Getting Personal: Danville radio stations manager Mike Hulvey

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
I wake up every morning at 4 a.m. I read six newspapers online, five news and sports sites along with visiting our company sites and checking e-mail.

Hobson in spotlight as director, pianist for Sinfonia da Camera

URBANA – Ian Hobson will wear two hats at the Sinfonia da Camera concert Saturday evening at Krannert Center. He will conduct the chamber orchestra and perform as pianist for Frederic Chopin's concerto.

Hobson, also the University of Illinois Swanlund Professor of Piano and the Center for Advanced Studies professor of music, is marking the bicentenary of Chopin's birth with a series of concerts in Lockport and the release of a 16-volume series of recordings of the composer's piano works.

Competition medals are icing on cake for C-U's own ace

Local pastry chef Ashlee Roderick has created several themed cakes for large competitions. The awards they've won prove her career also has a theme: excellence.

Roderick, 37, has competed in three competitions and is planning to enter another cake this fall in the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show. She's a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and has owned and operated The Cake Artist's Studio in Champaign since 2001.

Celebrities get creative for Danville library's Doodle for Literacy

DANVILLE – The fundraising committee of the Danville Library Foundation wanted to create an event that would be a first for the Danville community without reinventing the wheel.

In the process, the committee came up with the Doodle for Literacy Auction Gala event, which will be held April 10 at the Danville Country Club.

Shorter, lighter pieces to launch Danville symphony concert

DANVILLE – This month's Danville Symphony Orchestra concert will bring its audience three classic pieces showcasing concertmaster and Danville native Margaret Jones and conductor Jeremy Swerling.

Jones, the concertmaster, will step to the front of the stage with two virtuosic show pieces, which are "shorter in length and lighter in nature" than some symphony works, she said.

"Tzigane," written by Maurice Ravel, was first performed with violin and piano, and later arranged for violin and orchestra.

Uni High grad's lighting technology has many fans in Hollywood

When you see realistic digital human or alien characters like the blue Na'vi in "Avatar," Superman in "Superman Returns" and a reverse-aging Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," you have University High School alumnus Paul Debevec to thank, in large part.

Debevec developed the groundbreaking light-stage technology that helps make digital actors trick viewers into believing they're seeing the real thing. For his contributions, the 1988 Uni grad recently received the Scientific and Engineering Academy Award.

Studio Visit: Stephen Cartwright, 37, of Urbana

Q: Is that ShopBot Router yours or the university's?

A: It's the university's but I got a UI Research Board grant to buy it. It's a numerically controlled computer so you can put any kind of line drawing into it and tell it to cut in or on the outside of the lines or tell it to cut in a certain depth.

Q: Did you use it for your big project "Trajectory"?

March 6 fundraiser benefits victims of earthquake in Haiti

A "Hearts for Haiti" event next weekend will raise money for victims of the January earthquake with music, improvisational performances and a raffle.

The fundraiser – organized by local community members and backed by the American Red Cross Central Illinois chapter – is scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. March 6 at Class Act, 114 S. Neil St., C, a theater company with interactive performances and education.

The lineup includes performances by CU Theatresports Comedy Improv, Mordechai in the Mirror, Ryan Groff from Elsinore, and Duke of Uke.

Ebert to appear on 'Oprah' on Tuesday with new 'voice'

Urbana native Roger Ebert will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Tuesday, using a new text-to-speech computer-software generated voice based on his own.

Ebert told The News-Gazette on Friday via e-mail that he calls his new voice "Roger Jr."

"I'm writing a blog that will tell all," he added.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic posted last week at Twitter that he had taped an "Oprah" segment and it was to air on Tuesday. Locally, the program airs at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday on WCIA Channel 3.

Gravitacin planning album release party March 8 at Carmon's

CHAMPAIGN – The early music ensemble Gravitacin will have an album release dinner party/concert on March 8 at Carmon's Restaurant, 415 N. Neil St., C.

The cost is $16 per person and covers food and mini-concert. There will be a cash bar. The doors will open at 7 p.m. and the program will start at 7:30 p.m. For information, call 390-4480.

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