The Sing-Along Messiah was more beautiful than ever with the soft white falling snow adding to the Christmas beauty. If you missed it this year, I hope you’ll mark it on your calendar for next year. 

The professional chamber orchestra played “The Trumpet Shall Sound” with Mary Paziouras sounding like Gabriel himself. Conductor David Tartikoff, alas conducting for the last time since he’ll retire this year to move back to Martha’s Vineyard and points east, is shown here with MacDowell President David Leehey. Other professional musicians were soprano Susan Krout, mezzo soprano Amy Pickering, tenor Christian Ketter, and bass Joseph Smith — a thrilling evening of music at First United Methodist Church. 

The church invites you to attend the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. with music beginning at 6:30. They are located at 324 N. Oak Park Ave. For more information, go to www.firstUMCoakpark.org or call 708-383-4983.

The Historical Society of Forest Park invites you to the Holiday Craft Fair, 1000 Elgin, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Dec. 18. If you happened to see the Tiffany Christmas Tree in plain sight in one of the stores on Madison, tell the Historical Society where you saw it and you may win a prize. Cards are available. Contact the society.

For good music, go with the Lutherans. On Sunday, Dec. 13 at 4 p.m., St. John choirs will provide inspiring music at the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. Join your fellow music-lovers for a potluck meal following the service.

This Sunday, Dec. 11, the two charming young Chinese ladies, Freya and Emmie will perform at the 19th Century Club on the piano. Remember, these two young musicians played at Carnegie Hall last year when they were 7 years old. Now we have the honor of presenting them right here in Oak Park. 

The first official Forest Park Christmas party was given by Kyle Truong and Scott Watson in their newly rehabbed home at Adams & Marengo. Mary Ann Barger was their official greeter since she lived most of her life at that address and will always feel it is a part of her. Mary Ann knows her mother’s spirit will live on there, especially on the welcoming porch with the handsome nutcrackers, which were Mrs. Scolero‘s favorite Christmas decoration. Gina Barger, Nevia Stasick, Mike and Kristie Watson, and other friends from near and far were enjoying themselves at the festive gala and re-christening of the new kitchen. 

Centuries & Sleuths has some fascinating topics this month. On Dec. 12, The G.K. Chesterton group invites you to join them as they discuss Why I Am a Catholic. That’s at 2 p.m. On the 14th, they’ll discusss The Heretics, also by Chesterton. You are invited to come join in or just listen.

On to the December birthdays. On Dec. 8, special happy birthday to Wednesday Journal sports editor Marty Farmer, also to Kallen O’Shea, Sue Lentini Stuart, Matt Pingel, M.J. Luetgert, DeMaria Galbraith, Scott Marler, Danny Rosell, Brian Mullen, Gloria Chaney, Andrew Doss, Mary Alice Nee, Marilyn Hosty, Peyton Brown, Morgan Trage, Madison Hannah Pronek, Steve Rozmus, and Andene Maughm.

 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 Schulz

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...

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