Everything it's nutcracked up to be

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Young dancers from Oak Park and River Forest will be appearing in the Joffrey Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, from Dec. 14 to 28. The ballet features the full Joffrey company, the Arpino Apprentices, a puppeteer, Chicago Sinfonietta, and five local children's choruses, including the Oak Park and River Forest Children's Chorus. Joining a group of more than 120 dancers between the ages of 9 and 14 are, from Oak Park: Alexandra Bacula, Emily Rose Cannon, Kristen Cabacungan, Christiana Ho, Xenia Mansour, Hanaan Bing-Canar, Ella Gill and Lucy Gill; and from River Forest: Maria Zivkovic.

For ticket information, call (312) 739-0120 ext. 33 or visit www.joffrey.com.

Awards for promoting mental health

Family Service & Mental Health Center of Oak Park & River Forest held its annual meeting on Nov. 9, where it presented awards to the following individuals and organizations: Amy Starin, volunteer of the year; Lou Garopolo, lifetime achievement award; District 97 Multicultural Education Department, community partnership award; and NAMI Metro Suburban, mental health advocate of the year.

Heading for law school

Michael Gamboney of River Forest graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in political science. He had two minors, Spanish and philosophy. Gamboney, who plans to attend law school, has an internship with the State House Minority Leadership Committee.

Carroll, Tourtelot join Rush Oak Park board

Rush Oak Park Hospital has appointed Donna M. Carroll and Judge John D. Tourtelot to its board of directors. Carroll is president of Dominican University in River Forest, and serves on a number of local and national boards. Tourtelot, an associate Cook County Circuit Court judge since 1995, has 33 years experience in law and law enforcement. They will serve three-year terms, from December 2005-2008.

Blowing with the wind

Two Oak Park residents, Jim Wilbrot (trumpet) and Melanie Frigo (oboe) who have been participating in the LaSalle Bank Do-It-Yourself Messiah for a number of years, will be playing in the orchestra again this year. The production, celebrating its 30th year, will take place on Dec. 20 and 21.

Conquering the concerto

The co-winners of the second annual Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest Concerto Competition are Masha Popova and Benjamin Lash. The contest was open to all instrumental musicians who hadn't completed their senior year in high school at the time of the competition in October, and whose primary residence was within 10 miles of Oak Park. Contestants submitted a recording, and all finalists played one movement of a solo instrumental concerto of their choice at the finals, held at Concordia University. The winners were awarded $250 each and were invited to play with the symphony at the Family Concert on Jan. 15, 2006.

The other finalists were: Jacob Lessing, Crescentia Stegner-Freitag, Sang-Joon Won, Benjamin Mildenhall, David Rubin, Rachel Brade, Shelley Liu, Darcy Hargadon and Reem Worley.


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