Fun Things About Mary
1) Mary Nell Lemanski was born January 18 at 3:43 AM at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, IL. She was born one month premature, weighed 3 lbs., 11.5 oz., was 16.5 inches long, and had a head the size of a small orange.
2) In grade school and junior high, Mary was a tom boy and was active in school basketball and volleyball and summer baseball/softball leagues. After tryouts one year for Little League Baseball, Mary was first round draft pick...and she was one of only two girls that played baseball...unfortunately, performing the best at tryouts landed her on the worst team...Mary still likes to work out, dance, and play sports.
3) When Mary was 11 years old, she appeared on a talent show on WICS-TV News Channel 20 in Springfield, IL.
4) Mary still holds the record at her high school, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (Springfield, IL), for the most awards in music, and she graduated from there in 1993.
5) In high school, Mary played a Gossiper in her school's production of Where's Charley? (1991) and performed the part of Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof (1993).
6) While at Millikin University, Mary wrote music for two plays put on by the theatre department: Persephone's Piece and City Scream. City Scream was also performed by Millikin students at the University of Illinois in Springfield for a spoken word/theatre festival. One of Mary's songs from City Screem was sung by actress, Hedy Burress, a Millikin alum who has since gone on to star on the hit TV show, Boston Common, and in movies, such as If These Walls Could Talk, Valentine, and Bug. Other Millikin alumni that you might know from Mary's time there include Michael Maize (National Treasure 2), Annie Wersching (Bruce Almighty, 24), Jen Malenke (High School Musical: Get in the Picture), Joelle Charbonneau (author), and songwriter/musician, Matthew West. One more name drop: Mary attended high school with Meghan Maureen McDonough (The Ice Harvest).
7) While in college, Mary took piano lessons from Aldo Mancinelli (and his wife and former student, Judith Mancinelli), who took lessons from Claudio Arrau, who took lessons from Martin Krause, who took lessons from Franz Liszt, who took lessons from Carl Czerny, who took lessons from Ludwig van Beethoven, who took lessons from Joseph Haydn. Haydn was friends with and had a huge influence on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Ludwig van Beethoven also studied with Christian Neefe, who studied with Johann Hiller, who studied with Gottfried Homilius, who studied with Johann Sebastian Bach. Mary's piano teacher, Aldo Mancinelli, was the first American to win the coveted Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition. A Steinway Artist, Mancinelli has performed over 950 concerts throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the United States. He has played at Carnegie Hall in New York and has been the guest soloist with major symphony orchestras including the Hague Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony.
8) Mary was the first music composition student from Millikin University to give a full one hour senior recital of her compositions.
9) Mary's mother's family has a long history of involvement in Springfield, IL politics. (Contrary to popular belief, Springfield is the capital of Illinois, not Chicago.) She has family members who have been politically involved with the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian parties. Their political involvement has ranged from chairs in the Republican Party to Finance Commissioner to City Treasurer to Mayor to Sangamon County Recorder. Mary is an Anarchist.
10) Mary's great-uncle, Frank "Lefty" Lamanske, was a left-handed pitcher for the 1935 Brooklyn Dodgers. His major league career did not last long, but Frank did strike out Babe Ruth. Frank Lamanske changed the spelling of his name to "Lamanske" from "Lemanski" because the media always misspelled it "Lamanske." Note: Members of the press, please take notice of proper spelling.
11) Mary studied Beginning and Intermediate Acting while living in Arizona. For the Intermediate Acting class, she studied one-on-one with Rex Linn (Tin Cup, CSI: Miami).
12) While living in Arizona, Mary performed one time with singer-songwriter, Carey Slade, and Chicago blues legend, Chico Chism, in a songwriter-in-the-round jam session.
13) Mary is not the only person in her family with musical and acting talent. One of Mary's cousins, Joseph Langfelder, appeared as a senator in the movie, "Legally Blonde 2." Another cousin, Jacob Langfelder, is an accomplished actor, singer, and songwriter...and two other cousins, Jonathan Cour & Andrew Shackelford, are also aspiring musicians. Check out their music at http://www.reverbnation.com/prairiestateheartache
14) MARY LEMANSKI HAS BEEN ON MTV!!! Yes, it's true. It was not her own music video, but Mary appears in the Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake "Behind the Tour: Justified and Stripped." You can see the camera focus in on Mary for about 3-4 seconds as she is pushing a P.A. cabinet.
15) Joelle Charbonneau, in her book, Skating on the Edge, named a character, Madame LeManski, after Mary.