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"Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration" Featured Performers Siri Howard and Kevin Vortmann are two of the principal singers in the Christmas show.  And this isn't their first trip to the River City.  Siri has been to Omaha five times while Kevin has appeared with the Omaha Symphony 10 times!

Both spent time with Mike Hogan on KIOS-FM to talk about their fondness for the city, some of their favorite places to visit, how welcoming and friendly the Omaha community has been to them, as well as the singing and dancing extravaganza that is the annual Christmas show.

The show opens Thursday, December 19th and runs through Sunday December 22nd.  For more information or tickets one can go to https://www.omahasymphony.org/concerts/physicians-mutual-omaha-symphony-christmas-celebration

Stacey Abrams, author, entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO, and political leader, will be the featured speaker at Girls Inc.’s 2019 Lunch for the Girls on Monday, December 16.  

Girls Inc. has been the place for girls since they opened in 1975.  They serve hundreds of girls every day and 1,000+ girls each year.  They’ve added pick up transportation, counseling services, healthy meals and snacks, and computer access to their daily services.  In fact they continue to innovate and add programs to help girls across the area.  

Executive Director Roberta Wilhelm joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to talk about the programs and the underlying motto, "If it helps girls to believe in themselves, we’re all over it."

The Lunch for the Girls has limited seating still available.  For more information call 402-457-4676 for details or go to https://girlsincomaha.org/

Plaid Tidings: Forever Plaid by Stuart Ross is an extraordinary 2-hour energetic extravaganza featuring the best of Forever Plaid tied-up in a nifty package with a big Christmas bow at the top!  Filled with Christmas standards that have all been "Plaid-erized," our boys are back to do their Christmas Special.  At first they aren't sure why they've returned, but a phone call from the heavenly Rosemary Clooney lets them know that they're needed to put a little harmony into a discordant world.

Jon Hickerson, who plays Frankie, stopped by the KIOS-FM studios to chat with Mike Hogan about this energetic, funny, music-filled sequel to the hit "Forever Plaid."

Sprinkled among the Christmas offerings are audience favorites like the riotous three minute and eleven second version of "The Ed Sullivan Show" - this time featuring the Rockettes, the Chipmunks and the Vienna Boys Choir, and a Plaid Caribbean Christmas which puts the "Day-O" in excelsis!  This is one holiday treat that is truly "heavenly-sent!"

December 12th begins the last weekend of performances.  Rob Lohman and Kristin Lyon present pre-show entertainment 45-minutes before each performance.  ​Special guest appearance by Peggy Holloway.  More information on tickets and showtimes is available at http://www.performingartistsrepertorytheatre.org/.

Is the country of Iran misunderstood?  Dr. Narges Bajoghli is an award-winning anthropologist, filmmaker, and writer.  Her academic research focuses on the intersections of media, power, and military in Iran.  She has also written a book, "Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic.”  

While in Nebraska to lecture at both UNO and UNL, Narges stopped by the KIOS-FM studios to chat with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the international view of Iran, the ramifications of that view, and how she was able to work with those in power in Iran.

More information about her work is available at the websites https://sais.jhu.edu/users/nbajogh1 and http://www.nargesbajoghli.com/

Omaha Virtual School (OVS) is a full-time, tuition-free public blended school within the Omaha Public School District.  They are currently open for second semester enrollment.

Principal Wendy Loewenstein stopped by the KIOS-FM studios to talk with Mike Hogan about the school, describe a good candidate student for the program, and how the program is a good hybrid of home schooling with the benefits of a public school education.  

OVS enables students to take ownership of their learning. Students may work quickly through the areas they understand, take their time in areas where they need extra help, and put an emphasis on subjects that interest them most.   

More information about who is eligible to participate, cost (it is tuition free), and scheduling can be found at www.OmahaVirtualSchool.org.

While MasterSingers Omaha Celebrates their 50th anniversary, Artistic Director/Conductor Dr. Laureen Pickle celebrates her 10th year with the organization.  Their first concert this season is "Jazz To the world 10", an a cappella, jazz- inspired take on holiday traditions on December 8th. 

All of the numbers on this concert were chosen by member singers from material they have sung over the last 10 years, with one new commissioned piece that Laureen arranged.  

The remainder of their season includes "An Evening of Broadway Legend Stephen Sondheim" and "The Beatles, Volume II", chosen because those artists are the greatest musical influences of Laureen’s lifetime!   

Laureen took time out of her busy schedule to stop by the KIOS-FM studios and chat with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the upcoming concert, the mission of the group, and how anyone can have the chance to participate in a low-stress audition for a spot to sing!  (Auditions are Monday, January 6th, 7:00 p.m.)

For more information about upcoming concerts or to audition, go to http://www.mastersingersomaha.com/

Enjoy the sounds of the season during "Holiday Under Glass," Joslyn Art Museum’s annual holiday luncheon concert series held in the Museum’s glass atrium.  The 2019 series begins Wednesday, December 4, and continues every Wednesday and Friday through December 20, from noon to 12:45 pm. 

Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Amy Rummel stopped by the studios at 33rd and Burt to chat with Mike Hogan about this festive, uplifting luncheon.  She also talked about a contemporary masterpiece of medieval craftsmanship, The Saint John’s Bible, which is the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Monastery since the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century.

More information about everything in store for you at the Joslyn can be found at https://www.joslyn.org/

The Omaha Symphonic Chorus presents the 24th annual Christmas at the Cathedral concert at St. Cecilia Cathedral.  The chorus will be accompanied by the chamber orchestra of the Omaha Symphony.  Also performing in the concert will be the Lincoln Boys Choir.  Shows are on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 7:30 pm or Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm. 

