display that was once part of the Union Terminal in Cincinnati. It had been scrapped and was headed for the junk yard when Guill made some inquiries and purchased it “for next to nothing,” then re-outfitted it with LED lights to help save energy. The display is assembled and waiting for electricity to be run to the site.

Guill will have one of his trains on display at this weekend’s Shandon Strawberry Festival, but not operational. He encourages groups to come out for a train ride by appointment by calling (513) 582-1674 or (513) 738-7322.

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Every dog is a star at Dog Fest, June 13-14

Dog Fest 2009, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14, Voice of America Museum Park, 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester. Free admission, $8 donation per car/van. (513) 422-7297.

Not many festivals can boast having “something for every dog.”

But at Dog Fest, there will be agility and obedience competitions, a fashion show for dogs, owner/dog and famous dog look-alike competitions. Even awards for smallest and largest dogs.

“Some dogs don’t have any talent, but they can look good,” said events coordinator Barb Young. “So we have something for them, too.”

And because the dogs coming to Dog Fest need to have owners with them, Young said the festival has expanded its children’s activities this year.

“We want to make sure that no one gets bored, so we brought back some of the children’s games,” Young said. “The ‘bounce house’ will be back by popular demand.” It’s a testament to how much we love our dogs that the event has been so successful through the years, Young said.

Dog Fest originated in 1999 as a community event for West Chester where people could bring their dog or dogs for a day of fun with just a few events and booths, exhibitors and entertainers. Dog Fest 2009 expects to draw more than 15,000 people and their canine friends.

“People love to see the dogs,” Young said. “They want to show their dogs off. They want to see other breeds that they might only have seen in books. People dress their dogs up. It’s really a family event.”

But at the center of it all is the need to raise awareness about dog issues. Dog Fest is hosted by the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), a no-kill, nonprofit animal shelter in Butler County which houses dogs and cats until they are adopted.

“They’re all lovable and they’ll all break your heart,” Young said. “But different dogs have different needs. People will see a dog on TV and say, ‘That’s what I want,’ even though the breed may not be right for their lifestyle.”

Every dog needs exercise, she said. A Chihuahua will not need an hour walk every day, but a sporting dog will.

“So if you live in an apartment and don’t have time to walk a golden retriever, it may not be the dog for you,” she said.

So there will be booths at Dog Fest to help people make those decisions.

Journal-News file photos from Dog Fest 2008.

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Last CD given away… Thanks to all who participated

Congratulations to Randy Cook of Hamilton for correctly answering Monday’s question: When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs at its home venue, it is often accompanied by a massive pipe organ. How many pipes are in that organ?

Answer: 11,623

As a reward for his supernatural googling skills, Randy will receive a copy of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s latest CD, “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing.”

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will join Maestro Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra — along with legendary aviator, engineer and astronaut Neil Armstrong and Bengals tight end Ben Utecht — for a one-night-only Pops concert 8 p.m. Thursday, June 18 to mark the orchestra’s first summer concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of Riverbend Music Center.

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LIVE at the Levee concert series kicks off June 18

Newport on the Levee and B105 continue their after work parties with the sixth annual LIVE at the Levee Summer Concert Series, which takes place 6 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday evenings on the Riverwalk Plaza between the Newport Aquarium and Mitchell’s Fish Market.

> The Rusty Griswolds, June 18 and June 23

> Soul Pocket, June 25 and July 9

> Clayton Anderson Band, July 2

> The Menus, July 16

> The Rusty Griswolds

> Leroy Ellington and the E-Funk Band, July 30

> Ridge Runner, Aug. 6

Admission to the LIVE at the Levee Summer Concert Series is free. Music will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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IMAGE: Journal-News file photo of the Rusty Griswolds


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Next ‘Reading & All That Jazz’ program, June 16

The Hamilton Lane Library, 300 N. Third St., continues Reading & All That Jazz with a Brown Bag Book Review noon, Tuesday, June 16, when reviewer Lori Rehm will discuss “See You in a Hundred Years” by Logan Ward.

From the Dust Jacket…

Logan Ward and his wife, Heather, had traveled the world—Kenya, France, Peru. But nothing compared to their next adventure: a trip back in time, living the life of dirt farmers in rural Virginia circa 1900.

Disillusioned by city life, the Wards pulled their son out of daycare and traded skyscrapers for silos in search of simpler times. Adopting strict rules that limited them to only the tools that were available at the turn of the century, they faced a year of struggles, where unremarkable feats—putting food on the table, attending a neighbor’s 4th of July party—became the worthiest accomplishments of their lives.

With no phone, no computer, and few distractions aside from irritable livestock and a plague of garden pests, Logan and Heather began to reconnect and rebuild their fractured marriage. More than that, they found what they didn’t know they were looking for—community. As the skepticism of neighbors and family turned to admiration, the Wards developed a network of support and love bound by neither time nor technology. By renouncing everything from cell phones to supermarkets they discovered what’s important in life, whether a hundred years ago or a hundred years in the future.

Logan’s chronicle of the Wards’ four seasons in the farming community of Swoope is an honest and compelling account of one family’s struggle to reclaim their lives from our fast-paced, materialistic society—a memoir for our modern age. See You in a Hundred Years is for anyone who has ever daydreamed about the good old days—and wondered how good they really were.

The next Reading & All That Jazz program will be a jazz concert featuring the Buffalo Ridge Dixieland Jazz Band, noon, June 23. Listen as this group brings down the house with it’s banjo, trumpet, clarinet, trombone, tuba, drums and vocal performance.

For more information about these and other programs at the Lane Libraries, call (513) 894-6557.


Source: www.loganward.com

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Medieval music at Otterbein, June 15

The Warren County Music Club presents Musici Anonymi, a Consort, a group specializing in Medieval music on period instruments, 7 p.m. Monday, June 15,in the Campus Center at Otterbein Retirement Living Community, located On Rt. 741, just north of Rt. 63 in Lebanon. Free. (513) 933-5400

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Tom Giusti performs on the Square in West Chester for a lunchtime show, June 10

Tom Giusti will be on The Square in West Chester near the First Financial Bank Clock Tower to entertain lunchtime audiences, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 10.

