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My Town: Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra announces 2015-2016 season

My Town: Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra announces 2015-2016 season

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The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is excited to announce its 2015-2016 season. From the programming to the artistry, each performance, composition, and note promises to be better than the last, so stay tuned!

In the new season, the KSO’s Symphonic Series invites a stellar lineup of virtuosic guest artists, including internationally-acclaimed French pianist Pascal Rogé, Kalamazoo Symphony’s own Principal Flautist Yukie Ota, Principal Cellist of the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, Hai-Ye Ni, the May 2015 Stulberg International String Competition winner, among others. Music Director Raymond Harvey leads the orchestra in one moving work after another – beginning with Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony, followed by Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Fauré’s Requiem, and concluding with a rousing performance of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka preceded by Elgar’s Cello Concerto.

My Town Kalamazoo: Experience downtown with Girlfriends Getaway Feb. 28

My Town Kalamazoo: Experience downtown with Girlfriends Getaway Feb. 28

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More than 15 businesses in downtown Kalamazoo are coming together to offer a day out on the town for the ladies.

The second year event will take place on Saturday, February 28 with a variety of activities going on all day starting at 10 a.m. There’s something for everyone from mixology and wine pairing classes, to health and beauty options including yoga, an into to pilates and barre, and essential oil making. For those interested in crafting, there’s even an opportunity to "make your own tote bag."

"We wanted to create an experience downtown, for women to explore Kalamazoo and have a whole day of fun with their girlfriends," said Dana Schmitt from the Downtown Kalamazoo Retail & Restaurant Association.

My Town Kalamazoo: Marti Hearron's final gift to WMU establishes a fine arts professorship

My Town Kalamazoo: Marti Hearron's final gift to WMU establishes a fine arts professorship

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After decades of joyfully supporting the fine arts and students at Western Michigan University, the late Martha "Marti" Hearron of Kalamazoo made one final major gift to be revealed only after her death.

Hearron, a renowned biostatistician for the Upjohn Co., died Nov. 29. Her estate included a $2 million gift to WMU that will establish the Arthur E. and Martha S. Hearron College of Fine Arts Distinguished Professorship. It also will provide funding for some of her favorite arts programs as well as endow a new Medallion Scholarship for students in the fine arts.

The gift, and the fact that the endowed professorship is the first in College of Fine Arts history, were announced Feb. 5 by Dean Daniel Guyette at the college's annual Dance Advocacy Award ceremony that was part of the Winter Gala Dance Concert.

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU senior named a finalist in international trombone competition

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU senior named a finalist in international trombone competition

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 A Western Michigan University senior has been named a finalist in an elite international trombone competition and is headed to Spain.

Evan Clifton, of Howell, Michigan, has been named a finalist in the Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone Competition and will travel to Valencia, Spain, in July to compete for a 2,000 euro gift certificate toward a new trombone at the 2015 International Trombone Festival.

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

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The Meijer Simply Give program – held three times a year – generated nearly $6 million in 2014 for food pantries throughout the Midwest, bringing the program’s overall donation total to nearly $14 million since it began in November 2008.

The retailer’s most recent campaign, which ended in January, was the most successful holiday campaign in the program’s history, resulting in a total of more than $1.8 million for hungry families.

My Town Kalamazoo: Local Optimist Club to sponsor oratorical contest for students

My Town Kalamazoo: Local Optimist Club to sponsor oratorical contest for students

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The Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo (BOCK) is encouraging area students to speak their minds about the topic: "How my Optimism will help me press on to ‘Greater Achievements of the Future’" as part of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest for the 2014-2015 year. It is scheduled for 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, February 7, 2015, at the Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors (GKAR) auditorium, 5830 Venture Park Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.

The Optimist Club will judge the local students’ speeches based on content and presentation to determine the top winners. Winners will receive medallions and prize money. The winning speeches will be sent to the zone level, and possibly the district level for the opportunity to win college scholarships.

Students under the age of 19, who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent, are eligible to participate.

My Town: Mail-in cancer tests, produce programs get state funding

My Town: Mail-in cancer tests, produce programs get state funding

LANSING, Mich. – Making fruits and vegetables more readily available, cancer screenings by mail, health coaches and exercise programs are just several of the local initiatives getting funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The MDCH recently announced 44 projects are getting approximately $1.34 million, including a dozen projects in West Michigan.  The grants include: