Arts & Entertainment

Benefitting Katy Fire Department and Camp Hope

By Taylor Wright

On Monday, June 26th, local Fireman Dustin Carter is chairing the 2nd Annual Golf Tournament at Willow Fork Country Club, located at 21055 Westheimer Parkway in Katy. All money raised will benefit the Katy Fire/EMS Association and Camp Hope.

“This is a great opportunity for the community to support those that have done so much for us,” says Chris Newton, local Realtor with Cross Property Group, who is helping to organize the event.

The Katy Fire Department provides primary fire and emergency medical services to the City of Katy and some surrounding areas on a daily basis.

Proceeds will also benefit Camp Hope, a non-profit organization that provides interim housing for veterans and their families suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One in three returning troops are being diagnosed with serious symptoms of PTSD, and on average, five active-duty troops attempt suicide each day. Camp Hope strives to bring healing and raise awareness in a caring and positive environment.

“Camp Hope serves our veterans that have given so much,” Newton states.

Those who participate in the Golf Tournament will pay an entry fee of $100 per person or $400 per team. In addition to a putting contest, they will enjoy lunch, extra games, prize drawings and an award ceremony to follow.  Participants must register and pay the entry fee by the June 21st deadline.

Local business owners can also support the cause by becoming a sponsor. You can sponsor a hole for as little as $250 or become a premium flag sponsor for $500.

Those who wish to register, sponsor the event or ask questions should contact Dustin Carter at 281-391-8583/, or Chris Newton at 281-770-7932/


(Columbus, TX)  Live music returns to the Columbus Farmers’ market this week when the duo or Waddell and Prause perform on Saturday, April 29th at 9:30 am.  Larry Waddell, originally from Columbus and Eagle Lake, lived in Michigan for several years where he was lead singer in several bands.  He moved to Brenham a few years ago where he now resides.  Russell Prause was born and raised in Columbus and has played in several bands over the last 30 years.  He opened for several Nashville recording artists and has also played in some of their bands.  Prause has performed for Columbus area functions for many years.  Waddell and Prause will play a variety of music from country to rock and roll.

The Columbus Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday from 9 am to Noon on the Historic Courthouse Square at the corner of Walnut (highway 90) and Travis Street.  Vendors sell everything from breakfast tacos, tamales, hot coffee, fresh produce, homemade baked goods, fresh gulf shrimp, local farm raised beef and poultry, to jewelry, crafts, pies and cakes, plants, jams, jellies, local olive oil, local honey, berries, greens, carrots, beets, squash, handmade soaps, homemade soups, tomatoes, herbs, yummy Filipino egg rolls and lots more.

Visitors may enter a weekly drawing for $50 in Farmers’ Market Merchandise Certificate.  It’s free to enter. One new winner is chosen every week.


HOUSTON (April 24, 2017) – The Houston Symphony celebrates the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss with a semi-staged, orchestral version of “Green Eggs and Ham” at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017. Led by Associate Conductor Robert Franz, the animated, fun-filled celebration of Dr. Seuss at the Symphony will also feature familiar music from animated television classics and lively musical works that capture the imagination.

Guest vocalists Lauren Pastorek and Kelly Lomonte will join the orchestra in the orchestral adaptation of the popular children’s book. With unmistakable characters and signature rhymes, this beloved favorite by Dr. Seuss has cemented its place as a children’s classic. Nearly six decades after its initial publication, the book remains a best-selling children’s book.

A native Houstonian, Pastorek was an original cast member in the off-Broadway production of The Marvelous Wonderettes. She has appeared in the national tours of Oklehoma! and My Fair Lady, at the Kennedy Center in Carnival!, and as a soloist with the Houston Grand Opera in the premiere of On This Muddy Water. Lomonte, a high school sophomore and student at the Humphreys School of Musical Theater, has been featured in Theatre Under the Stars’ productions of Mary PoppinsA Christmas StoryThe Music ManOliver!, and Hairspray, among others. Both Pastorek and Lomonte will be making their Houston Symphony debuts.

Dr. Seuss, whose real name is Theodor Seuss Geisel, published over 60 books during his career, spawning numerous adaptations, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series. His work includes several of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 600 million copies that were translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death 25 years ago. Geisel’s honors include an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, a Peabody Award, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal.

