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Hamilton will be guest of honor at PAC’s annual gala

PRINCETON — Influential music educator and theater director Doris Hamilton will be the guest of honor at the 18th annual Prairie Arts Council Gala, Mardi Gras Masquerade, set for 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Ye Olde Underground Inn in Princeton. Hamilton will be presented with the fourth annual “Lifetime Achievements in the Arts” award.

Hamilton was a graduate of Tiskilwa High School. She received a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and conducted graduate study work at the University of Illinois and Illinois State University.

Hamilton served as a music education teacher for Tiskilwa elementary and high schools for 35 years, providing K-12 music, theater and educational programs for students. During her tenure at Tiskilwa schools, she developed a “Kids from Tiskilwa” group who performed throughout Illinois and were invited to participate in an event at Disney World and SeaWorld in Florida. Hamilton was a cooperative consultant for the Illinois Board of Education and a student teacher supervisor for Illinois State University. She has been recognized as an “Outstanding Teacher” by the Institute for Development of Educational Activities and “Outstanding Arts Educator” in the state of Illinois by the Illinois Arts Alliance.

In addition to her involvement with K-12 education, Hamilton served as director of the Homestead musicals during Princeton’s annual Homestead Festival for 35 years. She also directed several musicals at the Henry Dinner Theater. Hamilton served as musical director for PAC productions of “The Secret Garden” in 2006 and “Godspell” in 2012.

Continuing her community arts involvement, Hamilton currently teaches voice and piano for private clients, serves as the church organist and choir director for Tiskilwa Community Church, is a contest judge for the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and the Illinois High School Association (IESA), and is a member of the Princeton Elementary School Board.

Hamilton joins previous “Lifetime Achievement in the Arts” award recipients Dick Dorsch, Nedda Simon and Mary Win Norris.

The Mardi Gras Masquerade gala starts at 7 p.m. in the banquet room of the Ye Olde Underground Inn with jazz entertainment being provided by Al & Jeanne Brown.

A live and silent auction will follow including some great handmade creations from local artists, items from local businesses and much more!

Tickets are $30 per person and include wine and hors d’oeuvres. R.S.V.P. by Jan. 26 by contacting the PAC at 815-875-2787 or via email at info@theprairieartscouncil.org.

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