A great night of music and whimsy to celebrate the arts

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Mendota High School Graduate Samantha Masini to be honored as Outstanding Student Artist at NCI ARTworks’ Mad Hatter Ball

LA SALLE – Samantha Masini, a 2017 graduate of Mendota High School and full-time student at Illinois State University, will be honored for her vocal music accomplishments during the North Central Illinois (NCI) ARTworks Mad Hatter Ball on Friday, Oct. 13 at Celebrations 150 in LaSalle.

“The centerpiece of our annual arts celebration will be honoring Samantha among eight local high school and college students who are known to be outstanding performing and visual artists,” said Chris Coughlin, president of NCI ARTworks. “We also will have the pleasure of experiencing their inspired vocal and instrumental performances and displays.”

While a student at Mendota High School, Masini was a part of the Madrigal Singers, Rhythm Express show choir and the Mendota High School Jazz Choir. She also was selected as an Illinois Music Education Association (IMEA) All-State musician both her junior and senior years. Masini, who has studied with Lori Schrock and Debra Austin at ISU, has also given vocal lessons to Mendota-area girls in elementary and junior high schools for the past two years. She is the daughter of Joe and Jenn Masini of Mendota and is pursuing a degree in music therapy.

Other student artist honorees include:

Zach Berger, visual art honoree, is a senior at Ottawa Township High School and the son of Rob and Beth Berger of Marseilles

Paula Conrad, visual art honoree, is a senior at LaSalle-Peru High School and the daughter of Edward and Manuela Conrad of LaSalle

Makayla McPhedran, vocal music honoree, is a senior at LaSalle Peru High School and the daughter of David and Michelle McPhedran of LaSalle

Abigail (Abby) Meyers, instrumental music honoree, is a home-educated high school student and the daughter of Paul and Jacqleene Meyers of Minonk

Quinn Pleskovitch, instrumental music honoree, is a freshman at LaSalle Peru High School and the son of Charlie and Julie Pleskovitch of Oglesby

Sam Stout, instrumental music honoree, is a senior at Streator Township High School and the son of Bill and Kristi Stout of Grand Ridge

Logan Ulrich, visual art honoree, attends St. Bede Academy and is the son of Tim and Laurie Ulrich of Utica

Coughlin notes that local adult artists also will have art on display. “And, the Mad Hatter Ball theme adds a splash of whimsy to the evening, beginning with local actor Greg Tullis, as the Mad Hatter as our host,” she said. “We will have a parade of ‘Mad Hats,’ specially designed and handmade by nine local artists, and introduce the 2017 Queen of ‘ARTS.’”

Voting for the queen among three candidates runs through Oct. 12 at www.nciartworks.com. The event also will feature “flamingo croquet,” a photo booth, a balloon prize drop, raffles, and a DJ and live music by Darrell Data.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.nciartworks.com or at A&B Paint Supply/Pittsburgh Paint, 1321 Wenzel Road, Peru; Janko Realty, 2011 Rock St., Peru; the Music Suite 408, 408 Fifth St., Peru; and "a mess of things," 800 LaSalle St., Ottawa.

“This truly will be an evening of inspired art, with a splash of whimsy, to celebrate the arts and support arts programming and activities for all ages in all of our communities,” Coughlin said.

The non-profit NCI ARTworks supports and is expanding the arts community in LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties through artistic collaboration, educational outreach, and art space development. Mad Hatter Ball proceeds benefit ARTworks programs and activities, including the new Community ARTspace under construction in the Westclox building in Peru.

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