Also on the program is Rossini’s ever-popular Overture to The Barber of Seville, iconic cartoon music like the Looney Tunes Overture and “The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones” theme. With its trotting rhythm reminiscent of peaceful, country roads, Leroy Anderson’s vivid musical snapshot of Americana, Horse and Buggy, will be featured alongside the timpani rolls and cymbal crashes of Thunder and Lightning by Johan Strauss Jr.

An instrument petting zoo, which allows children to hold and play orchestral instruments, as well as a craft activity will be offered in the lobby beginning one hour before the 10 a.m. concert and immediately following the 11:30 a.m. concert. Concertgoers are encouraged to come in Dr. Seuss-inspired costumes.

The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.


with music from green eggs and ham

Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 10 a.m.

Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 11:30 a.m.

Robert Franz, conductor

Lauren Pastorek, vocalist

Kelly Lomonte, vocalist

Humphreys School of Musical Theater

Sam Brown, director

Tickets from $22

About Robert Franz
As Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Robert Franz leads the Symphony in a broad range of creative educational and family concerts. At the 2016 Houston Symphony Ball, Robert was presented with the Raphael Fliegel Award for Visionary Leadership.

Winner of two Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming accolades, presented by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Robert galvanizes young audiences with programming celebrating the diverse cultural make up of Greater Houston. Highlights include the world premiere of music from the iconic TV series Schoolhouse Rock! for orchestra. During his tenure, attendance at educational concerts has almost doubled. Reaching out to the community, Robert led highly successful side-by-side events giving musicians from the Texas Medical Center Orchestra and the Houston Civic Symphony the opportunity to perform with the Houston Symphony.

Robert also serves as music director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra and previously served as music director of the Boise Philharmonic. In increasing demand as a guest conductor, his upcoming and recent guest conducting engagements include the Cleveland Orchestra; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; St. Louis, Phoenix and Victoria Symphonies; Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina in Italy.

Robert received his master’s degree in conducting and his bachelor’s degree in oboe performance, both from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

When he’s not on the podium, Robert is an avid runner and a proponent of the Alexander technique as a way to move mindfully through life. For more information, please visit

About Lauren Pastorek

Lauren Pastorek is a native Houstonian who has recently returned home after two decades of performing as a singer/dancer/actress across the United States and Canada. She is thrilled to be making her debut with the Houston Symphony after growing up as a member of the Symphony family. Her parents, musicians Red and Christine Pastorek, recently retired from the Symphony after a combined 95 years of service.

Lauren starred off-Broadway in the original NYC cast of The Marvelous Wonderettes, was on the first national tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s Oklahoma!, the national tour of The Will Rogers Follies, and the North American tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s My Fair Lady. Lauren was featured at The Kennedy Center in Carnival!, and she appeared in productions at New York City’s Town Hall, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, and Encores! at the New York City Center, as well as numerous regional houses across the country including TUTS, Denver Theatre Center and The Ohio Light Opera. Lauren was a leading mezzo for two seasons with The Opera Company of Brooklyn, and she was the first grand prize winner of the prestigious Lotte Lenya Competition. Recently, she had the honor of premiering On This Muddy Water as the mezzo soloist with the Houston Grand Opera, and she premiered a set of songs on guitar as a part of HGOco’s Veterans Songbook.

Her recent directing credits include The Addams Family and Legally Blonde at Miller Outdoor Theatre and Into the Woods with HITS Theatre; choreography credits include La Rondine at the Moores School of Music and How to Succeed in Business… at Texas A&M University–Commerce. Lauren is currently the Director of Theatre at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School in Houston.

Lauren graduated summa cum laude from Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree and received her Master of Music degree from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

About Kelly Lomonte

Kelly Lomonte is thrilled to be performing with the Houston Symphony for the first time. Kelly is a sophomore at the Laurel Springs School and a student at Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. Her credits include Theatre Under the Stars’ productions of Mary Poppins (Jane Banks), A Christmas Story (Mary Beth), The Music ManOliver!James and the Giant Peach (Spider), Hairspray (Amber von Tussle) and Bring It On. Kelly has also appeared in Wildfish Theatre’s productions of Heathers (Heather Duke), Next to Normal (Natalie), EdgesThe Wiz (Dorothy), Seussical (Bird Girl), Bat Boy (Shelley) and A Chorus Line (Val). She has appeared in iTheatrics Broadway Jr. Choreography DVDs and the film Sometimes. Kelly thanks her friends, teachers and family for their constant support.

