Kennett Symphony will hold instrumental competition

Courtesy photos The March 22 Longwood Rotary Gala will include Chinese lion dancers and African drummers, among other entertainers.

The Kennett Symphony of Chester County will hold its junior instrumental competition on Saturday, Feb. 15, in the auditorium at Kendal at Longwood for students in grades four through eight who live in the Chester, Delaware and New Castle County areas. All instruments normally found in an orchestra or band are included. There will be three winners in the grades four through six category and three in the grades seven and eight category with prizes of $100, $50 and $25. Prize presentations will be made at the Kennett Symphony’s Children’s Concert on March 29 at West Chester University’s Asplundh Hall.

Winning selections will be based on auditions where each student will perform on intermediate (or higher) composition no longer than five minutes. Memorization is encouraged but not required. All participants will receive feedback from the judges’ comments as an aid to serious music student’s introduction to the competitive experience.

For additional information and applications go to www.kennettsymphony.org or from the Kennett Symphony office at 610-4440-6363. Applications must be postmarked no later than Jan. 29, 2014 and sent to Kennett Symphony Junior Instrumental Competition, c/o Paul Merluzzi, 1445 Grand Oak Lane, West Chester, PA 19380.

Gala

It will be a trip to four continents on March 22 when the Longwood Rotary Club holds its Around the World Gala at Longwood Gardens. Entertainment should be exciting with Groits Wa Umoza African drumming quartet led by Kamau Ngom, well known and highly honored Ramon de Los Reyes Spanish Dance Theatre and the Chinese Lion Dancers from the CACC Drahon and Dancers Club. Can’t you just imagine the colorful 2,000-year-old Lion Dancers stalking around the ballroom?

There will be a silent auction, dinner stations featuring foods from Brazil, Mexico, Spain, France, Australia, Africa, Mongolia, Japan and Korea. And dancing to tunes from all eras introduced by an energetic DJ from the Tom Barrett studio.

The party begins at 6:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvre; African Drummers at 6:45 p.m.; silent auction and dancing at 7 p.m.; dinner stations open at 7:30 p.m.; Chinese lion dancers at 7:45 p.m.; flamenco dancers and guitarist at 8:45 p.m.; dessert bar and dancing from 9 p.m. to closing at 11 p.m. Tickets are $300 a couple. For tickets visit www.Longwood Rotary.com or call 610-608-7420.

Antiques

Kendal-Crosslands is hosting a free antiques appraisal day with appraisals by Bunch Auctions of Chadds Ford. You are invited to Crosslands, 1660 E. Street Road, on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 10:30 a.m. for refreshments, information about the retirement home and to bring one small carry in treasure to find if it is a treasure or a treasured trinket. For reservations call Connie at 610-388-5502.

Lunar

Penn Museum, 3260 South S., Philadelphia, will celebrate its 33rd annual celebration of the Chinese New Year on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is packed with demonstrations including music, dance performances, Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu, calligraphy and tangram workshops, language presentations and children’s activities presented throughout the museum. The museum has one of the finest collections of Chinese and Buddhist art in the United States. The day ends with a drum roll, a roar and the grand finale lion parade. All is included in admission.

Lecture

Chadds Ford Historical Society has announced a lecture by Sean Moir, president of Western Heritage Mapping on the “Philadelphia Campaign” of the Revolutionary War on Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. at Penn State Brandywine Campus, main Building, Room 113. He will use his unique animated maps to tie the events to local sites.

Composer

If you are a composer in the operatic field, the Composer in Residence Program offered by OperaPhiladelphia should be of interest to you. There is not much time, as you must apply by Jan. 31. The winner will be kept very busy in this individualized professional development. The residency includes a yearly salary of $60,000 for each of two years with the possibility of a third year and benefits as well as work. Competitor must be a U.S. citizen. The term will begin in June 2014. For more information go to www.operaphila.org/composers or call 215-893-3600.

Pantomime

The also amusing KATS (Kennett Amateur Theatrical Society) Pantomime will be presented at the Kennett High School on Jan. 24 and 25. Mark your calendars for this Kennett tradition with your friends and neighbors on stage.

Discovery

I read with interest that whales are being stressed out by all the noise from too many ship engines etc. I can relate to this. Not too long age I was on a whale watch sailboat that was carrying about 40 people. We went out into the San Diego Bay, and sure enough there were quite a few whales moving around. We followed one when he suddenly turned around and came directly under the boat and stopped, and there he stayed, and stayed, and stayed. A gray whale may not be any longer than a school bus, but it weighs 30 to 40 tons. We tourists were too green to realize this was not a good thing, as we happily leaned over the railing taking photos of the whale’s head and tail that showed he was considerably longer them the boat. The captain abruptly said, “I don’t like this. We’re getting out of here.” He turned on the motor and we left full speed ahead. The whale disappeared. It seems the captain was afraid the whale might come up and overturn the boat over. I was terribly glad I didn’t have enough sense to have worried about that possibility. Who knew we were annoying the whales?

