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posted: 1/30/2013 8:05 AM

Music, art abound during Kaneland' arts festival

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Submitted by Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival

After starting the year with the fourth annual Lee Murdock Hometown Concert with guest star Anne Hills, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival's 14th season will continue with the Cavern Beat concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, in the Kaneland High School auditorium.

The Cavern Beat is often compared to the jukebox for sounding so much like the real thing. Performing the music of The Beatles true to their records, with vintage instruments, amplifiers and authentic suits in the famous Fab Four style for full effect.

It is the band's mission to replicate and bring back to life the excitement of the original recordings and live performances from the Cavern Club era onward.

This year, the Cavern Beat will be joined by choir members from the Kaneland Harter Middle School's Midknight Special. Tickets are on sale now at the festival website, Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students/senior citizens, and free for preschoolers.

Adults should mark their calendars for the fourth annual Fine Arts Feast and Silent Auction, which will be Saturday, Feb. 23. The Fine Arts Feast raises money for the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival's events and programs, including the second annual Fine Arts Scholarship, given to a graduating senior going into the fine arts.

Also at the Feast, the fourth annual Kaneland Summer Theatre Production will be announced. Open Range Southwest Grill Restaurant sponsors this event by providing the food and the Pine Room for the evening.

The cost to attend this event is free; however, throughout the evening, there will be an opportunity to hear from the committee members and to donate to the festival through a freewill offering and a silent auction. This event is only for adults and RSVPs can be sent to Maria Dripps-Paulson at

This year, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival will be instituting the first artist-in-residence program. Funded by a grant from the Kaneland Foundation, the program brings an artist into the schools to partner with art teachers and students to inspire creation at every level. This year's artist in residence is Eric Nye, visual artist from Chicago. Visit

Nye has been a professional painter since 1995, but his training started as a child. He began cartooning and sketching in grade school. In high school, he loved to reproduce drawings from the album covers of his favorite bands. In college, he began producing large scale photo-realistic pencil drawings of popular icons from photographs.

Continuing education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has helped him to expand his repertoire of skills. He has sold many of his paintings and has been commissioned to do several pieces for private collectors. He has also participated in various local art festivals and events, including Around the Coyote and The Artist Project (as part of the Artropolis event at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago).

Nye will be an artist presenting at the 14th Annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival Sunday, April 21, where schools will show the progress that they are making working with Nye in their classrooms.

If you are interested in hosting a table or learning more about donating to the festival, call Maria Dripps-Paulson at (630) 365-5100, ext. 180. More can be found on the Festival website,

In addition, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival is always looking for volunteers. Consider signing up for one of the upcoming events through the Festival Sign Up program, Laura McPhee, volunteer coordinator for the KCFAF, will post events under her email,, on the Sign Up Genius website.

Opportunities include ushering, working in the box office, bringing refreshments and other jobs. Students at Kaneland Harter Middle School and Kaneland High School can receive CORT and GIVE hours for their time working with the festival.

Questions regarding Sign Up Genius or volunteering can be directed to Laura McPhee.