Music, matchmaking highlight Galena festivals

GALENA—Musical strains from opera arias to Irish jigs fill the hills of northwestern Illinois this summer with full-scale festivals to a one-man musical historical play.

A complete composition of music styles and venues is available on the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau Web site at www.galena.org/events or by calling 877-Go Galena (464-2536).

What follows are details about individual upcoming festivals and events.

Galena Festival of the Performing Arts

Sunday, July 10, 7 p.m., at the Galena United Methodist Church, the Festival Singers perform under the direction of Artistic Director Jeffrey Arnold.

Monday, July 11, noon, at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, organist Jeffrey Arnold performs works by Bach, Benoit, Marcel Dupre, Robert Elmore and Louis Vierne.

Tuesday, July 12, 7 p.m., at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, pianist Jeffrey Arnold performs works by Chopin, Liszt and Mendelssohn.

Wednesday, July 13, noon, at the Galena Public Library, tenor Gerald Frantzen and soprano Allison Kelly perform opera arias, Broadway songs and duets.

Thursday, July 14, noon, at the Galena Public Library, soprano Natalie Mann and mezzo-soprano Rena Ahmed perform opera arias and duets.

Thursday, July 14, 3 p.m., harpist Pam Ohms will conduct a children’s concert.

Friday, July 15, 7 p.m., at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, choral concert performs Franz Schubert’s “Mass in G.”

Saturday, July 16, 7 p.m., at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, The Festival Singers perform “A Night at the Opera” with opera arias, duets and scenes.

All concerts are free and open to the public. Call 815-777-0589 to verify times and locations.

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

Europe’s largest matchmaking festival goes to Galena July 17.

Those who wish to partake in matchmaking may sign up at The Irish Cottage Hotel. At regular intervals, the “matchmaker” will draw a lady’s name; the lucky lady will, in turn, draw a gentleman’s name, and they will meet for the first time on stage.

The festival begins at The Irish Cottage’s native limestone “Faerie Ring” at 1 p.m. The musical line-up includes some of the Midwest’s best Irish bands, musicians and dancers, including the following:

1:30-10 p.m., dancers from the Claddagh School of Irish Dance in Dubuque, Iowa, perform traditional step dances;

1:30-5 p.m., The Kate Sullivan Band, an energetic Chicago group, performs its soulful folk/rock and bluesy guitar riffs;

5-7:30 p.m., Nate Jenkins, folk entertainer and acoustical guitarist based in Dubuque, Iowa, performs;

8-10 p.m., Elevation, a popular Chicago U2 tribute band that sounds like the real thing, brings its sound to Galena; and

8 p.m.-midnight, Peter Yeates, a Dubliner with nine albums, performs in the Frank O’Dowd’s Irish Pub.

Festival admission is $5 for adults and free for ages 12 and younger. More information is available at and 866-284-7474.

Willow Folk Festival

The Willow Folk Festival is set for 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13 and 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 14, with the Sunday worship service performed by “Men in Motion.”

The event is held at Willow United Methodist Church, 6522 S. Willow Rd., Stockton, and admission is $4 for adults and free for children 8 and younger. More information is available at 815-947-3789.

Galena Rose, How Whiskey Won the West

Jim Post’s Galena Rose, How Whiskey Won the West, will be staged Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m., at Galena Trolley Depot Theater, 314 S. Main St., Galena. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children 12 and younger. More information is available at www.galenatrolleys.com and 815-777-1248.

Bluegrass Tuesdays

Denny Garcia and the Folk Ups perform each Tuesday between 9 p.m. and midnight at Second Wind, 219 N. Main St., Galena. More information is available at 815-777-0243.

Singing Servers

Sundays from 4 to 9 p.m. at Fried Green Tomatoes, a cappella cabaret singers serenade tables with selections from past and present Broadway, arias and jazz. Entertainment is provided on all three floors of the restaurant at 213 N. Main St., Galena. More information is available at www.friedgreen.com and 815-777-3938.

From the May 17-23, 2006, issue

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