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URBANA – When the final bell rings on a typical weekday at Urbana High School, many students pour out of the classrooms, rushing to lockers with eagerness to be away from the building. The school is usually deserted within minutes.
But stick your head into Cobb Auditorium and you will find a group of students still there working hard. They're the cast and crew of "Pride and Prejudice," the UHS fall play, and I am one of them.
URBANA – After delivering a lecture in Hong Kong four years ago on musical development in children, Gary McPherson walked to a nearby restaurant. He quickly felt someone following him.
It was Tiffany Poon's father, asking for advice on how to help his daughter. She was quite talented at piano but didn't like the pedagogical approach of her former teachers – all 10 of them.
Sensing the dad was genuine, McPherson, now a professor of music education at the University of Illinois, agreed to meet his daughter. Upon first hearing Tiffany, then only 7, the professor was deeply impressed. She played from memory – not just the notes but with great expression.
It wouldn't seem like Christmas without the bright and colorful Candlestick Lane display in east Urbana. But the residents of Grant Place in east Urbana say they're dialing down their holiday celebration this year.
After 45 years, there no longer will be a lighting ceremony on the opening night (Dec. 6) of the display.
DANVILLE – Former active Marines and volunteers have organized a fundraiser this week for the Toys for Tots campaign that serves the Vermilion County area.
The event is from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Sarge's banquet room, 409 E. Main St.
CHAMPAIGN – Tickets are on sale now for the "Disney Live! Winnie the Pooh," a new stage production by Feld Entertainment, to be presented Nov. 22 at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall in Champaign.
"The Hundred Acre Wood' comes to life in a 'Tiggerific' family show starring that silly old bear, Pooh, and all of his friends," says a news release from the Assembly Hall.
URBANA – Krannert Center is complementing its Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa performance tonight with food and art.
Its Intermezzo Cafe is offering through tonight two traditional African dishes for lunch and dinner: poulet yassa, a Senegalese dish of marinated chicken, lemon and onions served over rice, with a pita on the side; and a hearty peanut soup, a common dish throughout Africa, also served with a pita.
WWHP 98.3-FM will have two more live music shows in November as part of its 2008 music concert series, with the first featuring blues slide guitarist Sonny Landreth on Thursday evening.
Landreth will appear at the New Lafayette Club in Bloomington for a 7 p.m. show. The Delta Kings from Champaign-Urbana will open.
DANVILLE – The North Ridge Middle School Drama Club will present "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Danville High School auditorium, 202 E. Fairchild St., Danville.
The play, based on the Charles Schulz comic strip, follows an average day in the life of 5-year-old Charlie Brown.
DANVILLE – Every year the staff of the Provena United Samaritans Medical Center Foundation Festival of Trees tries to bring something new and exciting to the five-day event.
One of this year's new events is the Celebrete in the Vigneto.
"We decided to try the wine-tasting as a way to have something that men might enjoy as well," said Angie Lazzell, development specialist with the foundation. "It seems like all of our events have been aimed primarily at women and children."
CHAMPAIGN – The next SPEAK Cafe will be from 6:45 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Palette Cafe in Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, C.
The theme, set by emcee Aaron Ammons, is "Thanks for Giving Us: Kindred Spirits."