News & Gossip

» Fifteen minutes of fame (and then some): Many musicians wait a lifetime to take center stage at a prominent music hall, but not 11-year-old Aiyana Braun. On Nov. 17, the Haverford Middle School sixth grader performed an original piano composition before thousands at the Kimmel Center, opening the evening for legendary poet Maya Angelou and television pioneer Norman Lear. A passionate pianist and composer, Aiyana has been writing for three years and playing for more than four. To help her practice while visiting friends in California, she borrowed a piano from a neighbor who turned out to be Lear. After an impromptu recital, Lear invited her to perform at the Marian Anderson Gala in Philadelphia, where he and Angelou were being honored. A few moments before her performance, Lear popped in and gave her a good-luck hug; when she walked on stage, a grand piano and a little stool were waiting. When it was over, the 3,000 in attendance erupted in a standing ovation, and Angelou took her hand, telling Aiyana she was deeply touched by her music.

» We saw this coming: West Chester’s Charlie McDermott, the subject of a story in our November 2008 issue, has been named a Best Supporting Male nominee in Film Independent’s 2009 Spirit Awards for his role in the film Frozen River. The ceremony will air live on the Independent Film Channel Feb. 21.

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