Five events set for April 5 on Mendelssohn campus

Online Staff Report

Looking for something to do Friday night, April 5? Rockford’s Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center will provide five events that evening, all on the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center campus, 406 N. Main St., Rockford.

Whether you have a palate for pies, eye for artwork, love for music or appreciation for the unique, Mendelssohn will give you the opportunity to experience all of these on the same night! Explore the campus and enjoy an evening filled with art featuring the talents of the Rockford Etsy Team, Kate’s Pies, Starlite Radio, the Rock Valley Children’s Choir and Ingrid Dohm.

As part of this year’s Rockford ArtScene, the Rockford Etsy team will be displaying their handmade goods in the Mendelssohn Hall Banquet Room at 406 N. Main St. in Rockford. From 5 to 9 p.m., the public is invited to buy from 27 local Rockford Etsy Team members and experience the rich community of art and fine craft. Shop for handmade dresses, handmade jewelry, photography, spring knits, stoneware pottery, hand-poured soy candles, decorative pillows, vintage-inspired chalkboards, borosilicate glass beads, baby accessories, spring scarves, sock dolls and much more. The Rockford Etsy team will return to Mendelssohn Hall from 3 to 9 p.m., Saturday, April 6, featuring more goods and treasures. For more about the Rockford Etsy Team, visit

Across the hallway from the Mendelssohn Hall Banquet Room, Kate’s Pie Shop will have pies for sale in the grand opening of their new shop. Renovations are under way, and soon Kate’s Pie Shop plans to have a shop open to the public in Mendelssohn Hall. Purchase a pie, see the new space and support this local business.

Wander upstairs in Mendelssohn Hall to the Auditorium at 8 p.m. and you will hear the sounds of Starlite Radio, a local folk, pop and rock group that has earned acclaim across the Midwest. Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center is hosting this First Friday event, presented by the Element and Mendelssohn PAC. The McDonald Family has been making music as Starlite Radio since 2002. Their album, Live life Slow, is filled with welcome surprises: sunny, expertly-layered harmonies, a couple of minor key barn-burners, and a number of guitar and wurlitzer solos that would sound at home in a classic L.A. singer/songwriter’s back catalog. The whole thing is bound together by the sensibilities that songwriter Nathan McDonald has been honing for decades. Learn more about Starlite Radio by visiting their website at Tickets are $10 per person.

Across the parking lot, hear the voices of children singing some familiar tunes. The public is invited to join the Rock Valley Children’s Choir as they participate in the “Great American Sing-a-Thon” at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s Starr Center building at 415 N. Church St. in Rockford at 7 p.m. When was the last time you have sang songs like “Home on the Range,” “America the Beautiful,” or “Let Me Call You Sweetheart?” Now you can sing these classics and more with the Rock Valley Children’s Choir as they pledge to learn an entire CD’s worth of great American songs. Join them and experience the fun of singing together as members of the choir meet for the “Great American Sing-a-Thon.” If you attend, you receive a free songbook. The singers don’t. Celebrate the hard work of these talented young musicians. A free-will offering will be taken.

The third building on the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center campus, Emerson House, will also be open to the public and will feature beautiful artwork by talented local artist Ingrid Dohm. Visit this historic home at 420 N. Main St. in Rockford and take in Dohm’s original artwork in acrylic, watercolor and oil in landscapes, florals, cityscapes, still lifes and portraits. According to Dohm: “The raison d’etre for my floral and landscape paintings can be traced directly to the influences that surrounded my early childhood. Born and raised in a small town in Austria near forests, glens and mountains, I was constantly seeking out the many varied kinds of floral beauty which is ever present in this land. It wasn’t until I came to the United States and married that the association was made.” Learn more about Dohm’s story by visiting her website at

Since 1884, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center has been a source of exciting, personal and interactive music experiences for the residents of northern Illinois. Mendelssohn PAC, a nonprofit organization, consists of a three-building campus and serves the community with a range of concerts, youth music programs and performing ensembles for all ages. The Mendelssohn PAC campus includes Mendelssohn Hall (the former Presbyterian Church) at 406 N. Main St., the Emerson House at 420 N. Main St., and the Starr Center at 415 N. Church St. Charlotte’s Web for the Performing Arts became a division of the Mendelssohn PAC in 2012. The Rock Valley Children’s Choir and Kantorei, the Singing Boys of Rockford, are Mendelssohn PAC’s partners in residence. Visit

Posted April 3, 2013

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