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A small girl jumps into a line of singers, most several inches and several years above her. They sing "The storm is passing over," and then she is handed the microphone.
But inside that small girl – 12-year-old Jefferson Middle School student Carmen Jackson – is a big voice, a powerful voice that holds the high notes and pushes them higher, and pulls soul into the low notes.
It's a voice of someone who'll be a star one day, Shandra Summerville said. "She will be one of Champaign's finest."
Jackson is not the only could-be-a-star in that line of singers.
Summerville is the program coordinator of CUperStar, a program started by the Champaign-Urbana Area Project and now in its third year.
A two-year wait for a construction project to finish is a breeze when there has been an 81-year gap from start to finish.
The Chapel of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, a landmark located on the University of Illinois campus, is now "St. John the Finished." Contractors have completed an addition to the west end of the church – a project that would have been finished in 1927 if all had gone according to plan.
URBANA – The University of Illinois School of Music has moved its 9/11 memorial performance from Smith Memorial Hall to the much larger Foellinger Great Hall in Krannert Center this year.
Could it be because Nathan Gunn will sing?
PHILO – Philo is coming to a TV near you.
Dan Ault, one of the organizers of the Philo Fall Festival, told fellow village board members Wednesday that a campaign is under way to promote the first festival the town has had in years. The committee has planned three live TV interviews and 22 television ads to promote the festival, which will be held Sept. 26-28.
Amy Chrisman wanted to "stay local" when it came to making prints of her watercolor paintings of Vermilion County landmarks.
She couldn't find a printer in Vermilion County that did the special process she wanted to use, but she did find Lance Dixon and Dixon Graphics, an all-digital printing company at 105 W. John St. in Champaign that also does fine-art reproductions.
DANVILLE – When Amy and Stephen Chrisman moved to Danville 16 years ago from Vermont, they returned to live in the house his great-great grandfather built in the 1860s surrounded by pasture off North Bowman Avenue.
"It was going to be temporary at the time. We moved into the abandoned farmhouse that had animals for residents," Chrisman said with a laugh.
Today, the house is cozy, filled with antiques and artwork that she and her husband have done over the years. Chrisman was seeing clients as a certified massage therapist and caring for their autistic son, Aidan, when she began experiencing continuous pain and muscle weakness from fibromyalgia.
Star Course, the University of Illinois student-run concert productions and promotions organization, has announced that Canadian indie rock band Broken Social Scene will perform on Oct. 19 at Foellinger Auditorium on the UI campus.
The Toronto-based group began with Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning in 1999, but garnered international acclaim only after members of Toronto bands, including Metric and Stars, added new layers to Broken Social Scene's instrumentals, while Amy Millan, Emily Haines and Leslie Feist brought their vocals. This unique arrangement of rotating band members ensures that no two tours are identical.
HOOPESTON – Rachelle Gurule, Miss Arizona, won Sunday night's National Sweetheart Pageant in Hoopeston.
Gurule is studying communications at Pima College in Tucson, Ariz., where she carries a 3.8 GPA. She wants to be a counselor.
PORTLAND, Ore. – Julie Leasure's participation in the 548-mile Primal Quest on fewer than eight hours of sleep this summer may seem a little, well, extreme.
But when you get a glimpse of her life, her passion for the outdoors and her work at Nike, you might understand that it's sheer determination fueling her.
Why would anyone want to race 548 miles in Montana with only eight hours of sleep? Read on; the answer may surprise you.
Primal Quest is the world's most difficult human-endurance competition, an expedition-style adventure race in which teams of four people use only human-powered means to move throughout the course. This can mean traveling by foot, mountain bike, kayak, river board or ropes.