Around Town May 2102
YOUNG TEXAS ARTISTS MUSIC COMPETITION WINNERS ANNOUNCED. The 28th Annual Young Texas Artists Music Competition filled the Crighton Theatre with fans and patrons who came to see eight talented finalists perform at the Entergy Finalists’ Concert & Awards. After enjoying an evening of “Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue” in a Texas-sized tent just outside the theater —an event that included a lively auction led by Lyn Howard and sightings of Bach and Beethoven — guests were ushered into the historic Crighton Theatre.
The concert was presented by the Montgomery County Performing Arts Society, and before the night was over, a total of $20,000 in cash prizes were awarded along with performance opportunities to the top performers. Winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges, with honors also going to an audience favorite.
Cellist Coleman Itzkoff won the Gold Medal in the Strings Division. He also took home the Entergy Grand Prize with his performance of Edward Elgar’s Concerto in E minor, Op. 85, granting him an opportunity for a solo appearance with the Allen Philharmonic Orchestra. Itzkoff is a sophomore at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music where he studies with Desmond Hoebig. Itzkoff also received a Texas flag that flew over the capitol in Austin on March 2, Texas Independence Day.
Wanting Zhao was awarded the Gold in the Piano Division, also winning the Audience Choice Award, which affords her an invitation to perform with the Conroe Symphony Orchestra. She attends Texas Christian University where she studies with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist José Feghali.
Flutist Gina Choi, who will graduate from Rice University in May, took home the top prize in the Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp and Guitar Division.
In the Voice Division, it was baritone James D. Rodriguez who captured the Gold. He is working on his doctorate at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where he studies with Joseph Evans.
Silver Medals went to baritone Noel Bouley, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, in the Voice Division; cellist Lachezar Kostov, Rice University, in the Strings Division; Matthew Moore, Texas Christian University, on the marimba in the Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp and Guitar Division; and Hui Shan Chin, Rice University, in the Piano Division.
Chris Johnson, host of Classical 91.7FM/Houston Public Radio’s The Afternoon Concert, served as master of ceremonies.Emelyne Bingham, Young Texas Artists artistic director, brought together an impressive panel of judges for the competition. Jurors were Joan Kwuon, Cleveland Institute of Music; Miyoko Lotto, Manhattan School of Music; Eric Mitchko, North Carolina Opera; and Becky Tobin, Houston Chamber Choir.
BENTWATER CARES FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY UNITED WAY. The Bentwater community on Lake Conroe has a special committee called “Bentwater Cares” that supports Montgomery County United Way. Since its inception in 2003, Bentwater has raised more than $400,000 for MCUW including this year’s contribution of $145,000 for the 2011-12 campaign.
Included in the overall total was a donation of $124 from Sabrina Macauley and her friends Katia and Samia Hijazi. The girls set up a lemonade stand on the golf course and donated the funds to the MCUW campaign. The Macauleys’ pet bird Rocky’s loud trill directed golfers to the lemonade stand.
TWDC DONATES TO TEXAS SENTINELS FOUNDATION. The Woodlands Development Company donated $11,500 to the Texas Sentinels Foundation as a result of the successful “Holiday Countdown” program where 115 new home buyers took advantage of the incentive, according to Susan Vreeland-Wendt, director of marketing for TWDC.
The “Holiday Countdown” program offered by The Woodlands to new home buyers featured a $2,000 Woodforest National Bank Master Card and valuable builders’ incentives to those who purchased a new home Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2011, and closed by Feb. 29, 2012. Plus, TWDC promised to contribute $100 to the Texas Sentinels Foundation for every sale during the promotion, which resulted in the $11,500 donation for the 115 new homes sold.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY WOMEN’S CENTER WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS. The Montgomery County Women’s Center has five new members on its board. Sarah Raleigh, president and CEO, announced the agency’s new board members. Tom Cox has been elected to serve as chairman of the Board of Directors, along with new board members Kim Bates, Audra Hoegemeyer, Kelly Olson, Julie Struble and Ken Feld. They join existing board members Jeanette Armstrong, Delvin Ash, Scott Bauer, Nell Belanger, Marion Fischer, Gerald Glenn, Jean Hruby, Adora Kutchin, James Larson, JoAnne Lowry, Shannon Mills, Ann Perez, Jeffrey Shipley, Debbie Stanford and Gwen Sullivan.
“We are very excited to have such wonderful people join us and complement the talented folks who have been serving on our board,” said Cox. “The Women’s Center is doing a great job of taking women out of harm’s way, protecting them, and helping them to become stronger and better educated so they can get back on their feet and on to a better and brighter future.”
