Scare on the Square in McKinney 4-6 p.m.

McKinney Performing Arts Center ready for Scare on the Square in downtown from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday.

Music scene heats up in McKinney
McKinney has become somewhat of a haven for singer-songwriters and a regular nightlife staple in the Dallas area for live music enthusiasts.A couple of McKinney residents (Zane Williams and Jon Christopher Davis) and venues (Cadillac Pizza Pub and Wales Manor Vineyard & Winery) are even among those being featured on this fall’s new nationally-syndicated TV show, “Troubadour, TX.” The show follows a handful of Texas singer-songwriters, showing their lives at home, in the studio and on-stage.
(Interesting tidbit: The show’s supervising producer also lives in McKinney and sometimes doubles as cameraman for the show.)

Zane Williams is the winner of a number of songwriting awards and has opened for a nice list of touring performers.

Jon Christopher Davis, whose songs have been recorded by a number of Nashville recording artists, also had a composition of his selected as the national theme song for the American Heart Association’s “Relay for Life,” also penned the song, “Texas,” that was selected as the theme of the State of Texas Tourism Department. Both of these accomplished men have developed extensive followings and regularly perform here at home at both Cadillac and Wales Manor, among all the other venues and studios around the country where they perform.

Crystal and Will Yates

The next up-and-coming singer-songwriter to perform at Wales Manor (a venue that only brings singer-songwriters to its stages) will be Crystal Yates, a native Floridian who moved to McKinney with her husband-manager Will and their son a couple years ago. Yates just released her first CD as a McKinney-ite, holding the release party at another popular live music venue in McKinney, Café Malaga. The songs on the CD, “Love Wins,” are all original compositions written primarily by Yates and her mentor (a Dove Award winner) Jennie Riddle, another McKinney resident, one whose family is quite prolific in the music scene. (Her daughter Emily Riddle also just released a CD this month, and the Riddle and Yates families together started New Nation Music, a musical ministry, in 2009.) Yates will be performing in a free concert at Wales Manor on Friday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.

Williams’ next performance in McKinney will be part of the same two-day festival in which Yates is performing; he’ll take the stage adjacent to Chestnut Square on Friday at 7:50 p.m. This weekend’s Music in Motion, is an inaugural event presented by fledgling non-profit Arts & Music Guild of McKinney, and the brainchild of the guild’s founder, artist Anne Royer. For two nights, a wide variety of area musicians will perform on stages in and around Chestnut Square Historic Village as well as the usual live music venues in town. Another popular and long-time McKinney singer-songwriter, Maylee Thomas, will also take part in Music in Motion, performing in Adriatica Saturday from 5:30-7 p.m.

The music attendees will hear both nights of the festival include a variety of jazz, bluegrass, country, rock, funk, and even big band, compliments of McKinney Community Band’s Dance Band on Saturday at 7 p.m. (The community band’s flute choir is also on the festival schedule, appearing Friday at 6:45 p.m. on the patio at Chestnut Square.)

McKinney’s sizable community of visual artists will also be on-hand to display and create their art during the concerts at Chestnut Square and the adjacent “green” to the north of the square where the main stages will be located. The complete list of all the artists, both performing and visual, is available from the festival website ( Admission is $10 on Friday night ($5 for students, veterans and seniors). Saturday night’s concerts have no cover charge. Beer and wine will be available for purchase, as will hot dogs and pizza.

Whatever your favorite type of music, you’ll find it in McKinney, Texas, just about any night of the week and certainly this weekend!

As always, you can learn more about McKinney’s entertainment and live music scene by visiting and by loading our free Visit McKinney Texas Smartphone app.

Cattle drive points toward Nov. 11-12 Texas Stampede rodeo

 Cattle headed into The Village at Allen & The Village at Fairview this week. The Rancher’s Reserve Longhorn Cattle Drive has rodeo fans ready for the Tom Thumb Texas Stampede that’s coming to the Allen Event Center on Nov. 10-12.

Texas Business Education Coalition honors nine Plano schools, numerous campuses across Collin County

Nine Plano ISD campuses made the “TBEC Honor Roll” for 2011. Each year, the Texas Business and Education Coalition announces schools included in this very select group. Of the more than 8,000 Texas public schools, less than 4% will be so honored. The TBEC Honor Roll is the most prestigious award for sustained, academic excellence in Texas. It recognizes schools that have demonstrated three years of consistent, high performance in all subjects compared to other schools serving similar student populations.

TBEC Honor Roll Plano ISD schools:
Andrews Elementary School
Beverly Elementary School
Carlisle Elementary School
Clark High School
Hightower Elementary School
Jasper High School
Rice Middle School
Skaggs Elementary School
Vines High School

Area TBEC honor roll schools:

Allen: Kerr Elementary, Evans Elementary, Lovejoy Elementary, Hart Elementary.
Frisco: Borchardt Elementary, Fisher Elementary, Smith Elementary, Fowler Middle School, Griffin Middle School.
McKinney: Eddins Elementary.
Richardson: Arapaho Classical Magnet, Brentfield Elementary, Forestridge Elementary, Mohawk Elementary,  Moss Haven Elementary, Northwood Hills Elementary, Prairie Creek Elementary, Prestonwood Elementary, Spring Creek Elementary, Stults Road Elementary, White Rock Elementary, Yale Elementary, Lake Highlands Freshman Center, Math/Science/Tech Magnet, Parkhill Junior High, J.J. Pearce High School.

TBEC Honor Roll schools have the highest percentage of students performing at the state’s most rigorous standard – commended – in every subject. And, in this, the last year of TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) testing, standards are the most demanding yet.

All Honor Roll Schools will be recognized on Friday, Dec. 2, at an awards reception and dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas and sponsored by HEB. TBEC will host a series of seminars where Honor Roll Schools will have the opportunity to lear about exciting new programs to take back to their districts and campuses.

Click here to see statewide districts

World Series game postponed, will play Game 6 on Thursday

Game 6 in the World Series has been pushed back one day because of rainy weather in St. Louis, Mo. The Texas Rangers lead the best-of-7 series, 3-2, after back-to-back victories in Arlington at the Ballpark.

Fermanova sentenced to four months in prison

A judge in New York sentenced Anna Fermanova, a 25-year-old Plano woman who pleaded guilty earlier this year, to four months in federal prison. Fermanova’s prison time starts in December. The case involved attempting to smuggle night-vision scopes to Russia. After she finishes the prison term, Fermanova will spend four months in home confinement on the judge’s order.

To see the The Dallas Morning News report on Anna Fermanova:
Click on this link to read ‘Sexy’ Russian smuggler Anna Fermanova sentenced to four months in prison | Dallas-Fort Worth Crime News – News for Dallas, Texas – The Dallas Morning News

To see the Anna Fermanova report in the Dallas Observer:
Click on this link to Unfair Park in Dallas Observer.

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