The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 7, 2013

Musical family loves sports, too

DANVILLE — You could say Maria and LaJason Parker grew up together. They were neighbors and classmates as children, and they started dating when both were freshmen at Danville High School.

“We got married in 2007, and we’ve been together ever since,” LaJason said.

On any given Sunday, the five members of the Parker family can be found in the sanctuary of Greater Shiloh Baptist Church, performing with the Sounds of Shiloh choir. The choir provides worshipful music at church services and at outreach events in the community.

Listeners can’t help but notice the talented and energetic young man on the drums. He is Jayrin Parker, who recently celebrated his 10th birthday by going to a Lakers game. His mom and dad are LaJason and Maria, and his two sisters are Jalae, 12, and Jyah, 6.

Musical family

The Parker family has been making music together since LaJason and Maria were just dating, and they both come from musical families. Jayrin started drum lessons when he was 5 years old; Jalae has sung and played the viola since she was about the same age; and at age 6, Jyah is already comfortable with singing in front of an audience.

Jayrin hopes to get a spot on the South View Middle School drum line next year, and his father foresees him competing on the drums someday. Jalae is the only seventh-grader at her school playing viola, and she hopes to compete someday, too.

All the Parker children are honor students. Jalae was nominated for a college scholarship for her work in science, and Jayrin was chosen to go to the National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

LaJason has worked at NACCO for the last couple of years, and Maria works as a medical office assistant at Carle in Danville. Before that she worked at Walmart for 12 years. That work experience, combined with her outgoing personality, is a winning combination for acquiring friends. “I pretty much know everybody in town,” Maria said with a smile.

The Parkers credit Pastor U. Pete Williams for drawing them to Greater Shiloh Baptist about six years ago, when they were searching for a new place to worship.

“We felt welcome right away at this church,” Maria said.

LaJason is active as a church deacon, and Maria is both assistant secretary and assistant choir director.

“I’m also on call for anything else that they might need,” she said, laughing.

The family participates in all the regular and special church services, as well as Bible study.

LaJason has gone to Chicago to compete in a couple of vocal competitions through the years, including “American Idol” and “The Voice.”

“I didn’t go on in either competition, but I found these to be interesting experiences,” he said. LaJason has sung all over town since he was a little boy — at the Easter service at the David S. Palmer Arena, at the Festival of Trees, and with the Gospel group “Domenion.”

It doesn’t come as a surprise that LaJason is a cousin to Christian Cunningham, a DHS student who recently won first place for his vocal performance in the “Kids Voice” competition.

Sports

As the children get older, sports are becoming an increasingly bigger part of their lives. They are all active in a variety of sports — again following in the footsteps of their parents, who both played basketball and other sports at DHS.

Maria said the family usually travels together to all the sporting events. “All of us support each other in whatever we’re doing,” she added.

Jayrin is on the traveling AAU basketball team, where he plays guard and point guard. His parents drive him to practice in Champaign several times a week, and they travel with him all over the state for games.

Jalae plays basketball on the same traveling team as her brother. She also played basketball and track at South View Middle School and softball at Winter Park in the summer.

First-grader Jyah is into gymnastics at the YMCA, but she looks forward to the day when she can play sports like her older siblings.

Family time

“Weekends are reserved for our family time together,” LaJason said. They usually stay home and play board games and cook big meals together. The family also enjoys vacationing at destinations such as Disneyworld, Wisconsin Dells and Nashville, Tenn.

The Parkers have lots of family locally, and there are usually 50 relatives or more at any Fourth of July or Memorial Day picnic.

Because she works first shift and he works second shift, there’s precious little time for Maria and LaJason to spend together. “Sometimes I go home and catch up with LaJason on my lunch break,” she said. “It’s important for a couple to make time for each other.”

Maria said, “LaJason and I both grew up in Danville, and we’re comfortable living here. We have all our support people around us, and our church is like our second family. Every time we travel to a big town we’re glad to return to Danville, where there isn’t so much traffic.”

Coincidentally, the house where they are currently living was formerly owned by their school bus driver from high school days.

“It’s so funny, the driver immediately remembered both Maria and me from years ago,” LaJason said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include: Danville Tuesday: Theft of $46.70 in gas from Circle K, 121 S. Gilbert St. Theft of a license plate sticker in the 900 block of Hubbard Lane. Wednesday: Possession of alcohol in a vehicle in the 2400 block of Ca

    April 18, 2014

  • translate4.jpg In translation DANVILLE — With the help of a Japanese exchange student, the Vermilion County War Museum staff has a better understanding of some of its items.

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Proposed school standards reviewed Proposed school standards reviewed The Associated Press

    April 18, 2014

  • Elementary students to tackle math problems DANVILLE -- First-graders from all eight of Danville's elementary schools will tackle story problems, progressive computation, multiplication, fractions and even algebra at the third annual Danville District 118 First-Grade Math Challenge next week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Arena sells autographed posters on eBay DANVILLE - Want a piece of history from the David S. Palmer Arena? Several autographed posters are up for eBay auction right now from artists who've performed through the years at the arena. There are posters signed by Jason Aldean, Rodney Carrington

    April 18, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Wednesday, 10:18-10:39 a.m. -- A false alarm at 1900 E. Main St. Wednesday, 12:02-12:14 p.m. -- A medical call in the 100 block of South Gilbert Street. Wednesday, 7:55-8:02 p.m. -- A medical call

    April 18, 2014

  • Bomberger, Ryan.jpg Women's clinic helps 'one child at a time' DANVILLE — Music, testimony and updates are on the agenda at the Women’s Care Clinic’s annual Banquet for Life fundraising dinner.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night of Strings tonight

    April 17, 2014

  • Egg hunt set for Carver Park

    April 17, 2014

  • County to improve portion of Perrysville Road DANVILLE -- Perrysville Road will be the focus of roadwork by Vermilion County Highway Department crews this year. The Vermilion County Board approved a resolution this week to fund the county's portion of the project, which will stretch southeast fr

    April 17, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Must Read