HERITAGE TRAILS CHAPTER NSDAR RECEIVES AWARDS AT STATE CONFERENCE. The Heritage Trails chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution returned from the TSDAR State Conference in San Antonio with many outstanding awards. Among the awards presented to the chapter were seven “First Place” in the State certificates. The chapter received the First Place award for the third year in a row for their Press Book displaying all of the publicity published about the chapter. They were recognized as First Place for the most Constitution Week Activities displays; The Flag of the United States of America/Flag Events and Displays; National Defense for largest contribution to NSDAR-ROTC Fund; Most Friends of the Library “BEST FRIENDS” bar purchased; Most Friends of Seimes “BEST FRIENDS” bar purchased; and most members donating $200 or more to the Friends of Seimes.
In addition to being selected as a Texas Rose Chapter for net gain in membership and for outstanding activities in reinstating members, they also received an award for Outstanding Chapter Membership Report and for Exemplary Service from the Volunteer Information Services committee.
JOANNE LOWRY CHOSEN AS WOMAN OF DISTINCTION. JoAnne Lowry has been chosen by the Montgomery County Women’s Center as a Woman of Distinction for 2012. Each year, the Montgomery County Women’s Council of Organizations comes together for the Women of Distinction Luncheon to celebrate the many accomplishments provided by volunteers of local charitable organizations. The goal of the luncheon is to shine a light on a specific volunteer from a local nonprofit agency. Each nonprofit agency votes on one volunteer they feel has gone above and beyond the call of duty for the agency. Most candidates are selected based on their volunteerism and service to the community.
“JoAnne began volunteering at The Woodlands office in 2005 doing administrative jobs and answering the Hotline,” says Sarah Raleigh, president and CEO of MCWC. “Throughout the years, she has been a driving force within the agency; taking on leadership roles with our ‘Share A-Family’ holiday project for the past four years, and has chaired our WineFest fundraiser.” In addition, Lowry has served on the agency’s board of directors and served as the Board president in 2010-11.
Lowy was honored on behalf of Montgomery County Women’s Center along with several other nonprofits’ volunteers at the 2012 Women of Distinction luncheon on April 27 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center.
DAR MEMBER CELEBRATES 100TH BIRTHDAY. Margaret Karsner celebrated her 100th birthday on April 1 with a special proclamation from Harris County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, who attended the party and presented the Texas House Resolution to Karsner proclaiming April 1 “Margaret Karsner Day” in Harris County. She also received a congratulatory certificate from Gov. Rick Perry and letters of congratulations from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Sen. John Cornyn, Constable Rick Hickman and Congressman Ben Chandler.
Karsner traveled the country with her father as he trained thoroughbred horses. She was one of the first women to get a thoroughbred horse trainer’s license because women were not allowed to train. When her father died, she took over his duties. She led the way for countless women to break into the sport. Karsner left training after she married and began to breed thoroughbred horses. She always remained an active leader in everything she did including the Daughters of the American Revolution; The Historical Society and many women’s clubs. She was even an elder in church even though men predominantly held those positions.
She is the proud mother of four, grandmother of eight, and great-grandmother of nine. Her celebration was attended by more than 100 friends and family. The Salvation Army Harbor Light Choir provided the entertainment for her special day of celebration held at The Village of Gleannloch Farms.
WOODFOREST CHARITABLE FOUNDATION SUPPORTS FRIENDSHIP CENTER. In support of the many senior adults in the local community, Woodforest Charitable Foundation has once again presented a donation of $5,000 to The Friendship Center.
“We are honored to have a partner in The Woodforest Foundation,” said Anna Vidaurri, executive director of The Friendship Center. Their contribution will be of great benefit to senior adults in need.”
The mission of The Friendship Center is to provide support, advocacy and services to senior adults in Montgomery County so that they may remain independent and vital members of our community. Programs include meals on wheels, telephone reassurance, case management, transportation, senior dining, events and resources.
THE WOODLANDS’ NEW TV COMMERCIAL SPEAKS TO ALL GENERATIONS. The Woodlands produced a new TV commercial that spans the history of a couple from childhood through middle age, and highlights the broad appeal of the community. “We wanted to illustrate the idea that The Woodlands is a community for all the times of your life,” said Susan Vreeland-Wendt, director of marketing. “In fact, there are as many as four generations of families living in The Woodlands. They have discovered that The Woodlands is a wonderful place to grow up, spend your teen years, discover the love of your life, raise a family, and then reap life’s rewards through middle age and beyond.”
The 30-second spot commercial was filmed at several different locales in The Woodlands including Rob Fleming Park and Aquatic Center in the Village of Creekside Park; Tamarac Park in the Village of Grogan’s Mill; The Woodlands Waterway®, East Shore, and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Town Center; and The Woodlands Country Club Tournament Course.
Produced by Humble of New York, N.Y., with creative direction from The Woodlands’ advertising agency John Manlove Marketing & Communications of Pasadena, the new commercial is running through mid-May on channels 2, 11 and 13 news programming in the Houston area, as well as cable shows including The Weather Channel, HGTV, Fox News and The Food Network. The Woodlands Film Commission assisted in the coordination of the “on location” shoot.
The commercial can be viewed by clicking on the You Tube Channel icon on the bottom of the homepage on The Woodlands’ website, thewoodlands.com.