Bring your lunch and relax away from the office.

Corn hole games and other activities will also be available for guests to enjoy every Wednesday on The Square.

A veteran of several rock bands in the Northern California area, Giusti graduated from Musicians Institute/GIT in Hollywood. From 1994-1997 Tom was a member/founder of national independent recording Artist Soul Fisher, which recorded its debut full length album “In a Faithless World” in the 1995.

Giusit moved to Cincinnati in 2006.

“I grew up listening to rock, playing in rock garage bands and wanting to be a rock star,” he said. “Over the recent 3-5 years I have become a fan of country music…. drawn to the passion of artists such as Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum. The song writing, musicianship and “edge” that these artists bring have made an impact on this rocker.”

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Source: Myspace.com

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Warren County Community Concerts presents ‘A Concert of Inspiration,’ June 14

A Concert of Inspiration,” 7 p.m. Sunday, June 14, Lebanon Presbyterian Church, 123 N. East St. Lebanon. Free. (513) 932-3731

Performers include:

>> The Vivaldis, is a local women’s dulcimer ensemble that recently made its world debut in Kentucky. Its members have been playing dulcimers for collectively for over 50 years and have formed this concert ensemble to play light classical and religious music.

>> Jubellee Bell Quartet, from the Heritage Baptist Church Bell Ensemble under the direction of Gerry Proffitt, will include a bell-and-piano duet.

>> The Otterbein Recorder Choir, under the direction of Samuel Kaetzel, also performs regularly at worship services and at the Otterbein Renaissance dinner.

>> Heritage Music and Friends, began as a women’s chamber ensemble 19 years ago, but now includes men. This was the only group from Lebanon invited to perform at the Schuster Center Gala Opening in 2003.

>> Cheri Brinkman will emcee.

In honor of Flag Day, the concert will also feature guest speakers:

>> Rev. William Seitz, associate pastor of the Lebanon Presbyterian Church, will speak on “Faith”.

>> Lt. Frank T. Rupnik III, Navy chaplain who recently returned from Afghanistan, will speak on “Patriotism”.

Reposted from May 14

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Cincinnati World Cinema presents doc about woman and art, June 9-10

Cincinnati World Cinema presents Who Does She Think She Is?,” documentary film about women, art and life choices, 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, June 9-10, Carnegie Visual Arts Center, 1068 Scott St., Covington, Ky. $8 in advance; $10 at the door. (859) 781-8151.

“Who Does She think She Is?” follows five women artists as they navigate the economic, psychological, and spiritual challenges of making work outside the elite art world. From the filmmaking team that won an Academy Award for Born Into Brothels, comes an important work that examines some of the most pressing balancing-act issues of our time: parenting and work, partnering and independence, economics and art.

From the suburbs of Ohio to studios in Cambridge and Providence; from Hawaii#s Big Island to New York City, from the deserts of New Mexico to the tropics of St. Vincent, we watch as these women, ranging in age from 27 to 65, fight to honor their vision and their families. Ethnically, culturally and geographically diverse, they pursue different muses as painter, singer/actress, sculptress/ceramicist, painter/print maker/activist, and sculptress/illustrator.

After the film, Cincinnati women will discuss their own life journeys, balancing their passion for art and love of family.

Offering a local perspective in the post-film discussion with the audience are metro Cincinnati residents Maggie Barnes, painter, photographer and musician; Mary Pierce Brosmer, poet, writer and founder, Women Writing for (a) Change; M. Katherine Hurley, painter and curator, Hurley Fine Art Studio & Gallery; and Aymie Majersky, film/video producer and partner Barking Fish Entertainment.

Screenings preceded by a social hour and cash bar starting at 6 p.m.

SOURCE: Cincinnati World Cinema press release. Photos, top to bottom: Maye Torres by Ian Boll; Janis Wunderlich by Cindy Lewis; Angela Williams and Pamela Boll by Cindy Lewis.

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Human Race Theatre produces Ethel Waters bio-play, June 11

Human Race Theatre Company presents “Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” will run June 11-28, the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St. $33. Tickets on-line; (937) 228-3630; (888) 228-3630.

“Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow” is a one-woman show, but two women with strong musical theater credentials will be involved in the Human Race Theatre Company production about the life of one of the foremost singing, stage and screen stars of the 20th century.

One of those women is Danielle Lee Greaves, who will portray Waters looking back over her remarkable life, with its rise from abject poverty to fame as a singer and actress and transformation from bitterness to love for all mankind. Greaves, most recently in the Old Globe Theatre of San Diego’s production of Stephen Schwartz’s “Working,” has been in the original casts of “Hairspray” and the Hal Prince Show Boat revival, as well in “Rent” and “Sunset Boulevard” on Broadway.

The other is director Schele Williams, for whom Sparrow will represent a homecoming. Williams is a Dayton native whose parents still live here - her father is James “Diamond” Williams, percussionist of the Ohio Players. She’s a grad of Stivers and Colonel White and a Muse Machine alumna. Williams was one of the directors of the February Defying Inequality: The Broadway Concert. Her Broadway performance credits include Aida and Rent, for which she has been a dance supervisor or choreographer in numerous international productions.

Since Waters remarkable career went from singing the blues in nightclubs and major roles on Broadway and in movies to becoming the lead singer of the Billy Graham Crusades, it’s appropriate that both Greaves and Williams have had a long history with Broadway Inspirational Voices, a large gospel group.

Waters’ fame was gained as in an entirely different genre, however, and Greaves will be performing the singer’s greatest hits, from Frankie and Johnny and Am I Blue to Heat Wave and Stormy Weather, as well as the title gospel song.

Joining Greaves on The Loft Theatre stage will be Cincinnati-based pianist Scot Woolley. Woolley has been involved in numerous Human Race productions, most recently Shenandoah and Harold and Maude: The Musical.

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Source: Human Race Theater press release.