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2016-17 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its third season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada, and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston. For tickets and more information, please visit or call 713-224-7575.

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Veteran reflects upon his time serving as ‘Rifleman/Doctor’

Warren S. Gilbert, MD, launches marketing campaign to promote his memoir

RENO, Nev. – While some may have been happy with graduating and becoming a successful physician, Warren S. Gilbert, MD, sought a life he would find more meaningful – and he found it when various branches of the armed services began calling. With his country seeking help from qualified doctors and terrorism on the rise, he joined the United States Navy Reserve.

But everything changed on September 11, 2001. What was supposed to have been a detour turned into a career that would lead to some of his most memorable and meaningful moments. In “Rifleman/Doctor: A Marine Corps Physician’s Memoir” (published by iUniverse), Gilbert shares his story. The author is launching a marketing campaign to expand the book’s reach.

Gilbert, who was an integral part of combat operations serving with the Marine Corps, gives readers an insider’s perspective of the military; the author offers his commentary while discussing his involvement in demanding environments and dangerous situations. As a physician in his position, Gilbert offers readers a glimpse into a side of the military they may be unfamiliar with.


By Warren S. Gilbert, MD

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 88 pages | ISBN 9781491730676

E-Book | 88 pages | ISBN 9781491730669

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Warren S. Gilbert, MD, is trained in family medicine, emergency trauma medicine and general surgery. He is the medical director of ARC Health and Wellness in Reno, Nevada, and served on the Nevada Homeland Security Commission. He and his wife, Debby, have four children and seven grandchildren. More information is available at:

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, LLC, self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

HOUSTON – Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is excited to announce the winners of the 15th annual Tommy Tune Awards!

Hosting the awards show this year was local actor and a favorite of Houston audiences, Dylan Godwin.  He was joined on stage a number of times by the always-entertaining special guests Snoopy and Woodstock. In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Tommy Tune Awards, this year’s awards show took a look at the past, present and future of the Tommy Tune Awards. The night included appearances by two past Tommy Tune Award winners,  Stephanie Gibson and Stephanie Styles, who both appeared via video; as well as two-time Tony Award winner, Jeff Calhoun, who presented the award for Best Musical also via video.

One particularly special moment took place during the opening of the show when students from HISD’s Crespo Elementary appeared on stage to highlight the future of the Tommy Tune Awards as they performed “Hooray for Our Favorite Son” from The Will Rogers Follies along with another Houston favorite, Logan Keslar, the Best Lead and Supporting Actor and Actress nominees.

Presenters for the evening included Jose Antonio Diaz, Kaitlin Hopkins, Dr. Rob Shimko, Amy Pierce, Brad Blume, Lauren Anderson, Kevin Rigdon, Cissy Segal Davis, Muhammad Yunus, Tom Koch, Ernie Manouse, Hillary Hart, Jim Bernhardt, Michael Tapley, Debs Ramser, Mark Grady and Logan Keslar.

The winners of the 15th Annual Tommy Tune Awards are:

Best Musical:

The Boy Friend    Second Baptist School

Best Leading Actor:

Ian Tonroy from Klein High School as Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Leading Actress:

Jasmine Rogers from Stephen F. Austin High School as The Witch in Into the Woods

Best Supporting Actor:

William Chambers from Second Baptist School as Lord Brockhurst in The Boy Friend

Best Supporting Actress:

Divina Ito from Westfield High School as Evillene in The Wiz

Best Featured Performer:

Ryan Esparza from Klein High School as Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Ensemble/Chorus:

Friendswood High School        Les Miserables, School Edition

Best Scenic Design:

Friendswood High School        Les Miserables, School Edition

Best Costume Design:

Second Baptist School        The Boy Friend

Best Lighting Design:

Friendswood High School        Les Miserables, School Edition

Best Stage Crew & Technical Execution:

Clear Springs High School        Big Fish

Best Musical Direction:

Friendswood High School        Les Miserables, School Edition

Best Orchestra:

Klein High School            Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Choreography:

Second Baptist School        The Boy Friend

Best Direction:

Second Baptist School        The Boy Friend

The Tommy Tune Awards are named for Houston native and Lamar High School alumnus, Tommy Tune.  A performer, director and choreographer with more than 50 years of stage experience, Tune received nine Tony Awards® for his work in the following productions: Seesaw, My One and Only, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Nine, Grand Hotel and The Will Rogers Follies.  He was also awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2003 by President George W. Bush. Tune is currently taking an autobiographical stroll in Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales where he dances, sings and tale-tells through more than 50 years of showmanship.


