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BACH concert to close season with Handel

CHAMPAIGN — The Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana will close their 16th season with a performance next Sunday evening of George Frideric Handel's popular oratorio "Judas Maccabaeus."

'Justinpalooza' fundraiser set for Saturday

CHAMPAIGN —Nightjar Promotions and the Champaign/Urbana Singer Songwriter Collective will present the fundraiser music show "Justinpalooza" at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mike 'N' Molly's, 105 N. Market St.

'Music Man' youth show auditions scheduled

URBANA — The Urbana Park District will have auditions next weekend for its 22nd annual Youth Summer Theatre performance of "The Music Man."

The auditions are open to actors age 9-18, with the oldest having just finished senior year of high school. Actors younger than 9 need approval to audition. The auditions will take place at the Phillips Recreation Center, 505 W. Stoughton, U.

Studio Visit: Dave Schroeder

Studio Visit appears in The News-Gazette. Here, a visit with artist Dave Schroeder, a musician and teacher who also directs the Danville Municipal Band, conducts the Vermilion Festival Chorus and is a member of the Danville Symphony Orchestra. He also occasionally plays the Wurlitzer at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign.

Champaign native on new VH1 show

Pro basketball players and the cheerleaders who love them. That's the stuff of drama on a new show that features a Champaign native and former Illini as one of the stars.

McKinley Freeman will be a star of VH1's new drama "Hit the Floor" about the fictional Los Angeles Devils. And Freeman's role is one of the most devilish: Cheerleaders beware.

University Y hosts reception for UHS exhibit

CHAMPAIGN — The University YMCA will have an opening reception Thursday for the exhibition "Identity, Activism, and Youth," created by Urbana High School students, with leadership from Chicana artist Nancy Guevara.

Ted Kooser: American life in poetry May 12, 2013

It's a difficult task to accurately imagine one's self back into childhood. Maybe we can get the physical details right, but it's very hard to recapture the innocence and wonder. Maureen Ash, who lives in Wisconsin, gets it right in this poem.

Church Basement

The church knelt heavy

above us as we attended Sunday School,

circled by age group and hunkered

Documentary next on community cinema list

CHAMPAIGN — WILL's next Community Cinema event, coming Tuesday, will feature "The Revolutionary Optimists," a documentary which explores the work of Amlan Ganguly to empower India's poorest children to become activists and educators.

Two books for children: Of whales and grandpas

The first picture book I'm sharing with you today is a new one, released May 7: "if you want to see a whale" (2013, Roaring Brook, written by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist, Erin Stead, ages 3-8) was created by the same author-illustrator pair who made the lovely book "and then it's spring," which I reviewed last year.

'Little Mermaid Jr.' to play at Virginia

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign Park District's Youth Theatre program will present the stage musical "Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr." from Thursday through Saturday at the newly renovated Virginia Theatre.

This will be the Virginia's first live theatrical production after the $5.5 million renovation of the auditorium.