Downriver Idol title goes to former Miss Michigan

Photo courtesy of the Southern Great Lakes Symphony

The Southern Great Lakes Symphony’s first Downriver Idol, Stacey Mason of Farmington Hills, holds a bouquet of flowers as she receives applause from Mari Frost of Trenton, symphony president, and Charles Greenwell, music director. The winner of the Downriver Idol contest was determined by four judges and the audience at a SGLS concert on Feb. 21.

Stacey Mason of Farmington Hills, who is known nationally and worldwide for vocal and violin performances that helped her win the title Miss Michigan of 1993, was named Downriver Idol in the Southern Great Lakes Symphony’s first annual contest to recognize outstanding vocalists in the area.

Mason was chosen the best of four finalists in the competition by four judges and the audience for her rendition of “Time to Say Goodbye,” by Francesco Sartori, Feb. 21 at a SGLS concert in the Flat Rock Community Auditorium. The contestants were ac-companied by the orchestra.

Runners-up were Jennifer Carevic of Brownstown Township and Cree Carrico and Lara Semetko, both of Grosse Ile. The contestants were accompanied by the orchestra.

The Downriver Idol has performed as a violinist with the Birmingham/Bloomfield, Plymouth and Dearborn symphonies and has been a vocal soloist with the Livonia Symphony and Downriver Community Voices.

In addition, she teaches violin privately, is a litur-gical musician, choir member and cantor at St. Regis in Bloomfield Hills and is director of music for the chapel at St. John in Plymouth.

Judges for the competition were Doug Scott, Mari Frost, Debbie Mitek and Robert Libcke.

Plans are under way for a second Downriver Idol contest in January 2011. Details will be available on the orchestra’s Web site,, this fall.

Exchange Club tickets available
Tickets are on sale for the Exchange Club of Dearborn’s annual Monte Carlo Night fundraiser, scheduled for April 16 at Park Place, 23400 Park.

The black-tie-optional benefit will offer 21 cash prizes totaling $10,000 in drawings, plus valuable non-cash prizes.
“Because we will be selling only 200 tickets, we sug-gest buying them early,” said Marty Heger, co-chairman of the event with Mark Karcher.

Tickets, $150, are available from Heger at (313) 565-3100 ( and Karcher at (313) 277-4600 (

The cost of the ticket includes appetizers, a steak/seafood dinner, desserts, an open bar, music and dancing.

We will have something for everyone, “Heger said, “After a wonderful dinner, you can enjoy the music and dance or try your luck at Black Jack, Texas Hold ’em, Craps or Roulette”

Coming up . . .
March 5 — Downriver Council for the Arts fundraiser, “Roaring ’20s Bootlegger’s Bash,”; 6 p.m. at the Wyandotte Center for the Arts (the former Wyandotte Masonic Temple), 81 Chestnut, off Biddle; guests are encouraged to wear flapper or other cloth-ing styles popular during the era; tickets, $30 per per-son or $50 per couple, are available by calling (734) 720-0671 or online at with Pay Pal.

March 5 — Trenton Rotary Club’s third annual “Beach Blast” benefit; 6 p.m. at Crystal Gardens, 16703 Fort St., Southgate; tropical dancers, live mu-sic, raffles, drawings, auctions, raffles and beach-themed food stations, games and contests; tickets, $35, are available from Kyle Stack at (734) 493-3817.

March 11 — “The Best Is Yet to Come,” Downriver Town Hall program by author Tom Santopietro and Billy Stritch, composer, arranger, vocalist and jazz pianist; 11 a.m. at Crystal Gardens, 16703 Fort St., Southgate; a limited number of tickets will be available at the door after 10:30 a.m.; for more information, call (734) 783-9224.

March 12 — “Love That Harmony II,” a fundraising raffle of art works and handcrafted items, sponsored by the Overture Society of the Southern Great Lakes Symphony; 6 p.m. at the American Hungarian Reformed Church, 9901 Allen Road, Allen Park; chicken paprikas dinner, entertainment by the Spirit of Detroit Sweet Adelines; tickets. $37.50, are available from Gloria King, chairman, at (313) 386-9305 or (313) 690-3644.