Looking For Some GOOD NEWS, Quad-Cities? Get Some Positivity Here!
SuperStorm 2021 (or at least the latest one) is over, but winter’s cold and dreariness continues on.
But don’t despair, there are things in the Quad-Cities to smile about!
Every month, we at QuadCities.com, in conjunction with our media partners at KWQC-TV6’s “Paula Sands Live,” present What’s The Good News? A look at some of the positive things going on in and around the Quad-Cities.
So, what’s the good news for February?
Here ya go…
Rock Island Teen Is Headed To ‘The Voice!’
Charlotte Boyer, a 17-year-old junior at Rock Island High School, will be featured as one of the contestants in Season 20 of NBC’s “The Voice”
singing competition, which begins airing Monday, March 1, at 7 p.m.
“It was a very long process and I was lucky to even be a part of it all,” Charlotte said this week of her auditions in October in Los Angeles. “I’m not sure what the number was, but there were a lot of auditions, a lot of people that did try out. I was one of the few that got lucky.”
“My mom submitted a video of me to the website and I guess someone found it, and I was invited to audition,” she said. That video was from August 2019’s Sweatstock in East Moline, of Charlotte singing “It’s a Man’s Man’s World.”
That All Sweat Productions’ 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival was a great experience, Charlotte said. “It has helped me grow as an artist so much,” she said, noting she started singing at All Sweat tribute shows when she was 15.
She didn’t know her mom submitted to “The Voice.” She and her father got an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the month of October, first so she could quarantine for two weeks.
It was Charlotte’s first time ever on a plane. The auditions were at NBC studios.
“There were quite a few singers,” she said. “There was a small group of high schoolers, about five kids my age. We all got to know each other
“I wasn’t really, going into it, expecting anything,” Charlotte said. “I was along for the experience.”
“They have only so many people get to make it to the auditions, to get on the stage,” she said. “If you’re lucky, you make it.”
Charlotte was not allowed to say what she sang for auditions, nor who she sang for, until the show airs.
“It was very personal, because you didn’t have the audience there – it was just the judges and you,” she said. Charlotte was at the auditions for about six hours.
“I learned so much about production and how things are made,” she said. “I felt they were really trying to make this a genuine production. They’re trying to portray everyone’s lives in a good way. There wasn’t anything negative.”
Jamborella To Help Local Bars And Music Venues
Many local musicians and bars are getting a hand up with the help of a new music festival – Jambrella (organized by Q-C musician Michael Moncada), which will open Friday, Feb. 26, at 5:30 p.m. at The Mound, in the Village (1029 St., Davenport), with live music from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Molly Durnin is scheduled among 25 musicians to play that night – with all proceeds split among all artists and selected Q-C bars.
Durnin is to play for a 25-minute set at 7:25 p.m. with Eric Sparks and Craig Bentley. It will not be a ticketed event (suggested donation is $5 – which includes a drink ticket donated by The Mound — and tips encouraged), and the night will be livestreamed online, which she appreciates.
“This is amazing. I am so proud of Mike for putting this together,” Durnin said. “It got a little frustrating — people think of industry workers in need, but never think of musicians falling into that category. For him to take that knowledge, it’s absolutely…it’s hard for me to put into words.
“It’s all we’ve ever asked for,” she said. “I don’t know anybody who got into music for the money; we’re used to being poor. But he has done an amazing job, out of the graciousness of his own heart. He’s such a selfless person, beyond what any musicians in the Quad-Cities could ask
“The whole industry got hit, like it never has, and hopefully never will again,” Durnin said.
The performing musicians include Levi Craft, Jarrett Bailey, Jim Drain, Cooler Schou, Michael Brock, Leland Chasey, Craig Heidgerken, Joe McKinny, Jamie Hopkins, Alex Axup, Laura Hammes, Matt McEwen, Sean Ryan, Dan Olds, Angela Fisher, Ray Polanchek, Jon VanCamp, Scott Reeves, Mo Morrison and more.
Davenport Public Library Celebrates Iowa’s 175th With Programs
Join us for the whole year in celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Iowa by discussing books relating to Iowa history. We will be starting off the conversation with each of the four books selected by the State Historical Society of Iowa’s Iowa History Book Club. We will be offering a local perspective on these topics with the help of the staff of the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center.
On Wednesday, March 3rd at 6:30 pm, we will be discussing “Iowa: The Middle Land” by Dorothy Schwieder.
Books are available through the Rivershare Library Catalog. Registration is not required. This program is meeting virtually using GoTo Meeting. Information about how to join is listed below.
Iowa Statehood Book Club
Wed, Mar 3, 2021 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM (CST)
Join from your computer, tablet, or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/259988573
You can also dial in using your phone: +1 (571) 317-3112
Access Code: 259-988-573
Keep up with our virtual programming on our Virtual Branch Calendar of Events at https://davenportlibrary.libcal.com/calendar/virtual.
Local Couple Makes Massive Donation To Help Out Area Schools
Sharon Glassman is fondly remembered as a quiet, thoughtful person who worked at the International Harvester Plant in East Moline.