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Thomas the Tank Engine show rolls into NKU center, June 10

Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes To Town, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, 3 and 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11, Bank of Kentucky Center, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Ky. $18-$46. Ticketmaster, (800) 745-3000.

The 90-minute musical adventure includes brand-new singalong songs and a colorful cast of circus performers to tell the engaging story of how all the engines on the Island of Sodor must work together to prepare for the exciting event under the Big Top.

Problems arise along the way, and Thomas has to prove he’s a really useful engine once again. Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes To Town demonstrates the importance of friendship and cooperation as it gets young children dancing and singing along, creating lifelong memories for them and their families.

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Source: Bank of Kentucky Center press release, thomasandfriendsinfo.com.

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Heritage Hall exhibit explore’s Miami U’s bicentennial

Miami University Bicentennial Exhibit, Heritage Hall, 20 High St., Hamilton (former Municipal Building). (513) 737-5958. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Butler County Historical Society’s exhibit featuring Miami University’s 200th anniversary is designed to honor the County’s oldest higher educational organization. The exhibit also incorporates Miami’s branch campuses in Middletown and Hamilton, opened in 1966 and 1968, respectively. The display incorporates a wall-mounted time-line that identifies important historic National and Miami-related events decade-by-decade. Artifacts that help tell the story of Miami’s evolution and change over time are securely displayed.

Miami’s bicentennial anniversary has been officially recognized by the United States Congress, Ohio’s Congress and governor, and the local mayor. Chartered on February 17, 1809, Miami University has been officially recognized by the United States Congress as “the Nation’s tenth oldest public institution of higher learning.” The resolution introduced by the House and agreed upon by the U.S. Senate collectively honors Miami for its many achievements, including: “a graduate rate that exceeds the national averages for undergraduates, students of color, and athletes”; and alumni “who have a history of service to the United States” - this includes President Benjamin Harrison.

In 2009, the Butler County Historical Society (BCHS) is celebrating it’s own anniversary - 75 years of dedication to the preservation and interpretation of Butler County’s rich heritage.

The BCHS, a non-profit organization, operates the historic Benninghofen House, manages an archive, and arranges for programs and exhibits that are free and open to the public. The Butler County Historical Society can be reached at (513) 896-9930 or e-mail at bcomuseum@fuse.net.

Source: Butler County Historical Society press release. Photos by Richard O Jones

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Queen of Peace’s 49th kicks off church festival season

Organizers of the Queen of Peace Festival in Millville don’t strive to make it the first church festival of the season. It just is.

“We’ve always had the first weekend in June forever,” said Judy Fitz, festival co-chair. “Every parish in the area tries to stick the same weekend every year. You can pretty much tell how far you are into the summer by what festival is going on.”

Fritz said that after a slow festival last year, she and the hundreds of volunteers are hoping that the nice weather forcast for this weekend will bring in the crowds.

One of the things that sets the Queen of Peace Festival apart from the others is the traditional Sunday fried chicken dinner, noon to 7 p.m., which has proven to be even more popular since they opened up drive-through service three years ago. People can go through the circle driveway in front of the school and pick up their food to go, she said.

Cost of the dinner is $10 adults, $7 children 6-12. Carryout is $9 for all.

Music will be provided by Cef Michael Band w/Rachel Lynn on Friday evening, Bad Habit on Saturday and Band of Boomers on Sunday.

This year is the 49th edition of the event, and Fritz said that she and her volunteers are already looking ahead to 2010 to do something particularly spectacular for the 50th anniversary.

Other parish festivals this summer:


> St. Jude, 5924 Bridgetown Rd., Bridgetown.

4-11 p.m. today. Chicken dinner Sunday; Beer with ID

> St. Bernard, Harrison Pike and Springdale Road, Cincinnati

June 12, 6 p.m.-midnight; June 13, 5 p.m.-midnight; June 14, 2-10 p.m. Food available; Alcohol with ID

> Assumption, 7711 Joseph St., Mt. Healthy

June 12, 6-11 p.m.; June 13, 5-11 p.m.; June 14, noon-10 p.m. Fish dinner Friday, Chicken dinner Sunday; Beer with ID

> St. Michael the Archangel, 11144 Spinner Ave., Sharonville

June 12, 6 p.m.-midnight; June 13, 6 p.m.-midnight; June 14, 3-10:30 p.m. Food available; Beer with ID, wristband

> St. Maximilian Kolbe, 5720 Hamilton-Mason Road, Liberty Township

June 12, 6 p.m.-midnight; June 13, 5-midnight; June 14, 3-10 p.m. Food available; Beer with ID, wristband

> St. Antoninus, 1500 Linneman Road, Cincinnati

June 12, 6-11 p.m.; June 13, 5:30-11 p.m.; June 14, 4-10 p.m. Food available; Beer with ID, wristband

> St. Gabriel, 18 W. Sharon Road, Glendale

June 19, 6 p.m.-midnight; June 20, 6 p.m.-midnight; June 21, 2-9 p.m. Food available; Alcohol with ID, wristband

> St. John the Baptist, 110 North Hill St., Harrison

June 26, 7-11 p.m.; June 27, 5-11 p.m.; June 28, 12:30-10 p.m. Hog roast Friday and Saturday; chicken dinner Sunday; Beer garden

> Fenwick High School, 4855 State Rte. 122, Middletown

June 26, 6 p.m.-midnight; June 27, 4 p.m.-midnight; June 28, 4-10 p.m. Dominic Esposito Spaghetti dinner Sunday, 4:30-7:30 p.m.; Beer with ID, wristband, enclosed area

> Corpus Christi, 2014 Springdale Road, New Burlington

June 26, 6 p.m.-midnight; June 27, 5 p.m.-midnight; June 28, 3-10 p.m. (Family Day 3-5 p.m.) Fish dinner Friday; Chicken dinner Sunday; Beer with ID, enclosed area


> St. Lawrence, 3680 Warsaw Ave., Cincinnati.

