Margy Neff of Oak Park started the Christmas season off on a nice note. She and Garrett Glass hosted a tribute to American composer Edward MacDowell, who died 100 years ago in 1908. Margy sang some of MacDowell’s once familiar songs and Garrett gave a detailed synopsis of MacDowell’s life. He also played several of MacDowell’s compositions on the piano.

The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H, was begun by MacDowell’s wife for the use of talented musicians, writers, painters and the like. Thornton Wilder did much of his writing there, Aaron Copeland much of his composing and many other famous names have made use of the secluded colony.

MacDowell artists of our area supported that colony for many years. About 40 years ago it was decided to use the money for scholarships to deserving young people here in the Forest Park, Oak Park and River Forest area. Forest Parkers who attended the MacDowell tribute were Ruth and George Ashman, Marion Davis and Marilyn Kauffman.

Welcome home to Kristine Quintana and Matthew Yapchaian, who have been visiting Turino, Italy, where Matthew presented a paper as a part of his doctoral studies. His topic dealt with ethnology and anthropology. Ask him about it and he will be happy to fill you in on the details. Matthew loves his subjects.

In the photo, Kristine and Matthew are at the Cathedral at Turin where the famous “shroud of Turin” is kept. The shroud is brought out for exhibit only every 22 years. An exception was made a few years ago when Pope Benedict visited.

The Christmas season is well on its way here in Forest Park. Our town tree is aglitter with cheer. Gus Scolero, his daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and Mike Stisevic dug the lights and snowmen out of the garage and were last seen were busily adorning the family home, right under Gus’ sign.

Tickets are selling fast for the Dec. 7 concert of the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest. Fantastic flutist Mathieu Defour will play two Vivaldi flute concertos and Mozart’s Flute Concerto No 1. Two pieces by Dvorak will round out the program. It all starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday at First United Church, 848 Lake in Oak Park. Maestro Jay Friedman will be conducting.

The caroling recitals at Saint John’s, 305 Circle, begin this week. Three concerts, all on Wednesday nights, will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. I goofed one of these dates in an earlier column.

Psst. Hey, kids. Santa will be at the Brown Cow on Dec. 14 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On Dec. 6 remember the Michael Teolis Singers’ concert at First United Methodist Church, 324 N. Oak Park Ave. at 7 p.m. Forest Park singers, Nancy Greco, Louise Brueggermann, and Erik Johnson are featured on the program.

Forest Parkers born this week: Dec. 3, Dixie Paugh, Jane Holmberg, Reagan Hosty, Roland Maughm, Mylinda Stange; Dec. 4, Barbara Hosty. Happy 32nd wedding anniversary to Geri and Roger Grant on Dec. 4; Dec. 5, birthdays include Cheryl Kolnick and Dave Winter; the 6th, Adele Sharkey and Carli Loyd; on the 8th, Kallen O’Shea, Sue Lentini Stuart and Matt Pingel; Dec. 9, DeMara Gilbraith, Brian Mullin and Scott Marler.