TUTS’ Tommy Tune Awards are designed not only to acknowledge remarkable musical theatre talent at the high school level, but also to encourage future artistic development.   In addition to the awards, TUTS also gives out scholarships annually to a number of deserving students. These include the Ruth Denney Scholarship, named in honor of Tune’s mentor and legendary Lamar High School drama teacher. Ruth Denney was the founder and first director of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and then Professor of Drama Education at the University of Texas at Austin.  She died in 2007, just a few days before her 93rd birthday.

Students under consideration for scholarships were required to meet specific criteria set out by the Scholarship Committee, and were also required to submit an application and an essay.  The scholarship committee, composed of TUTS board members, has carefully reviewed all of the applications and will announce the scholarship recipients during the awards ceremony.

This year, TUTS is adding a new scholarship created in memory of Sean Rudolph, who was a successful business owner in Houston, a devoted patron of the arts and a Broadway producer.  Over the past 14 years, TUTS has awarded 115 college scholarships totaling $316,000 to Tommy Tune students.

This year’s scholarship recipients are as follows.

Recipients of $1,000 Scholarships:

Karoline Thomas

Kendall Swendsen

Kathleen (Katie) Sharp

Evan Rosen

Madison Eden

Alex Rudd

Kayla Johnson

Chance Jarvis

Recipients of $3,000 Scholarship:

Kerry Sullivan

Ian Tonroy

Brendan Morrow

Grace Nardecchia

Austin Karkowsky

Emma Singleton

Recipients of $5,000 Ruth Denney Scholarship:

Elizabeth “Brock” Looser

Recipients of $5,000 Sean Rudolph Scholarship:

Ryan Simon

Jimmy™ Awards

The Best Leading Actor and Actress will go on to compete at the national level for the Jimmy™ Award at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City. Established in 2009, the Jimmy™ Awards are named after Broadway theatre owner and producer, James M. Nederlander.  This year, the program will bring the country’s best high school performers together to compete on Broadway on June 26.  While in New York, Jimmy™ Award participants will have the opportunity to participate in rehearsals and master classes, receive one-on-one coaching from theater professionals, be seen by casting agents, meet and converse with Broadway actors and compete for scholarships and other prizes.  The week’s events will culminate in a live awards show where the Jimmy™ Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress will be presented.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is the official healthcare partner of Theatre Under The Stars and the Humphrey’s School of Musical Theatre; and the official sponsor of the 2016/17 Season. United Airlines is the official airline partner of Theatre Under The Stars. KTRK ABC13 is the official media partner of Theatre Under The Stars.  The Tommy Tune Awards are sponsored by the generous support of ConocoPhillips, The Brown Foundation, Inc., the Vivian L. Smith Foundation, Tricia and Alan Ratliff, David and Marsha Taylor, and the Sean Rudolph Scholarship Fund.

To learn more about TUTS’ Education and Community Engagement programs, visit

Theatre Under The Stars is Houston’s leading Musical Theatre Company since 1968, with a focus on education and community engagement. TUTS is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization that relies on the generous support of our donors to deliver first-rate theatre experiences. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit For more information, please visit

Founded in 1972, the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre (HSMT), the nationally-recognized educational wing of Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS), offers the only technique-based musical theatre training program in the Houston area.  HSMT educates and develops musical theatre students of all ages and is fully committed to providing our community with the very best in performing arts education.  Focusing on the principle of process over product, students learn the fundamentals of musical theater performance through year-round courses, productions, workshops, and master classes, all geared toward equipping students with the tools they need to be successful in musical theatre and in life.  Visit for more information!


