21 singers will compete in Downriver Idol semifinals

By Evelyn Cairns
Twelve senior division and nine junior division singers who participated in preliminary auditions for the Southern Great Lakes Symphony’s Downriver Idol contest were chosen to compete in semifinals at 7:30 Feb. 3 at the Flat Rock Community Auditorium.

Senior division contestants include Erika Johnson of Melvindale, Sterling Guerra and George Gullen of Southgate, Janette McLenkamp of Riverview, Scarlett Moore of Taylor, Pamela Jackson and Cheyenne Paonessa of Trenton, and Dave Martin of Wyandotte.

Others are Nicole Johnson and Andrea O’Dell of Woodhaven, and Jill Ryan and Lara Semetko of Grosse Ile.

Competing in the junior division will be Olivia Anderson and Amanda Pagac of Southgate, Katie Ku-rilko of Trenton, Kathleen Fuller and Ellen McCartney of Wyandotte, Alexis Stockdale of Grosse Ile, Christa Callahan and Emma Rathfon of Brownstown, and Arianna Bardoni of Newport.

Judges for the auditions were Aaron Kleneicki, director of the Downriver Community Voices; Robert Libcke, executive director of the SGLS; Doug Scott, musician, composer and vice president of the SGLS; Jim Parker, musician; and Mari Frost, musician and a past present of the symphony.

The public is encouraged to attend the semifinals because the audience’s response to the performances will help select the finalists, a spokesman for the symphony said. Tickets are $5, or $10 for preferred seating.

Junior finalists will vie for the Junior Downriver Idol title on Feb. 10 at the community auditorium. Senior division finalists will compete for the Downriver Idol crown on Feb. 26, accompanied by the full symphony orchestra during its “Fantasia” concert.

The finalists will not sing the same songs they sang at the auditions, the spokesman said.

Concert tickets are $25. For semifinal or concert tickets, call 734-246-2890 or go to www.sgls.org. The auditorium is at 28100 Aspen Drive, Flat Rock.

Auditions set by DYPAC
Auditions for roles in “Swamp Opera” will be conducted by the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Cen-ter from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 5 and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Trenton Village Theatre, 2447 W. Jefferson.

Director Mary Zaleski suggests that prospective cast members wear dance or tennis shoes to the auditions and be prepared to sing a song karaoke-style, with a CD, an accompanist or a cappella. There is no fee to audition, but membership ($15), and participation ($65) fees are required. The auditions are open to those aged 5 through 19.

The opera, which features elements of romance and murder and singing frogs, is loosely based on the 17th century folk song “A Frog Went A-Courting.” The music ranges from jazz to rockabilly and folk to torch.

To register, or for more information, call 734-671-2202 or go to www.DYPAC.com. To schedule an al-ternate audition time or to submit a video, call Zaleski at 734-740-0714.

Newest exhibit about driving
One of the largest automotive exhibits of its kind, featuring 130 vehicles, more than 60 cases of artifacts and 18 interactive touch screens, opens to the public Jan. 29 at The Henry Ford.

The permanent display, “Driving America,” encompasses 80,000 square feet. It includes such autos as the 1896 Duryea, the 1865 Roper and the 1931 Bugatti Royale (the third of only six ever built in the world), in addition to racing, electric, hybrid and mus-cle cars.

A new film examining how the automobile has transformed the world is part of the exhibit, as is the 1946 Lamy’s Diner, which will for the first time offer diner-type food.

For additional information, go to www.thehenryford.org.

Coming up . . .
Feb. 3 — Fundraiser for Michigan Humane Society featuring performances by Phantom Cats, I Love Lightening Bugs, FUR, Legendary Creatures and Satori Circus and his Cirquettes; at the Jazz Cafe in the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 350 Madison, Detroit; 7:30 p.m.; $10 at the door.

Feb. 5, 19 — Lincoln Park Winter Market, offering fresh specialty foods, food vendors and crafters; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Ikaros Hall, 1677 Fort St., corner of Fort Street and Arlington.