Trenton native will return as SGLS orchestra soloist

Photo courtesy of Portraits by Alex
Nicole Brown of Taylor, a member of Ballet Americana, will receive the Wayne County Council for Arts, History and Humanities Young Artist Award Thursday during a ceremony at Marygrove College.

By Evelyn Cairns
Trenton native Ramon Wodkowski of London, England, will return to the Downriver area for his first performance with the Southern Great Lakes Symphony Oct. 28 at the orchestra’s “Hometown Hero” concert slated for 3 p.m. in the Flat Rock High School Auditorium.

The performance, the first of the symphony’s 2012-13 concert series, will feature the Trenton High School graduate in three works: Mourant’s “Pied Piper,” Weber’s “Concertino for Clarinet in E Flat” and Rossini’s “Variations for Clarinet and Small Orchestra.”

Concert goers will have an opportunity to meet internationally acclaimed Wodkowski at a private afterglow dinner buffet.

The performance will mark maestro Charles Greenwell’s 15th season of directing the orchestra. The remainder of the program will include Weber’s “Overture and March from Turandot,” Khacaturian’s “Three Dances from Gayaneh,” Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Song Suite” and excerpts from Berlioz’ “The Damnation of Faust.”

Concert and dinner tickets are $25 and $30, respectively. For reservations or additional information, call 734-246-2890 or go to The auditorium is at 25600 Seneca.

The SGLS season will continue with Downriver concerto competitions on Jan. 11 and 25; a program of American favorite compositions on Feb. 24; and an abridged concert version of the classic musical “West Side Story,” March 10. The final concert, on April 21, will feature pianist Ralph Votapek, winner of the Van Cliburn Competition 50 years ago.

Taylor student to be honored
Nicole Brown of Taylor, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School, will be presented with the 2012 Young Artist Award by the Wayne County Council for Arts, History and Humanities Oct. 25 during a ceremony at Marygrove College.

The 15th annual event, which recognizes outstanding arts and cultural achievements in the county, is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the college’s Alumni Hall, 8425 W. McNichols.

Nicole, 16, has been studying ballet, pointe, pas de deux, tap and jazz with Ballet Americana and Taylor Dance since 2001. After attending the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre program on a scholarship in 2001 and 2002, she was invited to participate in the program year round.

She declined moving to Pittsburgh, however, in-stead continuing her studies with Patricia and Leif Lorenz at Ballet Americana.

Nicole achieved a 4.121 GPA in her junior year at Kennedy and is ranked third in her class. She is secretary of the Student Government and Key clubs and has volunteered for many charitable organizations, including Relay for Life, the Red Cross, Penrickton Center for Blind Children, and Gleaners Food Bank.

Her goal is to graduate from high school with honors and pursue a dance career.

There is no charge to attend the recognition program, but reservations are necessary by calling WCCAHH President Stella Greene at 313-943-3095 or emailing

College Fun Day planned
Wayne County Community College District-Downriver will sponsor its second annual Halloween Family Fun Day, featuring the “Magic Carpet Theatre,” at 3 p.m. Saturday at the college’s Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center, 21000 Northline Road, Taylor.

Pre-theatre activities, starting at 1:30 p.m., will include window painting on a professionally drawn Halloween scene, campus trick-or-treating and an on-stage costume parade for children. Costumed characters will be on hand to entertain participants.

To purchase tickets, $5, or for more information, call the college box office at 734-374-3200.

Coming up . . .
Nov. 3, 4 — “Simply Sinatra” concerts by Down-river Community Voices, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 and 4 p.m. Nov. 4 at Angelica Lutheran Church, 8400 Park Ave., Allen Park; featuring Sinatra hits; for tickets, $15, or more information, call 313-575-0642 or go to

Nov. 3 — Alzheimer Association’s annual Chocolate Jubilee fundraiser at the MGM Grand; pre-glow at 6:30 p.m.; dinner, 7:30 p.m.; chocolates and dancing to the Sun Messengers, 9 p.m.; for tickets, $200, or additional information, call 248-996-1048 or go to