On Nov. 17, the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) gave two free concerts to the general public which were attended by record crowds. These concerts were a gift to the community as thanks for support to the SSSB from the business sponsors and ticket purchasers who have helped this outstanding ensemble be a successful addition to the culture of the Crossville area.
SSSB founder Dwight Wages decided to celebrate the band's 5th anniversary season by giving an opportunity for new audience members and previous supporters to experience premium entertainment for which the Southern Stars have become known. These concerts were sponsored by Bed & Biscuit Kennel, Flynn Sign Company, and Cumberland Medical Center whose support made this gift to the community possible.
The Fairfield Glade Community Church offered up their facility for these concerts and based on the anticipated audience appeal, it was decided to give two concerts to accommodate as many people as possible. Capacity at the church was 450, so free ticket vouchers were prepared and made available for the public to pick up beginning Oct. 22. Response was tremendous with all 900 of the free tickets snapped up in two days proving that the "early bird" does indeed get the worm and that a there was a lot of interest to hear this outstanding ensemble that normally requires a purchased ticket for that privilege.
Those fortunate to get one of the free ticket vouchers were not disappointed as they were treated to a one hour concert of Christmas and holiday classics, including a hilarious Frosty the Snowman rendition featuring a bass trombone and tuba duet. Since the SSSB musicians were providing this concert as a gift, a free-will offering was taken up to help defray their travel expenses from their homes in Eastern and Middle Tennessee. Additionally, the offering was to provide donations to area charities and projects. A total of $1600 was donated from the proceeds of this offering to the following areas:
1) Peavine Care Center food bank — $400, 2) Morgan/Scott County food bank — $400, 3) Fairfield Glade Fire Department to replace "old Engine #5" — $300, 4) Fairfield Glade Community Church "sound system fund" — $300, and 5) Fairfield Glade Community Church "Christmas Packages for U.S. Marines in Afghanistan" project — $200. SSSB President Dwight Wages said, "One of the goals of the ensemble is to give back to the community for the support we have received, and we are pleased that our concerts brought joy to our audiences and that their donations allowed us provide our support to these well deserving projects."
There are two remaining concerts by the Southern Stars in this season's Crossville concert series. The spring concert on Saturday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at Central Baptist Church in Crossville, which will feature Nashville acoustic guitar recording artist Pete Huttlinger in a concert titled "Strings Attached." Prior to that is their winter concert on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. at Stone Memorial High School, featuring Cumberland County Playhouse's 16-year veteran Jason Ross. In this concert titled "We've Got JR !", Jason will be stepping to the mike to perform his vocal renditions of "Mack the Knife" and "I've Got You Under My Skin" and he is sure to surprise us with his unique brand of humor.
Tickets for both these concerts will go on sale on Jan. 1 at their ticket outlets at Cumberland Eye Care in the Glade, 1st National Bank of TN branches in Crossville and the Glade, Bed & Biscuit Kennel, and at the box office and website of the Cumberland County Playhouse. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $5 for students, and a "short-season" ticket for both concerts will be available for $35. Group sales for 10 ticket minimum are available for $15 by contacting Dwight Wages at 931-484-6939.