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Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Music is medicine

Like many of us, I got hit by the flu or a bad cold last week so was unable to go out much. As a result, I felt rather glum. Last Saturday night, I decided to get out of the house, even though I wasn't feeling great yet, because I figured hearing the Traditional Jazz Orchestra at The Iron Post would make me feel better. I was right.

Look ahead: Top picks for the week to come

New Year's Eve gala

One of the few events going on this week: The Chorale's 31st annual New Year's Eve gala at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Virginia Theatre. I've always meant to go to this but never get around to it; I've heard it's great. Guest this year is After Hours, a barbershop quartet from Peoria. Lots of good songs to be sung, among them Beatles classics.

Here's what's happening on the holiday scene

Orpheum Children's Science Museum ending the year with fun

The Orpheum Children's Science Museum will celebrate the new year with its annual Noon Day Drop Celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Here's what's happening on the music scene

Keith, Guy playing at Rauner bash

Country star Toby Keith, legendary blues artist Buddy Guy and the legislator band The Boat Drink Caucus will perform at Gov. Bruce Rauner's Inaugural Concert in Springfield on Jan. 12. Tickets may be purchased via IllinoisInauguration.com.

Studio Visit: Laura Anne Welle

Studio Visit is a Q&A with local artists. Here, a chat with Laura Anne Welle, 24, of Champaign. The graphic designer at Christopher's Fine Jewelry Design in Champaign who's also a visual artist, jewelry maker and actress recently chatted with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

I didn't know you made visual art, too. What arts are you into?

Weekend planner, Dec. 27, 2014

If you feel like moving around — and who doesn't after holiday indulgences? — or like getting a jump start on your New Year's resolutions, head to the University of Illinois Ice Arena. With students and faculty gone, it's easier to find a parking place on campus over winter break. And the Ice Arena is open over the intersession, including Sundays.

Who lives here? Dec. 27, 2014

Each week on this page, The News-Gazette will show a screen shot of a home from a movie or TV show and ask readers, "Who lives here?" Email your guess of a character who resides in the featured home to wholiveshere@news-gazette.com and we'll give a winner a shout-out on next week's page. Be sure to include your full name and town of residence.

Ted Kooser: An American life in poetry

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

We are never without our insect companions, even in winter, and here's one who has the run of the house. Roger Pfingston lives in Indiana.

December

Lodged tight for days

in a corner of the wall,

ladybug can't resist the tree,

crawling now over cold

light, ceramic fruits,

Entertainment listings, Dec. 25-31, 2014

SPECIAL EVENTS

THIS WEEKEND

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT BUNKER HILL

What: The historic buildings will be lighted for the public to enjoy.

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28 and 31.

Where: Bunker Hill Historic Area, Kennekuk County Park, 22296-A Henning Road, Danville.

More info: Call 442-1691.

John Frayne: BACH concert highlights holiday

The traditional Christmas holiday concert of Baroque Artists of Champaign (BACH) was given at Holy Cross Church in Champaign on Sunday night, Dec. 14. Absent this year were the snow and ice of last year. Instead we had warmer weather and drizzling rain.