July 10, 6-11 p.m.; July 11, 5-11 p.m.; July 12, 5-10 p.m. Chicken dinner Saturday; Beer with ID

> St. Martin of Tours, Harvest Home Park,

July 10, 6-11 p.m.; July 11, 5-11 p.m.; July 12, 1-10 p.m. Chicken dinner Sunday; Beer with ID, wristband

> St. Rita School for the Deaf, 1720 Glendale-Milford Rd., Cincinnati

July 10, 7 p.m.-midnight; July 11, 4 p.m.-midnight; July 12, 1-10 p.m. Spaghetti, turtle soup, fish dinners; Alcohol served with ID, wristband

> St. Julie Billiart, 224 Dayton St., Hamilton

July 17, 5:30-11 p.m.; July 18, 5:30-11 p.m. Food available; Beer with ID, wristband

> Catholic Kolping Society, 10235 Mill Rd.,Cincinnati

July 17, 6 p.m.-midnight; July 18, 4 p.m.-midnight; July 19, 1-10 p.m. German and other food; Alcohol with wristband

> St. Ann, 3000 Pleasant Ave., Hamilton

Celebrating its 100th anniversary. July 24, 6-11:30 p.m.; July 25, 6-11:30 p.m. Food available; Beer with ID, wristband.

> St. James the Greater, 3565 Hubble Rd., White Oak

July 24, 6 p.m.-midnight; July 25, 4 p.m.-midnight; July 26, 3-10:30 p.m. Food available; Beer with ID, wristband.


> St. Aloysius, 3350 Chapel Road, Shandon

Aug. 2, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Family-style chicken dinner; Beer with ID

> Sacred Heart, 400 Nilles Road, Fairfield

Aug. 7, Aug. 8, Aug. 9. Food and alcohol available

> St. John the Evangelist, 9080 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, West Chester

Aug. 7, 6 p.m.-midnight; Aug. 8, 5 p.m.-midnight; Aug. 9, 4-10 p.m. Food available; Alcohol with ID, wristband

> St. John the Baptist, 5361 Dry Ridge Road, Dry Ridge

Aug. 14, 7 p.m.-midnight; Aug. 15, 6 p.m.-midnight; Aug. 16, noon-10 p.m. Chicken dinner Sunday; Beer with ID, wristband

> St. Ignatius Loyola, 5222 North Bend Road, Monfort Heights

Aug. 21, 6 p.m.-midnight; Aug. 22, 4 p.m.-midnight; Aug. 23, 4-11 p.m. Food available; Beer with ID, wristband

Source: Catholic Telegraph.com

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Elvis (or someone like him) performs in Waynesville, June 12

Waynesville Days Heritage Homecoming presents Tom Laurent in “A Touch of Elvis,” 6 p.m. Friday June 12, Der Dutchman Restaurant, 188 North US Rt. 42, Waynesville. $25. (513) 897-3885.

The evening will start with a social hour from 6-7 p.m. when some of the historic posters being prepared for Waynesville Days will be on display. Der Dutchman’s Fried Chicken dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by trivia games and an old fashioned cake walk from 8 to 8:30 pm.

“A Touch of Elvis” concert will begin at 8:30 p.m.

Proceeds from this fund raising dinner will support Waynesville Days Heritage Homecoming which will be held from July 3-12.

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Celtic Woman plays its ‘Isle of Hope’ tour, June 10

Celtic Women presents “Isle of Hope,” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, Procter and Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut, Cincinnati. $39.50-$69.50. (513) 621-2787 or online at ticketmaster.com.

Four years ago Celtic Woman traveled from Ireland to America and captivated millions with their inspiring songs of hope and love. Their incredible journey to stardom has been like a dream come true for four vocalists Chloe, Lisa, Lynne, Alex and Celtic violinist Mairead.

Fans have the opportunity to experience Celtic Woman’s most magical production yet, featuring brand-new renditions of “Fields of Gold” and “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” as well as two new original anthems “Oh America,” and “Isle of Hope” by Brendan Graham. Musical Director David Downes has composed stunning new music for the 19- member ensemble featuring the wonderful voices of Celtic Woman and the energetic musical inventiveness of Celtic violinist, Mairead.

The show will also feature cornerstone favorites such as “The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun,” “Danny Boy,” and “Spanish Lady,” among others that are featured on their latest release Greatest Journey: Essential Collection CD/DVD.

Celtic Woman has been winning over audiences worldwide with their heavenly renditions of Irish standards, classical favorites and contemporary hits. In just four short years, the group has sold more than 4 million CDs and DVDs, played seven US tours, and performed for more than 800,000 people.

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Ohio Valley Camera Club nature show at Maple Knoll through July 14

The Artistry of Nature, opening reception 5:30to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 4, featuring the works of The Ohio Valley Camera Club, exhibition continues through July 14, Main Street Hall at Maple Knoll Village, 11100 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati. (513) 782-2462.

Photos by Tom Croce, Liz Noffsinger, Linda Palmer, Anne Kitzman

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Trivia question answered!!!!

Congratulations to Jennie Zwissler of Arlington, Tenn., who correctly answered my trivia question to win a copy of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s latest CD, “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing.”

The question was: The words to the hymn “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” was written in 1757 by Methodist pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson, who was 22 at the time. Who wrote the melody?

The answer is: Asahel Nettleton.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will join Maestro Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra — along with legendary aviator, engineer and astronaut Neil Armstrong and Bengals tight end Ben Utecht — for a one-night-only Pops concert 8 p.m. Thursday, June 18 to mark the orchestra’s first summer concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of Riverbend Music Center. More to come on that later….

Thanks for all who responded… I’ll post another question on Friday for another copy of the CD.

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Fundraiser for ClassX Radio at Cardi’s, June 7

Sonny Moorman Group, Pete Dressman (above) and Soul Unified Nation, the Howard Brothers Band, Finale, Matt Williamson and Bob Cushing will perform in a benefit for ClassX Radio, 88.9 FM, 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday, June 7, at Cardi’s Bar and Grill, 101 Bacher Square Dr., Fairfield. $10 suggested donation at the door. (513) 889-3952.

