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High School Highlights

Steve Robinson Photo
by
Steve Robinson

With Help From Teens, Town Debuts ‘Young Summer Sounds’

It was a recipe for the perfect, albeit slightly warmer than some would want spring day: Take seven musical acts comprised of teens and young adults, add the curious and the musicians and their fans and supporters, place in an ideal location that area residents already love, and mix.
That would describe the ingredients for the 4 ½ hour event known as “Young Summer Sounds” which featured seven musical acts mostly consisting of young people from local high schools and some recent high school graduates, which took place on the Roundabout in Uptown on Saturday, June 10.
The groups who performed included: Leah Taylor; Colton Stogner; Adrian and Olivia; Leah Marlene; Vapid Heights; Rose Room; and Sunday Afternoon. These individuals or groups displayed their talents for what looked like a crowd of a couple hundred people at any one time during sections of the event, folks who sat on the hill and its surroundings, with more folks passing through at times. These young people were looking to show their skills to the community.
Stephanie Chow, daughter of Dr. James and Dr. Michelle Chow, is a member of the group Rose Room, and will be a junior at University High School this fall, and was the organizer of this event. She got the job when she was contacted by the Town’s Uptown Manager, Joe Tulley. “Joe approached me with this idea that he had, an idea for a cool event, but said he thought it would be better if a person under-18 managed it.” On Saturday, Tulley was unavailable for further comment.
Chow’s mission clearly stated, was to reach out to contacts she knew in the local music scene to see what interest they would have in participating. She also placed ads on Facebook to spark interest in the event.
“From there, we organized it and made it happen,” Chow said, smiling. “I’m really happy that the bands got exposure because that was one of the motivations for making this event.”
Chow added, “It would be difficult to find gigs if not for the Town of Normal,“ Chow said. She added she began playing with bands when she was in fifth grade, doing so with bands at events like the Town’s Farmer’s Market and the Annual Worldwide Day Of Play event. Through those events, that’s where I saw a lot of other people play as well.”
Singer Has Been “Getting Gigs” Since 4th Grade: Singer Leah Marlene said she has been playing music gigs, or “giging” as she called it, since 4th grade. She’s now lead singer for the local band called Vapid Heights. She will be a junior this fall at Normal Community West High School, and explained her band is a mix of kids from all the high schools in the Twin Cities and the county. When she hasn’t been in a band, “it’s been just me and my guitar,” she said.
Leah Marlene is the daughter of Derry and Deanne Grehan. Deanna Grehan said she advises parents who see, either that their child has a talent and wants to perform, or requests help in making that a reality to “be in tune with that and try to support them along the way. Starting them on piano is probably the best way to start as it’s the basis of all other instuments.”:00 - 7:30 Sunday Afternoon
“Sunday Afternoon” Played On This Warm Saturday: A band that plays a little rock, a little blues, and anything in-between, Sunday Afternoon, organized by 2017 Calvary Christian Academy graduate Austin Willis, has seven members from different high schools. Sunday Afternoon began last summer, and have had a few changes in membership since it started. The group will need to look for new members after this summer as four members of the group recently graduated and are college-bound this fall. 
Illyana Lin, daughter of Leon and Deanne Lin, will be a junior at University High School this fall, and has always been interested in music, she said. She added she’s been “singing for as long as I can remember,” having taken voice lessons in sixth grade.
“I just like the freedom you have with music,” Lin said. “You get to interpret it to your own style, but you can keep the initial beauty of it, making it your own.”
 Lin is also thinking ahead to her future career, too, but not as a musician, as it turns out. She’s learning about the world of Information Technology, and is currently interning at State Farm Insurance. She said when she gets to college, she will major in Computer Science. “I have to make money somehow,” she reasoned.
Other members of Sunday Afternoon are: DeMari Fennell, Jacob Labertew, Zack Rainey, Naomi Jacob, and Nick Saathoff.
 All of the kids who took part in this event are to be commended for showing the community their skills in this format and kudos, too, to the Town of Normal, through Tulley, for asking young people to help reach out to other young people to find the talent for it using a one-of-a-kind approach.