The cathedral is located at 701 N. 40th St. in Omaha, NE.

Artistic Director and conductor, Greg Zielke, drove through snow and ice to sit down with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss this year's very special show.

More information is available at https://omahasymphonicchorus.org/#

The River City Mixed Chorus is Nebraska’s LGBTA chorus (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies).  Founded in 1984 by eleven talented singers, it is now one of the longest-running LGBTA choruses in the United States and currently includes more than 110 singers, ranging in age from 18 to 83.  

Artistic Director, Barron Breland joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to talk about the beauty of the genre, how it positively affects health, quality of life, happiness, and how you can join the chorus for the next show!

The chorus performs all genres of music, from classical to pop.  Concerts are ASL-interpreted and held in handicap accessible performance spaces.  The upcoming holiday concert performed December 6, 7, and 8th, Brass & Bells, at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, will feature both sacred and secular holiday tunes, the Plymouth Brass and a handbell choir.  

More information can be found at https://www.rcmc.org/

Loneliness, which affects one in three aging adults, is a serious epidemic among seniors in the U.S. According to a National Poll on Healthy Aging, chronic loneliness can impact one’s memory, physical well-being, mental health and life expectancy.

The symptoms of loneliness are complex, and according to the AARP, potential signs of loneliness can include poor eating habits, loss of interest in personal hygiene or appearance, and significant clutter in the home, as well as a general lack of interest or withdrawal.

Jennifer Knecht, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Immanuel Communities visits the KIOS-FM studios to discuss the impacts of loneliness with Mike Hogan, and to chat about some of the solutions available. 

More information and a loneliness assessment can be found at https://www.immanuel.com/lonelinessassessment

South Omaha Business Association (SOBA) is excited to announce the 2019 South Omaha Holiday Lights event in partnership with Holiday Lights Festival, MYLPA, and presenting sponsor First National Bank of Omaha.  The free event is scheduled Friday, November 29th from 5:00 - 7:00 PM.  Special guests include Mayor Jean Stothert and the Consul of Mexico. 

SOBA President, Liz Codina joins Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to talk about SOBA and the event highlights which include Tree Lighting, Mariachi Performance, Free Hot Chocolate & Cookies, Free Photos With Santa and much more.

Also on the show, the president of the Metro Young Latino Professionals Association (MYLPA), Erik Servellon, who chats with us about the mission of MYLPA and their involvement with this special festival.

More information can be found at http://southomaha.org/ and at https://mylpa.com/

Friendship Program, Inc. opened its doors in 1979 with assistance from the Sisters of Mercy to provide Adult Day Services to older adults in the North Omaha area.  The Adult Day program is designed to support adults aged 55 and older living in the community as well as individuals younger than 55 who are in need of social, recreational, and leisure opportunities.

In 1985, the agency implemented Day Rehabilitation Services to provide mental health services to adults in Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy, and Washington counties.  The program is designed for adults aged 19 and older, diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illnesses or a co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder, to provide assistance and support on their recovery journey. 

Executive Director Kate Young stopped by the KIOS-FM studios to chat "Live & Local" with Mike Hogan about the program and the many services they provide on a daily basis.

More information can be found at https://www.friendshipprogram.com/.  7315 Maple St., Omaha, NE. 68134.  

Did you know that more than 25,000 children in Douglas County, 111,000 children in Iowa, and 82,000 children across Nebraska live with hunger every day, according to Map the Meal Gap 2019.  The Shine the Light on Hunger campaign raises awareness about the issue of hunger and encourages the community to rally together to donate food and funds to Food Bank for the Heartland.  To that end, for the 13th consecutive year, Conagra Brands and Conagra Brands Foundation invite the Omaha community to help “Shine the Light on Hunger” this holiday season now through January 3.

Scott Headley, Senior Director of Warehouse Operations of Conagra Brands, stopped by the studios at 33rd and Burt to chat with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss all the various ways that people can help and have fun!

More information can be found at http://www.holidaylightsfestival.org/

Since 1938, Inclusive Communities has served Nebraska, Iowa, and the region by directing efforts in the areas of youth; community and workplace human relations; and leadership programming to achieve the mission of confronting prejudice, bigotry and discrimination through educational programs that raise awareness, foster leadership and encourage advocacy for a just and inclusive society.

You can end the Thanksgiving weekend with laughter and fun at "FriendsGiving," Inclusive Communities’ third annual friend-raiser.  Executive Director, Maggie Wood, and Senior Program Partner of Volunteer Initiatives, Tena Hahn, stop by the KIOS-FM studios to chat with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the mission of the organization, how they actually take action against bigotry, and give more details on this casual fundraiser on Sunday, December 1 from Noon-2:30pm at The Slowdown featuring Omaha native Amber Ruffin.

More information can be found at www.inclusive-communities.org.

NOTE:  The audio from this interview was initially lost.  The attached audio is the recovered version, and while audible, is not the quality of audio to which our listeners have become accustomed.

Launched in the United States in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving.  Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday and kicks off the giving season.  More information about the global campaign can be found at GivingTuesday.org.

This year, Giving Tuesday is December 3, 2019.  Executive Director of Share Omaha, Marjorie Maas, stopped into the KIOS-FM studios to chat "Live & Local" with Mike Hogan about how those of us in the area can give to our favorite charities using the "#GivingTuesday402," "#GivingTuesday712" and "#24HoursofImpact."  One can also get more information by going to the websites https://givingtuesday402.org/ and https://givingtuesday712.org/.

This Giving Tuesday, let’s ignite local generosity.  Volunteer, donate, surprise someone with kindness – just put positivity out there.  And watch it take over.

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