She possessed a cheerful, kind-hearted sensibility that shone through whenever she spoke. Her husband, Kenneth Glassman, was a welder at Johnson Sheet Metal whose iron-clad work ethic instilled within him a sense of duty and purpose.
Together, the Glassmans found their passion in helping individuals and families better themselves however they could — they each worked hard throughout their lives, and eventually amassed a modest estate through prudence.
Before they died — Kenneth in 2011 and Sharon in 2013 — the couple wanted to ensure their legacy would benefit the Quad-Cities community for generations to come, as it was the place they were both proud to call home all their lives. That led them to establish the Kenneth and Sharon Glassman Fund at the Quad Cities Community Foundation.
Now managed by an advisory committee, the Glassman Fund recently awarded $20,000 to the East Moline and United Township School Districts for their comprehensive, multiphase plan to provide an extensive WiFi network for students.
The grant is arriving on the heels of the $100,000 Transformation Grant the Community Foundation awarded the school districts just last month, along with some additional funding awarded by partner organizations. Together, the grants will fully fund the first phase of the project and pave the way for its successful completion.
“We knew right away that this project would be something the Glassmans would want to support,” said Jim Tiedje, one of the Glassman Fund’s advisors and a former trust officer at Quad City Bank and Trust. “I could see right away how funding this project would be crucial to promoting virtual learning opportunities for students who need them most.”
Davenport High Schoolers Helping Kids With Tutoring
Garfield Elementary in Davenport, has recruited high school students to provide online homework help to elementary students. The high-schoolers are called the Gator-Aides, after Garfield’s alligator mascot. The mentors provide their assistance from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., every Monday and Friday and will continue for the remainder of the school year.
“Our high school volunteers meet with the grade level students through Google Meet, an online meeting program that’s a lot like Zoom,” said Sarah Oltmanns, School Administrative Manager at Garfield Elementary. “So far, 28 students from Central and North High Schools have volunteered to serve as mentors. The grade-school students and the high-school mentors are able to see each other on their screens, and we feel that is an important factor.”
Oltmanns noted that this mentorship program improves the social skills of the young people involved. The elementary students learn the benefits of reaching out to others for assistance. The older students receive experience in helping others, and gain insights into what it is like to be a teacher. Some might even decide to become teachers someday. The internet skills of the students also improve from productive usage.
Many Garfield parents have signed up their children in the program through a link in an email from the school, and their children received invitations to attend the mentoring sessions through Google Classroom links they received. Oltmanns monitors the online mentoring sessions, along with other staff members.
Oltmanns added that all Garfield students have active computers for their studies. If a family is in need, the Davenport Community School District will provide them with Chromebook laptops to use, and internet access if necessary.
WIU Student Nearing State Record For Scholarships
Western Illinois University senior broadcasting major Devin Brooks is close to setting a state record for winning the most scholarships from the Illinois News Broadcasters Association (INBA).
Brooks, of St. Louis, MO, has won the INBA scholarship three times and has the opportunity to win a fourth award this spring.
“I would not have come across these opportunities without the help of my teachers at WIU,” said Brooks. “They deserve the real recognition for caring about students’ success. It makes a difference when I can worry less about how I’m going to pay for school and instead focus on my future. The past and present faculty in the WIU Department of Broadcasting and Journalism have gone above and beyond to make sure students take away as much experience as possible for the real world. I will always be grateful for the time they have taken to offer guidance and support during my four years at Western.”
According to the INBA, there have been several two-time winners of the scholarship, which he first won in 2018 as a freshman.
Brooks is a student journalist for WIU’s NEWS3, student news broadcast, works part-time at Tri States Public Radio and has served summer internships at WGEM in Quincy and WREX in Rockford.
Bettendorf 11-Year-Old Sets Solo Record With Quad City Symphony
Linda Phan does not consider herself a child prodigy, but the 11-year-old Bettendorf student is the youngest musician to perform as a soloist with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in recent memory.
Linda – who’s in sixth grade at Riverdale Heights Elementary – won the Grand Prize at the 2019 Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles Concerto Competition. This past Saturday night, she joined the QCSO for the first movement of Wolfgang A. Mozart’s charming Third Violin Concerto, written when that child prodigy was 19, and you can buy digital access to the concert through March 9.
It was performed, under the baton of QCSO music director Mark Russell Smith at Davenport’s Adler Theatre without an audience.
Even though there was no audience at the Adler, Linda said on Sunday it was still stressful to stand and play with all the seasoned professionals. She only rehearsed with the orchestra for about 90 minutes over two days.
“At first I was nervous, but after a few times playing with them, I got a little more comfortable,” Linda (whose mother is from Vietnam) said. “I thought the orchestra was going to make very loud noises and then I had to try and make louder noises, but after a few times playing with them, I think they covered me up a lot and it was good.”
QuadCities.com Teaming Up With RME On “Top Secret” Project
QuadCities.com, your premier area website for local arts and entertainment coverage, is pairing up with the River Music Experience, one of the premier local music and music education venues in the Quad-Cities!
What we’re teaming up on is still secret and in the working stages, but once we’re ready to announce it, you’ll be the first to know, and you can, of course, enjoy it on QuadCities.com!