Ask 'Mimi' May 11, 2014

Ask 'Mimi' May 11, 2014

What's this about Roger Ebert receiving another award?

Yes, the University of Illinois Fraternity & Sorority Affairs student leadership honor society Order of Omega recently recognized the accomplishments of notable Illinois Greek alumni including the late Ebert. The group inducted into its inaugural Fraternity & Sorority Hall of Fame four alumni including Ebert, who was a member of Phi Delta Theta.

The others were retired U.S. Air Force Col. Charles McGee and David Blackwell, am academic, both of Alpha Phi Alpha, and Pamela Downey of Phi Sigma Sigma.

To recognize Ebert, the Interfraternity Council and Phi Delta Theta made a donation to the Roger Ebert sculpture, which will be permanently installed in a month or so outside the Virginia Theatre.

Who's playing at the two Outside at the Research Park concerts this summer?

Davina and the Vagabonds with opening act Upshot on June 13, and Grammy winner Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, July 18.

I was happy to hear about Davina and the Vagabonds; I've heard them perform in C-U where they have built a big fan base. Singer Davina Sowers rules from the keyboard; she and her tight band (with horns) perform old-time, bluesy, sassy music. They're regulars on the festival circuit, toured Europe in 2012 and will debut at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September.

The Louisiana-based Simien has performed zydeco for more than 30 years. He and his band have appeared in commercials and films including "The Big Easy" and are regulars at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Candy Foster and the Shades of Blue will open for Simien's group.

I heard a while back about a women's choral festival this summer in C-U. Is that true?

You heard right. The local women's chorus, Amasong, will host the Sister Singers Network's 11th National Women's Choral Festival July 23-27 on the UI cmpus, mainly at Krannert Center.

The opening night will feature a free concert in the Krannert lobby. There will be afternoon, evening and closing concerts, all featuring women's choral music from throughout the U.S.

Tickets for the public performances are $10 for each concert block or $30 for a festival pass and are available at Krannert Center.

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Topics (3):Film, Music, People

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PCrews wrote on May 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm

RE: Women's Choral Festival 

Registration for the festival itself is still going on. Women who sing are invited to participate in the full festival. This includes workshops on everything from yoga for singers, how to sing Hildegard of Bingen, the women's choral movement, finding a composer for your commisions, and social justice and singing. Festival participants also get to sing with one of 2 mass choruses, which close out the festival performances on July 26.

More information is available at or email with questions.