Downriver Idol finalists to seek title at SGLS concert

Lara Semetko

Laurie Mata

Ramsey Katynski

By Evelyn Cairns
The four finalists in the Southern Great Lakes Symphony’s Downriver Idol contest — Jill Ryan and Lara Semetko of Grosse Ile; Laurie Mata of Wyandotte; and Ramsey Katynski of Clawson — will vie for the title in the final round of the competition Feb. 27 at the Flat Rock Community Auditorium.

The four, who have diversified vocal backgrounds, will demonstrate their outstanding talents during a SGLS concert slated for 3 p.m.

Ryan has performed and worked with many theater groups and artists, including the Downriver Council for the Arts, the Ballet Americana Regional Ballet Company, the Western Michigan Opera Association, the SGLS and the Grosse Ile Chorale.

She is well known as the executive director and producer of the Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival.

Semetko, a student at Central Michigan University majoring in vocal performance and music education, has won many awards and vocal competitions, including the Wayne County Alliance for the Arts Young Artists Award and American Guild of Music Broadway Champion and Classical Champion titles.

A lyric-coloratura soprano, she will perform the role of Musetta in “La Boheme” next month at Central University.

Mata, who says she has never had any formal voice training other than singing with her mother as a child, sings with wedding bands and was half of a team called Sweet Release w/Stan and Laurie, which performed in the Downriver area for many years.

Ramsey, who received a bachelor of arts degree in music last year at Oakland University, has sung extensively with local symphonies, as a classical recitalist and with bands. He will perform the role of An-gel in the rock opera “Rent,” next month at the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak.

Tickets for the concert, $25, are available by calling (734) 246-2890 or going to The auditorium is at 28100 Aspen Drive, Flat Rock.

Relay kick-off set at boat club
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Wyandotte has scheduled a kickoff gathering for Feb. 23 at the Wyandotte Boat Club, 1 Pine St.

Registration of teams will begin at 6 p.m., and a program at 6:30. Snacks will be served.

The relay, a 24-hour team-based walking event at which people take turns walking laps, is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 14 through 10 a.m. May 15 at BASF Waterfront Park on Eureka Road in Wyandotte.

The event, which celebrates cancer survivorship and memorializes those lost to the disease, includes food, fun activities, and entertainment.

For more information, call Holly Soranno at (248) 663-3452 or e-mail

Coming up . . .
Feb. 18 — Opening reception for the Michigan Art Education Association Region 2 Student Art Exhibition; 6 to 8 p.m. at the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut; for more information, call (734) 720-0671 or go to

Feb. 19, 20 — Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center family musical, “Pinkalicious”; 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 19, and 2 p.m. Feb. 20, at the Trenton Village Theatre, 2447 W. Jefferson; tickets, for tickets, $7, or more information, go to

Feb. 20 — Dance spectacular, “Burn the Floor,” featuring Latin and ballroom dancers and finalists, all-stars and winner from “So You Think You Can Dance” and “American Idol”; for tickets, starting at $29 (including parking), go to or go to; for more information, call (313) 872-1000.

Feb. 23 — Henry Ford Community College Hos-pitality Studies’ New Orleans Seafood Buffet; lunch seating, 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.; dinner, 6 to 7:45 p.m.; $15 (reservations recommended); for more information or reservations, call (313) 206-5101.

Feb. 24 — American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women event, at the MGM Grand; 9 a.m. registration, health screenings, workshops, exhibits and auction; noon lunch and fashion show featuring red apparel; tickets $175; for more information, call Dana Ozias at (248) 936-5835.