Thirty years as a performerCarl Cole receives accolades
By Edith McCauley, Theater Critic
The YWCA was the setting for an evening of music, friendship, good food and the appreciation of an entire community for the contributions made by Carl Cole. His charming wife, Diane, served as mistress of ceremonies and kept the entertainment and the music moving.
From Mayor Doug Scott to lifetime friends and relatives from Freeport, we heard expressions of appreciation for Carls music, his devotion to young people, and his service to every part of the community. He entertains regularly at senior centers, organizes and accompanies young singers, and appears in every venue from the country club to his church.
Playing with him on Monday were son Andrew on drums and Art Love, an accomplished bassist familiar to Rockford and Chicago audiences. The Freedom Singers are sponsored by the Gateway Center, an affiliate of Zion Lutheran Church. They are a multi-ethnic group of teenagers whose enthusiasm and mutual support evidence Coles values and dedication to young people.
Destination, 4 Sure are a group of young men from Beloit who came to Cole for musical direction and help in developing movement. As emerging performers, their performance has the feel of MTV, but Coles original songs are distinctly inspirational, and their performance combines the best of both.
Representing experience and lifetime careers in music, John Sellers and Julian Swain sang classic jazz from the 30s and 40s. Sellers is a drummer with the Bill Doll Trio, and Swain is known to Rockford from his work at the Clock Tower, and most recently as choreographer of Aint Misbehavin at NAT.
Closing an evening of inspirational music, Diane Cole was joined by her sister, Bobbie Collins. Backed by the trio and Coles additional vocals, the rousing gospels had everyone clapping and moving with the beat.
Coming from Milwaukee to film the festivities, Dana Kohler also spoke briefly. Having seen Coles work at UW-Whitewater, the filmmaker was motivated to document Mondays celebration. Carl Cole and Dorothy Paige-Turner are the featured performers on October 26 with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are available by calling RSO at 965-0049.