HOUSTON (April 21, 2017) – The Houston Symphony celebrates the life and musical contributions of pop culture icon Prince on July 15 with an exceptional symphonic tribute to the artist’s eclectic music, complete with orchestra, live band and featured vocalist Marshall Charloff.

Prince’s unexpected death a year ago shocked fans across the world. Many of them remember his sheer stage presence, unprecedented talent and body of work that spans decades. One of the most iconic performers of the eighties, he wrote and released many mega hits including “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss,” “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry,” several of which will be performed by the full orchestra.

The Houston Symphony will be joined by the same live band that brought The Music of Led Zeppelin and The Music of Queen to audiences across the country. The Music of Prince will feature vocalist Marshall Charloff, the front man for The Purple Xperience, whose imaginatively styles the magic of Prince’s talent with his appearance, vocal imitation and multi-instrumental prowess on guitar, piano, bass and drums.

The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.

July 15, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.
Brent Havens,
Marshall Charloff, vocalist
Tickets from $29

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2016-17 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its third season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada, and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston. For tickets and more information, please visit or call 713-224-7575.


Above photo by Robert Duke

That hometown experience within a rural setting continues to flourish in the National Registry community of Fayetteville as fundraisers, art, and a variety of musical events for all ages are explored in the month of May.  And wrapping up April, you just aren’t a rural community without that hometown cooking and this time it includes a drive thru Bar-b-que chicken dinner at St. Paul Lutheran Church at 201 N. Rusk Street on Saturday, April 29 beginning at 4:00 pm.  There is limited seating to dine-in and questions may be addressed to 979-966-7175 or 832-215-6724.

Saturday, May 6 (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) through Sunday, May 7 (11:00 am to 4:00 pm) celebrates ArtWalk, a juried fine art show sponsored by Arts for Rural Texas (ARTS) celebrated on the courthouse square in Fayetteville.  With over 60 participating artists showcased and over $6,000 in award money given to the artists selected by a judges panel, this show is quickly becoming a popular event throughout the State of Texas.  Promoting local, regional, and national artists is the initial goal and visitors are reminded that in addition to this show, there is a schedule of performing musicians, children’s art instruction /activities, wine tastings, food booths, and other attractions that makes this an unforgettable experience with memories to take home.  This is a free event with proceeds going to art for the kiddos in the area—a real “win-win” and proves that a professional showing of fine art for all can indeed be conducted in a small community.  Contact or call 979-378-2113 for more information.

Catch your “second wind” because after ARTS activities Saturday, May 6, festivities move right down the road at 302 Bell Street to the Annual Volunteer Fire Department Fundraiser and Dance kicking off at 5:00 pm at the St. John Catholic Church Pavilion.  This too is an annual event with children’s activities and Central Texas Sounds Polka Band performing from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the hall.  Bar-b-que beef, pork, and sausage are served from 5:30 – 7:30 pm and a silent and live auction kick off at 6:30 pm.  After the auction, The Anthony Moreno Band, sponsored by Bentwood Ranch, performs.  This is a very important fundraiser for this volunteer group as the department operates on donations only.  Proceeds fund life and property saving efforts including equipment such as paying off the balance of the 2014 Grass Truck.  Donations are welcome by calling Rodney Sladek at 979-249-6868.

The following weekend (Saturday, May 13) spotlights another round of the Fayetteville Picking Park as live acoustic bluegrass jamming commences on the historic square.  This too is a free event with all levels of expertise welcome.  A slow jam kicks off at 1:00 pm at the Old Fire Station led by Lou Lou Barbour and the Old Fire Station closes at 10:00 pm although music continues at the gazebo and square after that.  Call 512-415-3177 for more information.  Picking is often performed the Friday evening before as well.

Musical May in Fayetteville also includes performances of Chamber Music at the Country Place Hotel on the square.  The annual Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival is scheduled for Friday, May 12 at 8:00 pm, Saturday, May 13 at 3:00 pm, Saturday, May 13 at 8:00 pm, Friday, May 19 at 8:00 pm, Saturday, May 20 at 3:00 pm, and Saturday, May 20 at 8:00 pm.  Expect world-class performances by musicians from New York, Hungary, Poland, Houston, and Austin in a closed environment with natural acoustics and in keeping with the Czech heritage of the community, Czech music will be performed on the Friday evening bringing warm, intimate sounds to the audience.  Contact 979-966-8251 or for more information.