ClassX WMWX is a volunteer radio station that plays album rock, a mix of new releases combined with lost classic rock tracks from the past 40 years.

WMWX is a 501(c)3 corporation that survives by financial donations from it’s listeners and through it’s offering of underwriting spots to local business that support it financially. Financial contributions are 100 percent tax-deductible.

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Knoxville band Vertigo plays Southgate House, June 6

Vertigo with The Host, Bastion, Riley, Vertigo, The Dig and Chakras CD Release, 9 p.m. Saturday, June 6, Southgate House, 24 E. Third St., Newport, Ky. $7 for 21 and over, $10 for ages 18-20. (859) 431-2201.

Vertigo has been described as “darkly sexual,” perhaps because it trades in desire, risk-taking, and unblinking confession, or maybe because of the thrilling sensuality at its core. The four-piece band out of Knoxville, Tennessee, Joel (guitar) and Justin (drums) Justin’s sister, Lindsey (vocals), and Nate (bass) marry alt/pop lyricism and well-grounded composition with yearning themes and experimental musicianship, connecting with audiences in electric deeply personal live performances.

Vertigo is releasing their sophomore album, “The Coming and The Going” on July 28 and will be touring nationally in support.

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Museum of Ancient Art at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park now open

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park offers a new permanent feature this summer with the opening of its Museum of Ancient Sculpture.

While park founder Harry T. Wilks has been rounding up his collection of large contemporary work for the 265-acre outdoor sculpture park, he’s also been quietly accumulating ancient sculpture, which until now he kept in the Pyramid House, his private residence on park grounds.

As he did with Pyramid House, Wilks devised much of the design of the 10,000 square foot museum himself, based on buildings he’s seen on his European travels, he said.

“When I went to Rome, I saw these estates with inner gardens and cloistered walkways,” he said. “This is my rendition of ancient Rome and Pompeii. I call the design ‘Roman-inspired eclectic.’ If you have a building for ancient sculpture, why not make it look ancient?”

“There are no reproductions,” Wilks said. “Every one of these works of art is a true museum piece that I’ve purchased from Sotheby’s and Christie’s,” two New York auction houses that guarantee both the authenticity and the provenance of the items to ensure that they are not stolen.

Wilks said that he has focused his collection in four areas: Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Etruscan sculpture.

Steven Tuck, Distinguished Scholar in Miami University’s Department of Classics, has been working with Wilks to catalog and research the collection and has come up with some interesting information about several of the pieces.

“Even though everything was purchased from Christie’s and Sotheby’s, the information they provide is usually very limited,” Tuck said.

For instance, one piece was purchased with a label saying “Head of a god.” But upon a close examination, Tuck found a series of holes drilled in the head, indicating that there is a piece missing, most likely a halo, indicating that it was Helios, the God of the Sun, created sometime in the second century.

Tuck said that he looks for other visual clues like hairstyles and clothing to help date pieces, and some of the pieces have writing on them that helps.

He has been able to trace a funerary urn, for instance, to a particular family cemetery outside of Athens, and can pinpoint the date to between 300 and 380 B.C. because of its similarity to pieces in other museums.

The centerpiece of the Egyptian portion of the collection, for instance, is an Egyptian coffin that is covered with hieroglyphic writing.

“I found that it was the grandson of a Pharaoh,” Tuck said. “The tomb was in Luxor on the west bank of the Nile near the Valley of Kings.”

Tuck said that many of the pieces in the Pyramid Hill collection are as good as or better than pieces in other museums.

“There’s an Etruscan urn here from 150 B.C.,” he said by way of example. “There’s another one almost identical to it in the Louvre, but this one is in better condition.

“The fact that he has focused his collection on these four areas gives you a good range of material in each one,” he said.

Tuck said that his plan is to create a catalog that will have entries on each piece detailing where it came from and what it means.

“You get a better sense of what this art meant to the people that made it and the people that saw it,” he said, “about their belief systems and cultural values, what they wanted to be remembered for, about their hopes.”

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Common Bond Quartet performs a church festival, June 7

Common Bond Quartet, 1 p.m. Sunday, June 7, Yankee Road First Church of God, 3029 Yankee Rd., Middletown.

The Yankee Road First Church of God is hosting an afternoon of food, games and children’s activities. The Sunday FunDay activities begin right after the morning worship with lunch at noon followed by the concert by the Common Bond Quartet, a group of cousins from Mt. Sterling, Ky.

From the Common Bond Quartet’s website: “Growing up, we were surrounded by the a cappella voices of our parents. They sang late into the night, in our homes. Often we fell asleep to the echo’s of our parents voices as they sang songs about Jesus and His love. The Senn Family Quartet sang at weddings, funerals, family gatherings, church gatherings and most importantly, in our homes. From those songs of faith and love for God - we learned more than singing from our parents - We learned to know and to love God, ourselves. We learned to express our love for Him through singing.”

Bring a friend and a lawn chair.

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MUSE women’s choir sing a 26th annual spring concert, June 6-7

MUSE Women’s Choir presents “Gracias a La Vida!” 8 p.m. Saturday, June 6, 3 p.m. Sunday, June 7, New Thought Unity, 1401 E. McMillan St., Cincinnati. Sliding scale $8-$50, suggested price $15. (513) 221-1118.

On the heels of an international performance tour in the Dominican Republic to participate in Justicia Global’s 11th International Summit, MUSE will spice up the stage with the invigorating rhythms and harmonies of Latin America. MUSE will add some zesty humor and a dash of the old favorites for a concert celebrating 26 years of musical excellence and social change.

Sharing the stage with MUSE will be Cincinnati-based Canela. Canela (Spanish for cinnamon) is a trio that plays fun, exciting Afro-Cuban Jazz. Incorporating the sounds of the Caribbean, this ensemble performs rhythmic and danceable music sure to get people moving.

MUSE was founded in 1983 by Dr. Catherine Roma, artistic director. Over 60 auditioned singers perform in nearly 20 concerts per year.