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2017 ISU Athletics Hall of Fame Class Announced
The 2017 Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame class was officially announced Monday, as Kara Nelson Wiesmeyer (softball), two-time MVC Player of the Year and All-American; Aisha Praught Leer (cross country /track and field), NCAA All-American and 2016 Olympian; Samantha Richdale (golf), three-time Missouri Valley Conference individual medalist; Darrell Smith (tennis), four-year letterwinner at No. 1 singles/doubles and top-5 in career singles wins; and Kim Sucher Becker (volleyball/softball/basketball), a three-sport standout who helped ISU teams to state and regional championships, will each become members of the Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame.
In addition to the 2017 Hall of Fame class, Steve Fisher, a 1967 graduate of Illinois State and NCAA national-championship winning basketball coach, will be honored with the Institutional Great Award. The inaugural honor recognizes an Illinois State alumnus who has achieved significant personal and professional accomplishments at the professional or college levels.
The honorees will be officially introduced during the Hall of Fame banquet at 8 a.m., Oct. 21, in the Brown Ballroom at the Bone Student Center on the Illinois State University campus. The class will also be recognized during the Homecoming Parade and at halftime of the Illinois State-South Dakota football game later that day. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Reservations for the Hall of Fame ceremony are $25 per person and can be purchased through the ISU Athletics Department. To order tickets for the event or for more information, please call Beth Harding at (309) 438-3636.




Brock Spack Bobblehead Giveaway Planned For Sept. 2 Season Opener
The Illinois State football team officially opens the 2017 season Sept. 2 against Butler, and 2,000 lucky fans in attendance will receive a limited-edition Brock Spack bobblehead to take home as a souvenir.
The first 6,000 fans through the gates at Hancock Stadium prior to the 6:30 p.m. kickoff will receive a scratch off ticket. A total of 2,000 of those will result in ISU head coach Brock Spack bobbleheads being given to lucky fans with winning tickets. The bobblehead giveaway is the fourth Illinois State Athletics has commissioned in recent years, but the first for a Redbird head coach.
The giveaway is one perk of the annual Spack Stache Bash. The free event open to all ages prior to the football game and last year’s inaugural event included a parking lot party, featured a DJ and included giveaways and food samples from local sponsors.
Season ticket packages and the ‘Spack Pack’ two-game ticket plan for the upcoming 2017 football season are on sale now, with single-game tickets available on July 20. To secure your seats, or for more information about Redbird football tickets, contact the Illinois State Athletics Ticket Office at (309) 438-8000 or visit GoRedbirds.com/Tickets.


CornBelters to hold 2017 Legends Game July 29
The Normal CornBelters, presented by Illinois Corn Farmers, are excited to announce the McLean County Orthopedics’ 2nd Annual Legends Game.
Last season the MCO Cubs vs. Cardinals Legends Game featured former MLB legends such as Fergie Jenkins, Lee Smith and Bill Buckner. For the upcoming 2017 season we have advanced our roster to include legends of sports and entertainment. So far the 2017 MCO Legends game roster will consist of former Cubs pitcher Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams and former Cubs second baseman Mike Fontenot. WWE Superstar Ron “R-Truth” Killings will also be part of this star-studded event. Be sure to check out our social media pages and website as additional names are to be released in the upcoming weeks.
The 7-inning MCO Legends game will be followed by a postgame concert on Saturday, July 29th. The concert will feature the Chicago 6 Band, the band is comprised of 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears, Dan Hampton and Steve “Mongo” McMichael. Game and concert times have yet to be determined.
Game tickets are now on sale for $20 starting this Friday, October 28th! Fans will have the opportunity to purchase passes to the welcome reception set for Friday July 28th and/or the pre-game meet and greet once the roster is finalized. Get your tickets now before this weekend full of historical nostalgia sells out!


IWU Titan Athletics Golf Outing Monday, July 31
Sign-up is now underway for the 26th annual Titan Athletics Golf Outing, which will be held on Monday, July 31, at the El Paso Golf Club in rural El Paso.
Entry cost for a single golfer is $180, which includes lunch, golf, cart, rib-eye dinner, drinks, prizes and an entry gift. The cost is $720 for a foursome and hole sponsorships are also still available at $250. To enter a foursome and sponsor a hole, there is a discounted price of $920.
Lunch and registration begin at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start for the event at 12 p.m. There are a number of special games during the round, including a long putt contest, longest drive contest, “beat the pro” shot contest and a chance to win a car with a hole-in-one. Go here for a brochure that explains the 2017 outing and registration information.
The rib-eye steak dinner will begin at 4:30 p.m. (following the golf) and to sign up for the dinner only the cost is $50.
Go to www.iwu.edu/titan-golf/ to register online.
All proceeds from this event support Illinois Wesleyan athletic teams to continue a high level of competitiveness at the conference and national level. In 2016-17, Illinois Wesleyan teams won three College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin titles and 11 teams competed in NCAA Championships. Just as important, our student-athletes excelled in the classroom, logged over 6,000 hours of community service and raised over $30,000 for local charities.










  

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