Friday, May 20 brings more fun with food as the Fayetteville KC’s celebrate their Annual “all you can eat” Crawfish Boil at the St. John Church Pavilion on 302 Bell Street beginning at 6:30 pm.  Bring the dancing shoes for the live Zydeco music.  Limited tickets may be purchased at Joe’s Place, Kovar Service, Fayette Realty, or Minarcik Construction (in La Grange).  Call 979-966-7961 for more information.

As ARTS wraps up spring, they also serve as a “springboard” into summer for the kiddos as well as young adults with an incredible array of classes at Blinn College (Schulenburg location), Fayetteville, Round Top, Schulenburg, and Weimar.  Classes include clay art, mosaics, beach art, mixed media, recycled art, alcohol inks, 3-D, choir week, cooking art, photography, acrylics, workshops, and theater week.   Go to or call 979-38-2113 for more information.

“We have an incredible spectrum of activities for all ages in this cultural and historical community of Fayetteville that we all enjoy showcasing with our country hospitality thanks to all of our volunteers,” states Mayor Ronnie Pflughaupt.  “Our restaurants, lodging, shopping, and businesses extend their hometown hospitality to welcome all visitors and locals that come to share these experiences”.  Fayetteville is located on Highway 159 a short distance from La Grange and zip code 78940 for GPS.

Pat Marks is among 13 recipients nationwide of the prestigious 2017 Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award for Early Environmental Education

HOUSTON, Texas (April 19, 2017) – Houston Arboretum’s Associate Director, Pat Marks was recently awarded the Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award for Early Environmental Education. She is among 13 other recipients around the United States to be recognized for her outstanding achievements towards early childhood environmental education. Pat has been an active environmental educator for over 40 years. She started at the Arboretum in 1976 as a naturalist and, in the intervening years, served as Senior Naturalist, Education and Conservation Manager, Director of Education, and finally in her current role as Associate Director, managing eight staff members and  twenty seasonal student interns.

Pat has worked with tens of thousands of students (some of them now Arboretum Board members!), hiking through the woods in search of armadillos or a hawk overhead, dipping in the Arboretum’s ponds for crawfish and tadpoles, planting pollinator gardens full of wildflowers and much more. Pragmatic and knowledgeable, she introduces young children to the outdoors patiently and gently, making nature-lovers out of even the most skeptical students. As many as 60% of the Arboretum’s elementary-age program participants come from inner-city, Title I schools, and their experiences at the Arboretum are often their only exposure to wild space. One of Pat’s primary areas of focus in recent years has been increasing the number of economically disadvantaged students who visit the Arboretum for environmental education.

“I love working with people and introducing them to the beauty of nature It’s fun! [I’m] trying to get past people’s preconceived notions [of nature] – to observe [the outdoors] so they can go on the trails and become their own instructors”, says Pat Marks.

Pat has made regional environmental education a priority. In addition to her Texas State Teaching Certificate and State Environmental Educator certification, she is also accredited by Project Learning Tree, the environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation; Project WILD, a national wildlife-focused conservation education program for K-12 educators; and Project WET, a network of water resource educators. Pat was a founding member of the Environmental Educators Exchange and serves on the Texas Environmental Education Certification Advisory Council, where she is a reviewer and long-time member.

The Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award annually recognizes select individuals who are enhancing the environmental education of children. Additionally, recipients are awarded $1,000 to further facilitate them in creating environmental awareness and showcasing the beauty of our planet to children.


Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

The mission of the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is to provide education about the natural environment to people of all ages and to protect and enhance the Arboretum as a haven and as a sanctuary for native plants and animals. The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, one of the first nature education facilities for children in the state of Texas, provides services to nearly 200,000 visitors annually. The Arboretum also provides nature education for more than 10,000 children annually. For more information about the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center and levels of membership, visit<> . Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonArboretum and Twitter @HoustonArboretu; share your photos using #houstonarboretum.

May 5-7, 2017 

HOUSTON (April 20, 2017) – The Houston Symphony will perform the world premiere of Conquest Requiem from Composer-in-Residence Gabriela Lena Frank at 8 p.m. May 5-6 and 2:30 p.m. May 7 at Jones Hall. Considered Frank’s most ambitious project to date, the requiem is the composer’s musical interpretation of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire composed for orchestra, chorus, soprano and baritone soloists.

