News and notes on the OhioDance Festival, the Columbus Children's Choir and more.

The 2013 OhioDance Festival will be held April 26-28 in Columbus.

The annual event includes workshops, dance classes/ instruction, presentations and panel discussions and performances by dancers and teachers from throughout the state. Executive director Jane D'Angelo said the festival is intended as both a professional conference and for amateur dancers young and old. It is hosted by Ohiodance, with offices in the Riffe Center, and BalletMet Columbus.

A special feature this year is a cooperative program with Amethyst Inc., a Columbus residency program for women in recovery. OhioDance has been working with residents (and their children) on choreography that will be presented during the Saturday-night showcase. D'Angelo said both OhioDance and Amethyst were interested in how the arts might assist these women.

The festival is open to the public. Get details at -- and read more in the BeatBlog at

Earlier this year, The Beat served as a judge for one of three semifinal rounds of Groove U's Instaband Battle of the Bands. One of the three groups advancing from that semifinal was a sextet from Groveport called A F(r)iend in Me, so we believe we deserve some credit for the fact that the hardcore outfit won the finals of the event.

The band is young in more ways than one. Made up of high school students, the band has also been together only since late summer/early fall of last year.

Anyway, The Beat finally had a chance to sit down with the band, and you can see the video, as well as some of the band's performance from the Instaband finals, on The Beat page at

Tonight's Wexner Center Gala, featuring a performance by Natalie Cole and local community choir Harmony Project, also benefits Ohio State's Harding Behavioral Health's STAR (Stress, Trauma and Resilience) Program of the Wexner Medical Center. So it's kinda two benefits in one!

If you haven't made plans, you can still get down to Mershon Auditorium. Yeah, it's a "gala," but you can get tickets for $25 (or more). Visit

The Columbus Children's Choir will hold its second annual Home Grown II concert, featuring alumni from the group's 26-year-history, Saturday, May 11, at Broad Street Presbyterian Church. A $10 donation is suggested. Proceeds benefit the Sandra Mathias Fund, named for the CCC's founder, who retired last year.

The current choir will perform its final concert of the year Sunday, May 12, at Otterbein University's Cowan Hall. For more information, visit