Teesee’s Town: Denyce Graves performs at Sinfonietta’s annual charity ball

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A world-renowned vocalist recognized as one of today’s most exciting operatic stars and who continues to gather unparalleled acclaim on four continents, will entertain at “Sounds of Music,” the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Annual Ball, Sa

A world-renowned vocalist recognized as one of today’s most exciting operatic stars and who continues to gather unparalleled acclaim on four continents will entertain at “Sounds of Music,” the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Annual Ball, Saturday at the Fairmont Hotel, hosted by the Board of Directors and the 2008 Ball Committee. The evening, featuring none other than Denyce Graves, mezzo soprano, will raise money to support the orchestra’s educational outreach programs and the 2008-2009 concert season, as well as honor Chicago’s Joyce Foundation, in recognition of its support of diversity in the arts.

Graves, known for her portrayals of the title roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila, will perform a selection of operatic works including a highlight from Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner that will make its Chicago debut in November at the Auditorium Theater. The orchestra will be under the direction of Chicago Sinfonietta’s founder and music director, Maestro Paul Freeman.

The event will be emceed by the husband-wife journalism team of ABC7’s Karen Jordan and WTTW/11’s Christian Farr. Gala co-chairs are Gail Dugas, long-time Chicago Sinfonietta supporter; and Jenner & Block’s John Mathias, Sinfonietta board member. Included on the committee are: Lonnette Alexander, Mary Lou Bacon, Karen Beal, Michelle Bibbs, Nina Boyd, Teri Boyd, Elena Bradie, Laurie Brady, Beulah Brooks, Liza Cruzat Brooks, Cheri Chappelle, Larry Cohn, Linda Cohn, Ann Collins, Jean Collins, Michelle Collins, Rita Curry, Adrienne Drucker Dibble, Eugene Dibble IV, Jeanette Dibble, Alma Dodd, Leslie Douglass, Tina Carroll Dugas, Jeffrey A. Dugas, Sr., Lauranita T. Dugas, Maxine Duster, Sylvia Edwards, Gale Foster Farley, Stanley Hilton, Margaret Jackson, Pamela Johnson, Courtney Jones, Jan Steptoe Millett, Angela Pace Moody, Barbara Pace Moody, Helen Moore, Nomethemba Pressley, Sandra Rand, Christina Alisa Starks, Joyce Stricklin, Sheila Tucker, Linda Tuggle, Pamela Tuggle, William Tuggle, Rita Wilson, Carole MillerWood, Michele Sutton Yeadon and Aline Young. Tickets to the Black Tie Ball–from $400 (a person) to $25,000 (a table)–are available by calling (312) 236.3681, ext. 1559, or visiting http://www.chicagosinfonietta.org.

Condolences–to Charles A. Davis Sr. (“Chuck”), the long-time public relations exec and businessman, on the loss of his beloved wife of 65 years, Rosalie, 92, whose services are Friday (7 p.m., wake; 8 p.m., funeral) at Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 57th and Prairie. Born in Montgomery, Ala., Rosalie earned her master’s degrees from what is now Chicago State University and DePaul University, and taught school for 34 years. After retirement, she enjoyed painting, writing children’s stories, gardening and foreign and domestic travel. She’s also survived by a son, Charles, Jr. (Betty); daughter, Daphne (Theodore LeCesne); sister-in-law, Clarice Davis Durham; five grandsons, two great grand daughters and many nieces, nephews and cousins. I remember her and my mom as loyal members of the West Chesterfield Garden Club. Rosalie loved to dance “the electric slide,” especially at her 90th b’day dinner and celebration at the Oak Lawn Hilton. She will be missed!

Sympathy–is extended to the family of Justice R. Eugene Pincham, noted civil rights attorney, outspoken activist who abhorred injustice anywhere. He died last week at the age of 82 after being hospitalized for a little over a month. The legal community is in mourning for this giant of a man. Services are Saturday, 10 a.m., at Trinity United Church of Christ where he and his late wife, Alzata had been members for a number of years. Also sorry to hear of the passing of Leon Finney Sr., founder of Leon’s Bar- B-Que and dear dad of Rev. Dr. Leon Finney Jr., pastor of Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church. As of this writing, services are pending.

Hats Off–to the folks at Burrell Communications Group of Chicago who continue their commitment of promoting awareness of important African American issues by partnering with the High Museum of Art in Atlanta to promote the unveiling of two compelling exhibitions, "Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968" and "After 1968: Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy" in the city of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth. The museum will showcase one of the most important art museum exhibitions devoted to photography of the Civil Rights Movement, and has commissioned select works from contemporary artists that reflect the enduring relevance of the Movement and its impact on societal change. Both exhibitions will be on view in Atlanta from June 7-October 5, 2008. Following Atlanta, the exhibitions will travel to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and other venues to be announced.

“It is fitting that such a historic event occurs as we commemorate the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s death, as his powerful legacy continues to resonate in our country,” says McGhee Williams Osse, Burrell’s co-CEO. “For more than 30 years, Burrell has stayed true to our commitment of creating and promoting socially relevant and innovative ideas, and programs that impact the African American community and the entire nation. Our partnership with The High is reflective of our passion and purpose.”

Julian Cox is curator of photography at the High Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.high.org. In addition to work for the High Museum’s Civil Rights exhibitions, the Burrell agency continues to create cutting-edge ad campaigns targeted to the African American consumer and community initiatives that highlight positive images, including “Every Day is Father’s Day in the Eyes of a Child,” “McDonald’s 365 Black,” “Allstate’s ‘Beyond February” and “Olay Definity: Our Beauty,” which won the 2007 American Advertising Federation’s Multiethnic Ad Campaign of the Year.

Delta Doings–D’Estee Inc. and the Chicago Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. host “Jabberwock 2008, Club Delta: A Party with a Purpose,” on April 18, 7 p.m.–midnight, at the South Shore Cultural Center. Tickets to the scholarship fundraiser are $75 and are available by calling (773) 751-4441. “Jabberwock,” chaired by Ramona Milam and Ayana Hubbard, is sure to be an exciting evening of food, fun, fundraising, dancing, live music, silent auction, Las Vegas style casino games, raffles and so much more. From stepping to jazz, there’ll be something for everyone! LaVerne Weatherly is Delta president.

For History–An exhibit on pioneering African American editorial cartoonists targeting the Chicago Defender’s award-winning Chester Commodore (1914-2004), opens Saturday at Woodson Regional Library, 95th and Halsted. The showcase runs until year’s end featuring original cartoons, photos, memorabilia and fan letters from both celebrities and everyday readers.

Radio Rocks–The Bronzeville & Chatham Community Businesses Partners salute several of our town’s top “on-air” radio folks “for their commitment and dedication to improving the quality of life throughout Chicago communities.” This inaugural afternoon of recognition and revelry, titled “The Dunamis Dynamic Advocate Award Ceremony,” on April 28 at 2 p.m., at Nicole Jones’ Sensual Steps Shoe Salon, will honor Bionce Foxx, Tony Sculfield, Nikki Woods and Leon Rogers, of WGCI; Ramonski Luv, Joe Soto, Troi Tyler and Herb Kent, of V103; and Effie Rolfe, Angela Martin and Pastor John Hannah of Inspiration 1390.

______ Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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