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Lebanon Theatre steps up the laughs in ‘Taking Steps,’ June 6

The Lebanon Theatre Company presents “Taking Steps” by Alan Ayckbourn, 8 p.m. June 6, 2 and 7 p.m. June 7, 8 p.m. June 12, 8 p.m. June 13, and 2 p.m. June 14, Top of the Shoe Theatre, 120 East South St., Lebanon. $15. (513) 228-0932.

Justin McClellan of the Western-Star reports: “Taking Steps” is a classic British farce filled with mistaken identities, humorous coincidences and lots of slamming doors and rushing between rooms. The play focuses on a hard-drinking tycoon considering buying an English mansion. During an evening stay, he, his wife, her brother, and his fiance attempt to sort themselves out, with hilarious results.

ABOVE: Mark (Terry Gosdin) and Tristram (David Vanderhorst) attempt to keep Roland (Brent Peebles) awake because they mistakenly believe he has overdosed on pills. Photo: Well Dunn Images

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Cincinnati Art Museum exhibits honor women

Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday; closed Monday. Admission is free. (513) 639-2995.

>> Garry Winogrand’s Women Are Beautiful, through Aug. 23. A glimpse into the world of Garry Winogrand, whose work defined a quintessential “American” photography in the late twentieth century. Winogrand’s photographs of street life, the suburbs, and the fractured, postwar, new consumer culture that emerged in the 1950s, remind us how the every day is loaded with anonymous joy and pathos and how each moment in life is filled with happenstance and the unexpected. “Women Are Beautiful” is a time capsule of the Pop and Mod 1960s, showcasing the ever-changing nature of fashion and representation of female beauty. “Street” photographs, they raise tricky issues like the “male gaze” and voyeurism, and how they relate to the paparazzi-style reportage that is a mainstay of our contemporary culture (above, “New York 1965”).

>> Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women, June 6-Sept. 6. Vonnoh (1872-1955) was the leading sculptor of American womanhood of her time and a pioneer among female artists. This is the first exhibition devoted to the artist, and spotlights the artist’s small sculpture and garden statuary portraying women as both icons of beauty and moral guardians of family and home. The exhibition features over 35 works from 1895 to 1930. It presents Vonnoh’s sculpture in bronze, her favored medium, as well three rare works in terra cotta and two portraits of the artist painted by her husband, American Impressionist Robert William Vonnoh. Like American Impressionist painters, Bessie Potter Vonnoh took contemporary daily life as her subject matter, focusing on statuettes of women and children dressed in the period’s fashions. She designed these intimate works for the artistic embellishment of the home at a time when most sculptors concentrated on monuments and grand public statements.

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Trivia question: Win a free CD from the Cincinnati Symphony

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has asked me to give away some CDs in anticipation of the upcoming appearance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Riverbend Music Center on June 18.

So for a copy of the Choir’s new CD “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing,” be the first to e-mail me the answer to the following question:

The words to the hymn “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” was written in 1757 by Methodist pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson, who was 22 at the time. Who wrote the melody?

I’ll post the winner’s name tomorrow and see if I can talk the symphony out of another CD to give away.

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The Molly Franklin Dorkestra makes its debut at Oxford CAC’s Second Friday, June 12

Second Friday, 6 p.m. Friday, June 12, Oxford Community Arts Center, 10 S. College at High St., Oxford. Music and art show are free; dancing is $5. (513) 524-8506.


The Oxford Community Arts Center’s Second Friday event for June will feature the debut of the Molly Franklin Dorkestra.

“I’ve just had a dream of getting lots of people together to play and here they are,” Franklin said. “All these people were either friends of mine, or friends of friends. Some of them I’ve played with before and some I’ve not. We all just kind of improv together and it sounds great.”

Franklin said that the eight-piece band, which includes a horn section, doesn’t play any particular style of music — “a little rock, a little jazz” — but that if one likes Sheryl Crow and Lawrence Welk, this might be right up their alley.

“I would say it mostly sounds like folk-rock mixed with upbeat orchestral doodlings,” she said.

Franklin has played with different bands locally and in other areas, including the Denver-based acoustic rock band, “Sweet Water Well,” which produced the CD “Watermelon,” and with her mother, Nora Ellen Bowers and sister Katy Bee as the Bowery.

Franklin also created a CD of original songs for children, “Double Daddy,” and has recently released her three-song CD, “I’m Making Jello with my Mother.”

The evening also marks the opening reception for the third annual art exhibit of Jean Vance’s AdVance Painting Class. The exhibition will include the “Zoo Gallery” of animal paintings on oriental paper but will also consist of images using a wide variety of techniques and styles. Some of the members of her class have been painting together since 1990.

Lane Library’s seventh annual Our Own Art teen art contest winning artwork will also be on exhibit at the Arts Center. Teens from 13 to 18 years of age entered artwork ranging from drawing, sculpting, and photography.

The center’s resident artists will also hold their monthly Open Studios, and the Art Shop will be open.

Also, Nancy Sturgeon and Janet Holmes will offer a “gentle introduction” to ballroom dancing, 8 to 9 p.m., with open dancing from 9 to 10 p.m.

Cost is $5 per person, and all proceeds go to the Oxford Community Arts Center.

PHOTO: The Molly Franklin Dorkestra includes Laurie Traveline Neyer (piano), Matt Evins (sax), Kevin Jewett (trombone), Molly Franklin (vocals) and Mike Lindley (guitar). The band also includes Thom Wyatt (drums) and Karl Reiff (bass).

Permalink | Comments (0) | Post your comment | Categories: Dance/Ballet, Free Events, Galleries/Exhibitions, Music, Oxford Community Arts Center

Country music and wine tasting highlight Trenton’s Summer Kickoff

City of Trenton Summer Kickoff, 1 p.m. Saturday, June 6, Trenton Community Park, 440 Dell Drive, Trenton.

Highlighting the days festivities will be a wine tasting from 4 to 8 p.m. with free country music with Ridge Runner and singer/songwriter Ray Ligon.

