One of the greatest blessings in Forest Park is the Gasse School of Music. Students of Daniel and Sarah Gasse and Emi Preys, along with accompanist Hulya Alpakin Luethi, presented a music recital last Sunday, April 19, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park. (Unfortunately, photos got lost in the technology sphere.) 

One Forest Park musician, Ella Petersen, performed Brahms’ Hungarian Dance #5, a real crowd pleaser. Ella has been studying with Sarah Gasse for about four years and is well on her way to becoming an accomplished violinist. The Falth brothers, Frankie and Hans, will spend many hours together playing duets, I’m sure.

The retirement of Dave Weinstein is a great loss to our schools, but it was bound to happen eventually. He is a great musician, teacher, friend and inspiration to all his students. Mr. Weinstein’s musical gifts to his students will be felt all through their lives, often when they least expect it. Music brings more than joy to our lives; it has been shown that the study of music enriches all aspects of learning and even health. Just listening to classical music is said to bring down blood pressure. 

In case you missed last Sunday’s recital, you have another chance to experience the Gasse magic at First United Church, 1000 Elgin, this Sunday, April 26 at 4 p.m. There is never a charge, so I don’t suppose there will be this Sunday either. 

Library friends, personnel and users will be saddened to hear of the death of Betty Gilchrist. Betty kept the records of the Friends of the Library for many years. She never made an error or omission. Now she can join her dear friend, Rose Everson.

Congratulations to LaVerne Cameron, winner of an elegant choker/necklace donated by Todd & Holland Tea Company. LaVerne’s stunning hat was her own creation and looked especially beautiful with her new necklace. Unfortunately, cyberspace has swallowed up that photo too, so use your imagination. 

The reason for the hat? Chairwomen Dorothy Gillian and Sandy Nutley hosted the St. Bernardine Women’s Gala this year. They chose a Kentucky Derby theme and encouraged ladies to wear derby-style hats. The women came up with astoundingly beautiful headwear. I couldn’t help but think how much better we looked in those days, long ago, when women (and even young girls) wore hats. 

More music in the air with the Michael Teolis Singers, now in its eighth season. “A Music Fusion: Africa and the West” takes place on Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m., featuring unique and original compositions by black composers of the western hemisphere, including two female Chicagoans, Lena McLin and the late Margaret Brooks. Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune called McLin “the woman who launched a thousand careers.” MTS performs at First United Methodist, 324 N. Oak Park Ave., in Oak Park. Tickets are $18 adults, $12 seniors and students. For reservations, phone 708-366-2889 or email Forest Park singers in the chorus include Louise Brueggemann, Nancy Greco, Erik Johnson, and accompanist David Richards.

Save Sunday, May 3 for the Symphony of Oak Park-River Forest at Dominican University, 4 p.m. Lots of free parking. The Dvorak piano concerto will be featured with David Leehey on piano. 

 Happy birthday to Regan Doolin, Luke Daniel Boher, Kamiyah Lara, Daniel Hawkins, Joe Dornecker, Katie Kelly, Tina Li, April Moroney, Anne Childs, Art Grams, Annette Pardun, Jon Olmsted, Cindy Fischer, Kyle Littlejohn, John Boy, Evelyn Krueger, Matt Radkiewicz, Tom Cody, and Angie Ventrella. Happy anniversary to Sue & Rich Bothie, Veronica & Gene Rischler, Mike & Joan Bigos, and Brandi & Bob Mintz.

 Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life’s other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side of Chicago in a great neighborhood when it was a great time to be young.

Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life's other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side...