The work is inspired by the true story of Malinche, a Nahua woman from the Gulf Coast of Mexico, who played a key role in this pivotal era in history, first as a young slave and later as an advisor and lover. Her ever-evolving prowess as an interpreter of her native Nahuatl, various Mayan dialects and Spanish elevated her position to such that she would convert to Christianity and become a mistress to Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés during his war against the Aztecs.

“I’ve long been a collector of the testimonials of the conquest’s many chroniclers – the conquistadores, the priests and friars, and the natives,” Frank said. “Tackling one aspect of the conquest for this piece comes from a personal connection to an event of such magnitude. At the same time entire societies were decimated, we witnessed the birth of new music, literature, food, political philosophies and, yes, even religions.”

Malinche, viewed in various legends as a feminist hero, treacherous villain, conflicted victim, and symbolic mother of the mestizo people, will be interpreted by Peruvian-American soprano Jessica Rivera. The role of her son Martín, one of the first mestizos of the New World, will be sung by American baritone Andrew Garland, who will be making his Houston Symphony debut.

The seven-movement requiem fuses European and Native American influences and incorporates the rhythms and inflections of three different languages: traditional Latin, Aztecan Nahuatl and Spanish. Frank commissioned Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Nilo Cruz to link the Latin and Nahuatl text with original Spanish text that tells the story of Malinche and Martín. The requiem is the seventh collaboration between Cruz and Frank.

Following intermission, the orchestra will perform Shostakovich’s gripping and powerful Symphony No. 5.

The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change. 

Friday, May 5, 2017, 8 p.m.

Saturday, May 6, 2017, 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 7, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor

Jessica Rivera, soprano

Andrew Garland, baritone

Houston Symphony Chorus

Betsy Cook Weber, director

OnStage Insights with Andrés

Gabriela Lena Frank: Conquest Requiem

Houston Symphony Commission/World Premiere

Includes commissioned text from Nilo Cruz

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Tickets from $25

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‘Living for Love’ helps believers build lasting relationships

Author Elise Froelicher Olson’s new book encourages readers they are part of ‘God’s interactive plan of true love’

BISHOPVILLE, Md. – “Living for Love: Exploring God’s Interactive Plan of Hope” (published by WestBow Pressis a new guide book to help readers develop meaningful relationships with God and other people, finding purpose and joy as they discover their part in God’s relational plan of love.

“It is not easy to love others well, especially when we may not feel loved ourselves, but God longs to fill our needs and give us the grace to love others,” says author Elise Froelicher Olson.

In “Living for Love,” Olson explores the secrets God has revealed to us in his word, that help us to find true love, fight evil, and live our lives to the fullest. Each chapter includes a poem that introduces the theme, true stories that demonstrate God’s plan put to practice, and a set of discussion questions designed to help readers reflect and build lasting relationships with each other.

“We need to be intentional with our lives. God’s love is for everyone. He longs for us to draw upon his powerful love,” Olson explains. “He wants to help us to truly love in a world full of pain and division, even when we are afraid. This is how we find the purpose and happiness we are longing for.”

“Living for Love”

By Elise Froelicher Olson

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 176 pages | ISBN 9781512752274

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 176 pages | ISBN 9781512752267

E-Book | 176 pages | ISBN 9781512752250

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Elise Froelicher Olson earned a Bachelor of Arts in 2005 from Washington Bible College, where she also received the Christian Service Award. She also has an Associate in Applied Science for mechanical design and worked in the design field in her early adult years. Raising her three children became her purpose and she was blessed to be a stay-at-home parent. Olson owned and managed Pedal Stop Ice Cream Shop in northern Virginia, in which all profits supported world missions. She has volunteered with youth and missions throughout her adult life and currently enjoys working with international students at home and around the world. More information is available at

WestBow Press is a strategic supported self-publishing alliance between HarperCollins Christian Publishing and Author Solutions, LLC — the world leader in supported self-publishing. Titles published through WestBow Press are evaluated for sales potential and considered for publication through Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.  For more information, visit or call (866)-928-1240. For WestBow Press news, click “Like” at and follow @westbowpress on Twitter.