Wine expert Cal Conrad will be serving wines from California, Australia/New Zealand, South America, Italy and France. Proceeds from the wine tasting and Silent Auction will benefit the Three Valley Conservation Trust.

The Three Valley Conservation Trust works with the people and communities to preserve the natural environment and cultural heritage in SW Ohio. For more information on how the Three Valley Conservation Trust partners with families and local governments to protect land and water resources, contact the Trust at (513) 524-2150.

Formed in 2002, Ridge Runner has been touring regionally, writing songs, and recording CDs while building a legion of loyal fans across the Midwest. In 2008 Ridge Runner partnered with HMG (Nashville) and released their first single “Danced a Dream” to country radio, released March, 2009. The track made its way into the charts and has paved the road for the bands upcoming release “Kickin and Stompin” on SOL Records.

Ray Ligon (above) was born and raised in South Florida. His dad bought him his first guitar at 13 and he started teaching himself to play. His influences are varied and it comes through in the music he writes and performs. From John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” to James Taylor’s “Steam Roller Blues” and George Strait’s “Strait Up Country”, all and more are part of what helped shape Ray’s musical style.

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Mason’s Pine Hill Lodge celebrates National Great Outdoors Month

Pine Hill Lodge, 207 Kings Mills Rd., Mason, begins its celebratoin of National Great Outdoors Month on June 9 with ‘Best Native Trees & Shrubs for Wildlife’ by Marvin’s Organic Gardens.

Other programs include:

> ‘Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat’ will be presented by Wild Bird Center, June 10

> ‘Making Hypertufa Troughs’ will be led by Chuck Ellsworth, June 16

> ‘Composting Practices’ from Marvin’s Organic Gardens, June 17

> ‘Best Native Flowers for Butterflies and Caterpillars’ by the Mason Parks & Recreation Department, June 23

> ‘Woodland Fairy Gardens’ by Warren County Master Gardeners, June 24

> ‘Planting a Butterfly Garden’ will be presented by Marvin’s Organic Gardens, June 25

> ‘Family Nature Hike’ with Wild Bird Center, June 30

Programs are 6 to 7 p.m. Fees are $9 per family for Community Center VIP families, $10 for resident families, and $15 for non-resident families.

Pine Hill Lodge is used for nature programs, fishing camp, nature camp, outdoor education, and the new ‘Kids in Nature’ programs.

For more information, call the Mason Community Center at (513) 229-8555.

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The Fairfield Lane Library Presents Mark Wade’s ‘Creativity Gone Wild Show,’ June 16

The Fairfield Lane Library presents Mark Wade’s “Creativity Gone Wild Show,” for children ages 4-12, 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, Village Green Amphitheatre, 301 Wessel Dr., Fairfield. (513) 858-3238, ext. 360.

Ventriloquist Mark Wade delivers laughs and supplies great ideas on being creative while promoting books, reading and using the library. Enjoy the antics of Eggmont the bird, Horace the back-woodsy horse and all of their friends.

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Fort Ancient hosts a Gathering Of The Four Directions, June 13-14

The Ohio Historical Society presents A Gathering of Four Directions, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 14, Fort Ancient, 6123 St Rt. 350, Oregonia. $9 adult; $5 youth ages 6-12; half-price for Ohio Historical Society members and Fort Ancient Season Pass holders. (513) 932-4421 or 1-800-283-8904.

Visitors will have the opportunity to listen to storytelling, American Indian traditions, singing, drumming and flute music. A variety of activities will enable people of all ages to learn how to throw a spear or tomahawk, shoot archery, learn how to use a pump drill, make a dream catcher and much more.

“The events gets bigger every year because there so much to see and do,” said Jack Blosser, the site manager at Fort Ancient, in a news release. “This year we expect more than 3,000 people to attend the two-day event.”

This year the Celebration will once again feature Douglas Blue Feather, left, an award winning songwriter and performer of contemporary Native American Flute music.

The weekend will also provide for a variety of demonstrations including flint knapping (making arrows and spears of stone), pottery making, silversmithing, stone carving, and dream catcher making to name a few. There will also be a silent auction to help raise money for future celebration events at the site.

More than 40 vendors and demonstrators across Ohio will be at the event. Vendors will be selling handmade crafts, including jewelry, knives, clothing, utility wares, dance staffs, finger woven sashes, beaded necklaces, leather bags, flutes and much more. The Warren County Conservation Association will sell food.

In addition, people will have the opportunity to listen to storytelling, native heritage discussions and a discussion of the Shawnee language. There will also be a discussion of herbs found in the Ohio area.


Top photo courtesy of Rod Berry Photography.

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Blue Stone Ivory opens the West Chester Concert Series, June 6

Blue Stone Ivory performs classic rock favorites 7 p.m. Saturday for the Fifth Third West Chester Concert Series at Keehner Park, Barrett Road.

A favorite regional band, Blue Stone Ivory performs classic rock favorites.

The rest of the series includes:

> Lakota Idol, June 13

> Midnight Special, June 20

> West Chester Symphony, June 27 and Sept. 7

> The Voices of Ohio, July 11

> Cincinnati Brass Band, July 18

> Monday Night Big Band, July 25

> Miami University Steel Drum Band, Aug. 1

> Robin Lacey and DeZydeco, Aug. 8

> Cincy Rockers, Aug. 22

Bring a picnic and lawn chairs to enjoy the concert. No alcohol is permitted at Keehner Park.

For more information, call (513) 777-5900.

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After-Hours on the Square kicks off June 4 with Jake Speed and the Freddies


Jake Speed & The Freddies (above, at a recent Music Cafe) kick off the 2009 season of the First Financial Bank After-Hours on The Square, Thursday, June 4.

Jake Speed & the Freddies are a four-piece band made out of guitar, mandolin, tenor guitar, and upright bass (plus harmonica, kazoo, washboard, and watering can). Their traditional and original songs leap right out of Depression-era freight trains and right into Ohio River steamboats. Their near-vaudeville style stage shows and quick-witted charisma rope in loyal fans of new and old generations alike.

