Wyandotte teacher winner of Downriver Idol contest

Photo by Evelyn Cairns


Dave Martin (second from left) of Wyandotte, winner of the Southern Great Lakes Symphony 2012 Downriver Idol contest, receives congratulations from finalists Lara Semetko (left) and Jill Ryan, both of Grosse Ile. The Idol competition finals were held Feb. 28 during the SGLS “Fantasia” concert at the Flat Rock Community Auditorium.

By Evelyn Cairns
Singing “Maria” from “West Side Story,” Dave Martin of Wyandotte outperformed two other singers in the final round of the Southern Great Lakes Symphony Senior Division Downriver Idol 2012 contest Feb. 28 during the orchestra’s “Fantasia” concert.

Competing against Martin, a vocal music teacher at Robert J. West Middle School in Wyandotte, were Lara Semetko and Jill Ryan, both of Grosse Ile. The vocalists were accompanied by the orchestra.

Martin, who has directed choirs at the middle school for 14 years, teaches seventh-and eighth-graders and an all-male ensemble called the Men in Black. He also is the lead singer and guitarist for bands including the Classics, the Bel Airs and the 120 Minute Men.

Semetko, a lyric coloratura soprano, sang Mozart’s “Durch Zartlichkeit und Schmeicheln” from “The Abduction from the Seraglio.” A vocal and music-education student at Central Michigan University, she has won numerous awards and scholarships for outstanding performances.

Ryan, well known as the executive director and producer of the Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival, sang “Summertime” from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” She has worked and performed extensively with many local arts and theater groups.

The concert, held at the Flat Rock Community Auditorium, featured the score of the Disney movie “Fantasia.” Charles Greenwell, music director of the SGLS, conducted the orchestra.

Among the selections performed, with commentary by Greenwell, were “Pomp and Circumstance March in G,” by Elgar; “Dance of the Hours,” by Ponchielli; “Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68” (“Pastoral”), by Beethoven; and “A Night on Bald Mountain,” by Mussorgsky.

The Seaway Chorale, directed by Gerald Custer, took the stage to sing the selection “Ave Maria” from the film, accompanied by the orchestra.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Outstanding Performer Award to Greenwell by Pam Frucci, on behalf of the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs

Reception set for art show
A reception from 6 to 8 p.m. March 8 will kick off a Downriver Council for the Arts mixed-media fine-art show, “Embracing Global Peace,” at the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut.

Prizes of $100, first place; $50, second; and $25, third, as well as honorable mentions, will be awarded. The show, to be judged by the DCA Gallery Committee, will close on April 21. The deadline for entries is March 6.

There is no charge for the reception or exhibition. For additional information, call the council office at 734-720-0671.

Student art to be shown
The art works of students in downriver elementary schools will be on exhibit at the Young Artists Arts Expo, to be held March 15 to 23 at the Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center of Wayne County Community College District Downriver Campus.

The works will be displayed in the center’s Brown and Juanita C. Ford Art Gallery, where an opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 15. The college is lo-cated at 21000 Northline in Taylor.

Save the date . . .
March 14 — Lecture by Professor Michael Farrell, “The Art and Life of Albert Bierstadt,” 7 p.m. at the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut; admission $15; seniors, $10; students $5; for more information or reservations, call 734-720-0671 or email dc4arts@downriverarts.org.

March 14 — St. Patrick’s Day buffet; at the Fifty-One O One Restaurant of the Culinary Arts and Student Center at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn; 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. seatings; $14 per person; beer and wine will be available for purchase; for reservations or more information, call 313-206-5101.

March 18 — Winter Market, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Ikaros Hall, 1677 Fort St. near Arlington, Lincoln Park; fresh and specialty foods and craft items; cash only sales.

March 24 — Southern Great Lakes Symphony Back-stage Pass 3 fundraiser, featuring music from classical to jazz, food, beverages, a silent auction and raffle; 5 to 10 p.m. at the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut; tickets are $30, $50 and $100; for more information, call 734-671-8343.

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