Congratulations to the Michael Teolis Singers on another delightful evening full of musical surprises. Music of Africa and the West were featured, including music of Haiti, Columbia, Brazil, Guadalupe, Cuba, Jamaica and Canada! 

Mr. Teolis researched and considered each piece from several angles before deciding what would be included. Excellent decisions and a most entertaining program, including Forest Parkers Nancy Greco, Louise Brueggermann, Erik Johnson and accompanist David Richards. Such composers as Thomas A. Dorsey, Scott Joplin, Margaret Bonds, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, Bobby McFerrin and William Dawson were on the program. The accompanying arrangements of percussion, strings, and organ really added to the interest and surprises. 

As if that concert weren’t enough to satisfy all comers, Sunday brought us the Symphony of Oak Park-River Forest with an all-Dvorak program! Dr. David Leehey was soloist for the Dvorak Piano Concerto; the second half of the program featured the beloved Dvorak Symphony #7

Dr. Daniel Gasse‘s cello students presented a recital at 1st United Church of Forest Park last week. The violin students of Sarah Gasse also performed at this recital. The Gasse recitals are always a joy to attend. The music is always familiar and well loved, no repeats, just a pure sampling of the composer’s work. And it’s free! Don’t miss the next one. Or better still, encourage your child or grandchild to study at the Gasse Studio (708-488-8117 or go to

This year’s Easter was a memorable one for the Kaldis family, since they celebrated this holiest of holy days together in the Holy Land. Irene, her husband Bill and sons Angelo and John spent the week together. Something about those Orthodox religions seem especially powerful to me. The Kaldis family is shown with a patriarch from their Greek Orthodox Church. An especially moving phenomenon Irene witnessed is the fire that does not burn. She has a photograph of herself standing in the River Jordan. It certainly was a Holy Week they will never forget

Speedy get-well wishes go to Derick Gist who fell while walking his lovable but excitable dog, Rumpy (is Rumpy a nickname for Rumplestiltskin?). Poor Derick suffered a broken shoulder and wrist and is now on the mend. Rumpy is now being walked by Leonard Gist, his “brother.”

Birthdays this week include Shirell Mollo, Sofia Alvarado, Erin Casey, Ashley Kanelos, Chantel Kamm, Natalie Castro, Ruth Sinnott, Becky Marcantonio, Kylie Earing, Tracie Karlin, L.A. Goodman, and Taylor Hollis; anniversary greetings to Ellen and Morris O’Connor

 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.