Thursday, July 15, 2004

Queen City Chorus ready to entertain

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

This Saturday, 42 women between the ages of 15 and 87 in the Queen City Chorus will sing, dance and perform mini dialogues during competition in the International Harmony Classic at Furman University, Greenville, S.C.

The chorus won its berth in the competition by winning the 2003 Sweet Adelines International Competition in its division and the five-state Region Four competition.

Deni Snyder-Burton (from left), Natalie Beard and Carol Arbaczewski sing in the Queen City Chorus during rehearsal at Valley Temple in Wyoming Monday in preparation for a competition in Greenville, S.C.
"We also had to score in the top five among 350 choruses," said Lynn Hartmuth, who has directed the chorus since 1992. "Our chorus scored 362 points. In the International Competition, we have to give a 12- to 15-minute performance which will include not only singing, but choreography, in top hats and glitter gloves."

She said the classic is part of the International Education Symposium, which includes attending classes at the university in barbershop harmonizing.

"We will be in classes Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings and in the singing competition Saturday night," Hartmuth said.

The chorus held its final dress rehearsal Monday at Valley Temple, Wyoming.

Hartmuth said the chorus will sing: "Melancholy Baby," "You Gotta Know How To Love 'Em," and "Old Black Magic."

"This is our first time going this far in the competition," said Nancy Werden, a first soprano who has sung in the chorus 20 years. "This is exciting to us because it is hard for a small chorus to make it to the international competition. Now we are going up against the big choruses."

Student art a winner

An eighth-grader at Pleasant Run Middle School won a poster art design contest, sponsored by NASCAR. Melissa Leahy, 13, was the overall winner in the contest. Her logo design was blown up and put on the pace car at Kentucky Speedway Saturday. She had a chance to stand beside the pace car with her design for a picture and also was able to visit with crew members in the pit.

Her design logo was a 2005 Ford F150 truck.

"I think this is cool," Melissa said. "This was my first time to the race track. I was not a race car fan before, but I am now."

Melissa is the daughter of Dave and Jennifer Leahy, Pleasant Run Farms.

Champion spellers

"Arrhythmia, try spelling that one," said Steve Overbeck, who emceed the 12th annual Spelling Bee, presented by the Literacy Council of Clermont and Brown counties.

Well, the Chatfield College team did and won first place in the competition last month.

Clermont Senior Services won second place and 3-M Precision Optics Inc. won third place.

The event is the biggest fund-raiser for the literacy council, supported this year by 15 teams each paying a $250 entry fee.

Adult Basic Literacy Education and American Legion Post 72 of Mount Carmel were also co-sponsors.

The Legion donated its building at 497 Old State Route 74, Mount Carmel, for the event along with volunteers and beverages. LaRosa's of Amelia donated pizzas.

Learning center dedication

Through a partnership between Big Lots Inc. and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a state-of-the art learning center will be dedicated at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the LeBlond Boys & Girls club, 1621 Logan St., Over-the-Rhine.

"We are working with the national office of the Boys & Girls Club as our charitable partner,'' said Keri Lucas, director of public relations for Big Lots. "We find that our goals for having a positive impact on the nation's youth are basically the same.''

Lucas said Big Lots has made a three-year commitment to develop learning centers in Boys & Girls clubs across the country.

"They will provide lots of opportunities to learn computer skills, to study and have fun. Many of the programs in the Learning Centers are after school and many are offered during the weekends,'' Lucas said.

She said Big Lots offers 200, $1,000 scholarships a year that are available for children through Boys & Girls Clubs.

"Individual Boys & Girls clubs may make proposals for the scholarships as well as for learning centers,'' Lucas said.

Some features in the center include: new instructional computer software, updated computers, wall-to-wall carpeting, sitting areas, classrooms, portable wall dividers and improved lighting.

"The most critical time in young lives occurs after school, when kids need a positive place to go,'' said Lawra Baumann, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati.

Friday's dedication will include videos of the layout and technology of the newly constructed learning center. A party for kids will follow the dedication with refreshments, dancing, and DJ music.

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