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Datebook: Doctors In Concert Fundraiser Helps Children Get 'Healthy' at CDM

The Doctors in Concert event will raise money for a new exhibit at The Children's Discovery Museum in Uptown Normal.

Each year, Bloomington-Normal doctors put down their stethoscopes and pick up a violin, cello, guitar or other musical instrument for the annual Doctors in Concert fundraiser. 

Benefitting the Children’s Discovery Museum, Doctors in Concert will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. This year's concert takes place courtesy of a digital twist: The performances will all be virtual. Dr. Jerry Antonini works at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and has performed as part of the Doctors in Concert fundraisers for about a decade.

Antonini said this year’s event is critical, since the pandemic has shut down the Uptown Normal museum. 

“Fundraising’s been hit significantly by the virus, so we’re hoping to have a really good turnout for this,” Antonini explained. 

Specifically, the concert is raising money for a new museum exhibit, and it’s a nice tie-in with the fact that those performing are physicians. Called Healthy Me!,  the exhibit-to-be will spread across 1,000 square feet of the museum’s first floor. It  will include a health clinic, a hospital setting and an ambulance.  Kids visiting Healthy Me!  will get to explore different area of medicine, all sorts of technological innovations, and get a chance to role play. 

The event also includes a silent auction. 

The concert features a mix of popular and classic music. Antonini plans to perform three songs at the piano: “I’m in the Mood for Love,” which is straight from The Great American Songbook, “The Candyman,” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and  a work by Joaquin Turina called, “The Clowns,” for a bit of 20th century classical music. Although Antonini’s been playing the piano most of his life, he admitted to the occasional bout of stage fright when performing as part of Doctors in Concert. 

“I quake in my boots,” he admitted with a laugh. “I put a good face on on stage, but inside I’m trembling quite a bit.” 

Performing virtually is a new experience for Antonini. 

“I don’t know how I’m going to feel in terms of if I’m really doing the event or not. Obviously, the other doctors will be there, and the event organizers. But as far as the audience, they’ll be watching on the internet, so I won’t be able to see them or hear them.” 

Might that help with Antonini’s stage fright?  

“That’s what I’m counting on,” he declared. 

The doctors will be performing at the Children's Discovery Museum, with the show live streaming from there.  

One thing that will be missing from the virtual concert will be Antonini’s cat, Ebb. The vocal feline is quite talkative, and Antonini explained that while he practices, Ebb likes to sing along. (Don’t believe me? Listen to the bonus audio). 

“He very rarely gets on the piano," said Antonini. "We have a bench in the piano room. He just sits on that and meows like crazy!” 

Tickets for Doctors in Concert are available through the Children’s Discovery Museum.

Hear Antonini's cat accompany him as he practices.

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.