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Obama lights National Christmas Tree for last time

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday marked his final time lighting the National Christmas Tree with a wish that Americans will care for the sick, the hungry and the downtrodden this holiday season and treat one another as they would want to be treated.

The president said that message rounds out his family's Christian faith, and that of Americans of all backgrounds.

#TheMJs, Dec. 2, 2016

On Fridays, staff writer Marcus Jackson (@MarcusJ_NG) provides a quick glance at the best that Twitter has to offer.

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Missy the Singing Dog, Josh the Barking Oboist

Heidi Schwarz, owner of Missy, a 7-year-old German shepherd, attempts to get Missy to bark during the Hindsley Symphonic Band's rendition of "Playfellow," a piece that was written by composer/conductor Henry Fillmore and performed by band and his dog "Mike" in the 1920s. At the Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. 

PODCAST: Danda Tish Beard, producer of Barns: An Illinois Story

PODCAST: Danda Tish Beard, producer of Barns: An Illinois Story: Play now!

Danda Tish Beard is the executive producer of Barns: An Illinois Story, a new documentary premiering at 7 p.m. Thursday on WILL-TV.

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Club listings, Dec. 1-8, 2016

THURSDAY, Dec. 1

BAXTER'S AMERICAN GRILLE: Kickin' & Pickin', 6 p.m.

CANOPY CLUB: Sixth Street Brass, 9 p.m.

CLARK BAR: Jeff Arturo, 6 p.m.; C-U Comedy's "The Open Mic," 9 p.m.

FAT CITY, THE CITY CENTER: Chris Lane, with Morgan Wallen, 7 p.m.

John Frayne: UI Philharmonia concert delivers holiday treats

The University of Illinois Philharmonia, under the direction of its energetic maestro Louis Bergonzi, gave its second concert of the fall season in the Foellinger Great Hall on Tuesday night. This orchestra is composed of music majors as well as students in other majors who wish to keep up their musical interests and performing skills.

'Every Brilliant Thing': One actor, 1 million reasons to live

URBANA — The premise of the solo show "Every Brilliant Thing," opening tonight at the Station Theatre, might sound grim: The narrator begins at the age of 7 to list 1 million of life's pleasures, writing them on numbered scraps of paper for his suicidal mother to find.

Notes-Worthy: Spencer Ely

Terry Brown of CU Bands and Fans chats with Spencer Ely, drummer for King's Highway and Clockwork'd Orange.

King's Highway is a band that has made a comeback. Were you in the original iteration? And do you feel the comeback is stronger than the original?

CU Ballet's 'Nutcracker' a spectacle for the eyes and ears

URBANA — Someone once said the volunteer parents who help the Champaign Urbana Ballet behind the scenes are overachievers.

The company's annual production of "The Nutcracker" backs that up.

The drop-dead gorgeous costumes — many are new this year — are made by parents and other volunteers.

Frank's Faves: Christmas TV specials

This week:

"Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of year."