The event begins right after work with DJ Johnny B getting the party started at 4:30 p.m. Enjoy a beer with co-workers and stick around to listen to Jake Speed & The Freddies at 6 p.m.

The rest of the season includes:

> The Websters, June 11

> Thunder Bay, June 18

> The Paul Otten Band, June 25 and Aug. 20

> The Hiders, July 2

> The Whammies, July 9

> DV8, July 16

> Big Whiskey, July 23

> The Menus, July 30

> The Sonic Sledgehammers, Aug. 6

> Dangerous Jim and the Slims, Aug. 27

The Square is located in the heart of Union Centre on Centre Pointe Drive, just north of Union Centre Boulevard.

Permalink | Comments (0) | Post your comment | Categories: Fesitvals, Music

Fringe Festival continues this week, through June 6

I managed to get in a few shows at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival over the weekend, and was enchanted by everything I saw.


Descriptions of all of the Fringe Festival shows…..

The schedule is on the official Fringe Festival website….


Of local interest is “Villainy,” a show put together by a group of recent Miami University graduates and friends as This Ain’t Real Theatre Co. It’s an exploration of Shakespeare’s most-loved villains and of villainy in general. Scenes from “Hamlet,” “Romeo and Juliet,” the Scottish play and others, are interspersed with some original material, including a hilarious projection of a young man’s video blog as he plots out his revenge against an Internet game rival who cheated him.

“Villainy” was conceived and compiled by Justin Baldwin, who is now heading off to the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival for the summer, and features Ashley Goos, Jason Howard, Lawton Lovely, Lizz Keo and my son, Sean Jones, pictured here as Tybalt killing Mercutio. I’ve known some of these kids for a long time, and I must say I was proud of them all and pleased that they have such a great interest in Shakespeare.

They have one more show left, 9 p.m. Thursday, June 4, at the New Stage Collective on Main St.

I also saw “The Edge,” featuring Amy Warner, one of the region’s top professional actresses, and Karen Wissel, directed by Warner’s husband, Michael Evan Haney, the associate artistic director at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Haney and Warner saw the play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1986 and are giving it its American premiere.

“The Edge is an unusual dialog between a mother and daughter, interesting because the daughter never speaks, but dances her part of the exchange, with choreography by Judith Mikita. Its a little confusing at first, but as the story unfolds, the peculiar family dynamics become chillingly clear.

Never one to miss a good clown show, I also enjoyed “7 (x1) Samurai,” a high-energy and hilarious one-man version of Kurosawa’s classic film.

There is also some excellent mask work in “Four Wishes” by the Gunstwork Mast Puppet Theatre (pictured at the top of this entry). Also a one-man venture, “Four Wishes” also uses a variety of puppets to tell a traditional Native American fable.

The Performance Gallery is the only group to have a piece in all six Fringe Festivals, and while I wouldn’t put “KAS/m” (below) at the top of the list of their productions, it still has all the hallmarks of what has kept this Cincinnati-based group in the center of the Fringe. Its the story of a playwright coming to terms with the suicide of a friend as he confronts all of the characters from his previous works that have committed suicide. It’s layered and rich, funny and moving all at the same time.

Permalink | Comments (0) | Post your comment | Categories: Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Theater

Wakeboarding pros come to Wake Nation’s grand opening, June 2

Wake Nation Cincinnati, 10 a.m. until dark through October, 201 Joe Nuxhall Way, Joyce Park, Fairfield. $20 one-hour pass; $35 full-day pass, plus equipment rental. (513) 887-9253.

Wake Nation, the new waterboarding cable park, holds its grand opening celebration at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2, featuring exhibitions by Team Liquid Force and some of the top local waterboarders.

Admission is $7 advance, $10 at the door, and includes a screening of the wake move “Out of the Pond.”

I dropped in on Wake Nation late last week and got some shots of some of the local guys warming up for the big event….

Here’s what I wrote when it opened in early May:

Thanks to a new water attraction at Joyce Park, you no longer need a boat to enjoy the thrill of water skiing.

Water Nation, “a cable wakeboarding facility now in its soft opening” in Joyce Park, allows visitors to take a 1,800-foot ride around a manmade lake pulled by cables rather than a speedboat.

It’s only the seventh such facility in the United States, according to owner Peter Kennedy.

He first encountered it while accompanying his father-in-law on a medical mission to Naga City in the Philippines a couple of years ago. There was a “cable park” near the hotel he was staying. “It was beautiful,” he said. “I took one spin and I was hooked.”

When he got back to Los Angeles, where he was living at the time, he started researching and found there were only a few in the United States and that the inventor of the cable system that tows the wakeboarders was a German named Bruno Rixmen. So he went to Germany and Rixmen took him on a tour of some of the 40 cable parks there.

“He told me what was good and bad about each one,” Kennedy said, “so we formulated what we believe is the greatest cable park in the world.”

The next step was finding a place for it. He first searched Los Angeles, but suitable property was far too expensive for a start-up operation, and in his second choice of Denver, there were too many issues of mineral rights for the water. So having some family in Cincinnati, he decided this would be a good place to launch his operation. The next-closes cable park is in Kansas City, he said, and the rest are in Florida and Texas.

He closed on the Joyce Park sit in August, 2008, and began construction of a 10-acre lake near the River Road entrance.

The cables run an 1,800-foot loop around the lake, pulling wakeboarders at speeds up to 45 miles per hour — but the system is set at more leisurely 18.5 miles per hour.

Wake Nation is a “pay-as-you-play” facility with rates by the hour, the day or season.

Parking and admission to water sports complex are free, including access to an outdoor 3,000 square foot observation deck that offers a panoramic view of the entire lake area. Until July 3, Wake Nation is offering first-time visitors their first hour of water time free with a coupon that can be printed out from the Wake Nation Web site at www.wakenation.com.

So far, the reception has been excellent, Kennedy said.

“The biggest challenge we have is we don’t have a year-round season,” he said. “But as I plan to be open from April to the first of November.”

Permalink | Comments (0) | Post your comment | Categories: Sports Entertainment

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