‘Vanaties’

The Hedgerow Theatre,64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley (near Media) will present the poignant comedy/drama “Vanaties” by Jack Heifner Jan. 9 through Feb. 9. When it opened in New York in 1976, it became the longest running non-musical show in off-Broadway with 1,785 performances. The play follows three young women when they first meet in high school, then as sorority sisters in college in 1968 and again when they meet again in 1974, having been changed by the turbulent times of the 1960s and 1970s. Hedgerow. It begins slowly with the three lined up putting on their make up while wonderful popular music of that day plays. This part lasted a little too long. When the three discuss boys and sex they had the audience howling. As sorority sisters they are still close, although they are beginning to lose touch with one another. By the third act they each is stuck in her own path, and the three do not cross one another. It’s a fun evening. The cast of Meredith Beck, Sarah J. Gafgen and Alexis Newbatier is superb, while the movable sets by Zoran Kovcic are very clever and work beautifully.

Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays with matinees on Sundays and a Wednesday, matinee, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. with a complimentary tea. For reservations call 610-565-4211.

‘Cities’

The award winning play “Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz will open Jan. 22 at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia and run through Jan. 22. This is a taut drama of a family and its secrets. With parents who are leading Republicans and an eccentric aunt who is as liberal as they come, it is an explosive mix. For tickets call 215-574-3550.

‘Private Lives’

Noel Coward’s classic comedy, “Privater Lives,” about Elyot and Amanda, divorced for five years, meet with their new spouses in the south of France. By chance they have adjoining hotel balconies and their old romantic feelings are rekindled. They hurl themselves into their old loves without regard for scandal, their new partners or past memories. This witty masterpiece that is considered to be one of the greatest comedies ever written will be at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, Jan. 13 to March 1. For tickets ($10 - $95) call 215-574-3550.

‘Oxymoron’

The Delaware Theater is offering an interesting two-play combo. “The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron” from Jan. 23 to 26 and ‘Why I’m Scared of Dance” Feb. 6 and 8. “Intellect” stars the amazing Robert Dubac, who tries to solve the question – What do women want? He becomes five different alter egos as he ponders the question while drinking beer. “Dance” is another solo performance by Jen Childs, who uses the dance as a metaphor for finding and using choreography of life that you were meant to have.

If you would like to attend both plays you may get $5 off each ticket by using the code “Laugh5,” so a ticket to both shows will be $50. Call the box-office at 302-594-1100.

Candlelight

If you are ready for those six unemployed steelworkers who will “go to any length” to booster their self esteem, you will have a merry old time at “The Full Monty” at the New Candlelight Theater. They are low in spirits and cash after their wives get excited about seeing the Chippendales. As they rehearse the show with “The Full Monty” they regain their self-confidence with their camaraderie. This would be appropriate for a girls night out party. The show, with dinner, runs Jan. 25 through March 9.

Kennett Flash

Friday, Jan. 17 – “Real Diamond” – A Neil Diamond Tribute. This professional band gives an amazingly realistic Neil Diamond interpretation just short of actually having Diamond himself. Show at 6 p.m.. Tickets $25 advance, $29 at door.

Saturday, Jan. 18 – Frances Dunnery. The multi-talented Dunnery mixes a blistering guitar, music, humor, astrology, literature and philosophy in his performances. He has performed with some of the most successful artists including Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant and Carlos Santana. Show at 7 p.m. Tickets $27 in advance, $32 at the door.

Serafin String Quartet – Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m. This highly praised string quartet has won high praise from the critics for their records and performances of mostly classical music with a little pops thrown in. Tickets in advance are $15 plus fees.

Purchase Flash tickets at Kennettflash.org or by calling 484-732-8295.

Other Plays on Stage

“We Will Rock You” – starring Ben Elton (Comedian Mr. Bean) - Jan. 14 through 19 at Academy of Music. For tickets call 215-731-3333.

“Arms and the Man” by Shaw – through Jan. 25 at Players Club of Swarthmore. Call -866-811-4111.

“Ballroom with a Twist 2” – Dancing With the Stars – DuPont Theatre - Jan. 21 through 26- Call 302-656-4401.

“Ghosts” by Ibsen – Jan. 15 through Feb. 9 – People’s Light & Theatre – call 610-644-3500.

“Driving Miss Daisy” – Jan. 16 through Feb. 2 – Walnut Street Studio on 3. Call 215-574-3550.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.

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