Downriver Idol contest attracts capacity crowd

Despite blowing snow and slippery roads, a capacity crowd of 575 jammed the Flat Rock Community Auditorium Feb. 5 for the semifinals of the Southern Great Lakes Symphony’s Downriver Idol Contest.

Outstanding vocal performances were presented by 20 semifinalists, with four finalists ultimately chosen, instead of three as previously announced, owing to tie scores. The finalists were selected by four judges and the audience.

The four singers, who will perform with the sym-phony at its Feb. 21 concert in the last phase of the Idol competition, are Jennifer Carevic of Brownstown, Cree Carrico of Grosse Ile, Stacey Mason of Farmington Hills and Lara Semetko of Grosse Ile.

Carevic grew up singing with the members of her large family and later performed at Detroit casinos, night clubs and restaurants.

Carrico, who is pursuing a bachelor of music de-gree at the Oberlin (Ohio) Conservatory of Music, is planning a career in opera. She has been appearing on stage since the age of 3 and has played leading roles in more than 50 musical- theatre performances.

She was named the Michigan Youth Arts Festival “Outstanding Vocalist of the Year in 2007.

Mason, a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, where she studied voice and violin, is known nationally and worldwide for her unique vo-cal and violin performances, which helped her earn the title Miss Michigan of 1993.

She was the opening act for Jay Leno at the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Automobile in Detroit.

Semetko, who is studying music education at Central Michigan, in Mount Pleasant, is one of five Semetko children who took part in musical theater productions while growing up.

The final phase of the Downriver Idol Contest will take place during the Feb. 21 SGLS concert at 3 p.m. in the Flat Rock Community Auditorium, 28100 Aspen.

The orchestra will accompany the singers and also play compositions by Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Frederick Loewe. The Downriver Community Voices will perform as well.

Four judges and the audience will select the Downriver Idol, to be named after the concert.

Tickets, $25, are available by calling (734) 246-2890 or online at If not sold out, they will be available at the door.

Go Red luncheon, fashion show set
Hundreds of women wearing red will converge on the Detroit Renaissance Center Feb. 24 for the American Heart Association’s annual Red Heart luncheon, featuring a heart-healthy meal, a fashion show of red dresses and a talk by author Mary Ann Bauman, M.D., on energy, fatigue and health issues.

The day will begin with registration and a conti-nental breakfast at 9 a.m., followed by health exhibits and screenings, free massages and a silent auction. Auction items will include tickets to the Oprah Winfrey show, jewelry, spa packages and dinner certificates.

Bauman, a graduate of Wayne State University, served in various medical teaching and administrative positions before starting her own private practice in primary care and then becoming medical director for women’s health and community relations for INTEGRIS Health in Oklahoma.

The speaker is the author of “Fight Fatigue — Six Simple Steps to Maximize Your Energy.” She has been featured on radio programs throughout the United States and Canada.

For tickets, $250, or more information, call Shel-ley Rusinek at 248-936-5807.

Save the date . . .
Feb. 23-March 14 — Award-winning musical comedy, Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein,” at the Detroit Opera House; tickets, $25 to $85, and more information are available by going to

March 6 — Women Healing Women Networking Event & Expo; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Detroit Mar-riott Renaissance Center; celebrity speakers and ap-pearances, drawings and gifts; admission, $8 ($5, students); VIP preview reception, 6:30 p.m. March 5, tickets, $55, include drinks, appetizers and a gift bag; for more information, go to