South Shore Opera celebrates Black history at free concert

Opera, musical theatre, spirituals, art songs and dance featuring works by African American composers will highlight a special free Black History Month celebration on Sunday, 5:30 p.m., presented by the South Shore Opera Co.

Opera, musical theatre, spirituals, art songs and dance featuring works by African American composers will highlight a special free Black History Month celebration on Sunday, 5:30 p.m., presented by the South Shore Opera Co. The annual event, staged at the South Shore Cultural Center in partnership with the Chicago Park District and the South Shore Cultural Center Advisory Council, will feature Dana Campbell, soprano; Kamaran Alexis-Madison, mezzo soprano; Jeffery Burish, Sean Harris and Cornelius Johnson, tenors; Martin Woods, baritone; and the Deeply Rooted Dance Ensemble.

The non-profit civic and educational organization was established in 2009 under the direction of Dr. Marvin Lynn (pictured), its president and executive director; Andrea Adams, center director; and CPD. SSOC was designed to bring high quality opera and musical theatre to the community, provide opportunities for diverse emerging and professional artists to perform and offer free musical instruction to neighborhood youth. Sunday’s sponsor: Northern Trust.

Spelman’s Song Sheri Yarbrough, a Spelman sister, wants us to “save the date,” March 7, 7 p.m., when Spelman College Glee Club (Atlanta), which has maintained a reputation of “choral excellence” for 50-plus years, performs in concert at Carter Temple Church, 7841 S. Wabash. Under the baton of Dr. Kevin Johnson, chair of Spelman’s Music Dept., associate professor of music and minister of music at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Atlanta, Spelman’s Glee Club repertoire consists of sacred and secular choral literature for women’s voices with special emphasis on traditional spirituals, music by African American composers, music from many cultures and commissioned works. Free admission, however please be prepared to drop a “li’l sump’em sump’em” in the “love offering” plate as it goes by!

Newsy Names – Happy b’day to state Sen. Donne E. Trotter, state Rep. Ken Dunkin, Larry Huggins, Atty. James Montgomery, Marcellus Moore, Debra Hand, George E. Curry, Linda Gibson, Paul Sisti, Tony Smith, Tracey R. Waugh, Sondra Few, Don Rashid, Charles A. Davis Jr., LaMont Watts, Jackie Peyton, John Moore, Chelle Marie, Trudy Murrell, Lori Caesar, Maurice McNeil, Selma Brown, Dorothy Odell Foster, Harriett Eiland, Louise Jones, Kevin Jones, Alice Scott, Emma Jones, Coy Pugh, Chuck Bowen Jr., Don Lemon and to Richard “Dickie” Johnson, retired IRS agent (not FBI as I wrote in an earlier column). Also Richard was slated for surgery on Wednesday. Prayers are requested for a complete recovery! … If you share a birthday with Chicago (it officially became a city March 4, 1837 – 174 years ago!) you’re invited to be a part of the celebration next Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark. Besides you, other special guests will be from the American Indian Center and city government. All celebrants receive honorary certificates signed by Mayor Richard M. Daley and share birthday cake, courtesy of Bleeding Heart Bakery. It’s free and we’re all invited!

Wynona Redmond, long-time marketing and public relations guru, has departed Dominick’s where she was spokesperson, public affairs and government relations director and joined Ill. Lottery’s hierarchy … Hats off to media sis Audarshia Townsend (a.k.a. 312 Dining Diva on Facebook). She joins WCIU-TV/Ch. 26’s You & Me This Morning to bring viewers the best in local dining news, offering “cool entertaining and informative segments” … Nation of Islam’s Min. Louis Farrakhan gives his “Saviors’ Day” address Sunday, 2 p.m., at Rosemont Convention Center. For tickets, call (773) 340-9008 or visit

Design Diversity – Well, you’ve only ‘til the end of Black History Month (February) to buy a designer tote bag from Walgreens featuring one of six of artist Andre Guichard’s paintings. The Art Icon All Purpose Limited Edition Canvas Bag is selling for only $9.99 at all their stores nationwide as part of the company’s Community Corner program, whose goal is to diversify vendors, help small businesses and promote economic growth. (I got mine! I got mine!) Gleatha Glispie, Walgreens’ senior director of supplier diversity, created the exciting program. Andre and his wife, Frances, co-own the lovely multi-level Gallery Guichard in Bronzeville, 3521 S. King Dr., where currently his paintings are featured in a colorful solo exhibit, Profundity: An Aggregate of Thoughts on Canvas, ‘til April 17. Visit

Sales Sense Industry experts specializing in consumer product and business development will share know-how with company owners who make and sell consumer products and want them on the shelves of major stores. A March 3 all-day symposium, The New Normal: Insights and Trends in Selling Your Products to Fortune 500 Companies and Big Box Retailers, given by the Nielsen Co. in partnership with the Women’s Business Development Center and Walgreens is free and includes lunch.

Attendees will learn how to formulate their niche and marketing strategy, how to approach buyers and procurement officers of big box stores and receive valuable info on consumer buying habits. They’ll also hear from successful women who have completed the process and their products are sold in some of the country’s largest chains. The symposium, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., will be held at Nielsen, 200 W. Jackson, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers watch and buy. Space is limited; pre-registration is “a must.” Call Liz Gardner, (312) 853-3477, ext. 590 or visit

Whazup! Whazup! – The Black Star Project’s Million Father Movement sponsors Take a Black Male to Worship on Sunday, 11 a.m., at Rev. Patrick L. Daymond’s Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church … Colostine “Kuki” Boatwright hosts a Black History Month Celebration, Live on Friday, at Marmon Grand this week with Tazama Sun and the Sons of Blues Band. Also in the mix, Ericka Jarvis, recreating Josephine Baker’s famous Banana Dance, and Paris Walker, blues singer. Donation: $10 ($15 at the door), with a non-perishable food item for the needy. Doors open at 7 p.m.; shows, 8 p.m., 10 p.m. Call (312) 225-8100 … The Good Time Kids, a new national 30-minute, 12-episode television series created by Eric C. Taylor, writer and director, and produced by TaeSue Entertainment, premieres Saturday, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., at Proviso West High School in west suburban Hillside. Executive producers are Taylor, Sue Bell and Kelvin C. Bulger. The six-segment series, shot entirely in Chicago and hosted by kids and teens, will air Saturdays, 11 a.m., on DirectTV’s Ch. 378 and Sky Angel’s Ch. 126. It will also be streamed on, reaching 18.5 million households. The free premieres are open to the public.

Parents, kin and family friends of youngsters enrolled in the prestigious 49-year-old Ancona (Montesorri) School in Hyde Park-Kenwood whose founders and faculty believe “every child is a star,” are in early stage readiness for “Wonder Gala,” an April 9 fun(d)raiser at Galleria Marchetti … An American institution which has been keeping swing alive since 1935, The Count Basie Orchestra makes music at Chicago Symphony Center on April 22. Comprised of new and hand-picked musicians by legendary Count himself, the orchestra has won 17 Grammys and continues to tour, record and collaborate with notable artists. During the second half, the Marcus Roberts Trio lends a distinct sound and style to celebrate the big band tradition. Call (312) 294-3000.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender


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