Free Christmas Concert by Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Dec. 4, 2016

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) are presenting a FREE admission Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3pm at the beautiful and acoustically fine, 1200-seat Stone Memorial HS auditorium. The concert by this 30-piece professional instrumental ensemble is their gift to the residents of Cumberland County and the sponsors who have been important to the success of this group of musicians who rehearse here and provide a series of three ticketed concerts in Crossville each year.

The sponsors for this concert are Bed & Biscuit Kennels (season sponsor) and concert sponsors Edward Jones – Peter Bisbee, broker and the Cumberland Auto Center (Toyota/Chrysler/Dodge/Kia/Jeep/Fiat) in Cookeville.

The SSSB are now in their 9th season of providing their trademark “Premium Entertainment” and have built a devoted local audience of season-ticket holders and other regular attendees who have been impressed with the outstanding quality and skills of these top level musicians.

The 27 brass and 3-4 percussionist musicians who perform with the SSSB, are from the locales of Knoxville, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Cookeville, Crossville, and even Kentucky. Their conductor is Dr. Steven Sudduth who is director of bands and low brass professor at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.

The Christmas concert this year is themed as “A Brassy Christmas” and will include a variety of holiday music selections. The concert will feature several of the SSSB musicians on special arrangements for a cornet trio (“Brassman’s Holiday), and the trombone section (“Let There Be Peace on Earth”).

The rest of the concert will include other holiday offerings such as: “All Thru the Night”, “Holiday Samba”, “Silent Night”, “Sleigh Ride”, “Christmas Suite” which is a medley of Christmas carols, “Season’s Greetings”, “Christmas Reverie”, and “Christmas Finale.”

There are no advance tickets or vouchers required to obtain admission to this FREE concert. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis. There will be a free-will offering taken during the concert with a portion of the proceeds to go to two non-profit organizations.

The first is the Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County, which is a nonprofit agency providing affordable, professional mental health and relationship counseling from a Christian perspective to people of Cumberland and surrounding counties.  The other recipient is the Bread of Life, which provides shelter, food, and clothing to the homeless.

This is an outstanding opportunity for those who have never heard a symphonic brass band, and in particular, the SSSB, to experience this gift to local residents.
The group is anticipating a full house, so plan to make this a priority for your family to enjoy this performance. Doors will open to the auditorium 30 minutes prior to the concert which begins at 3pm and the concert with intermission is expected to last 90 minutes.

To be fair to all the attendees, the SSSB asks that there not be any saving of seats (other than one), as the concert is a first come, first served basis. Ushers will enforce this policy, so the SSSB asks the cooperation of the attendees at this event.

For additional questions contact Dwight Wages at 931-484-6939.

Southern Stars kick off the 2016-17 Season this Sunday, Oct 9

It was just over one year ago that a terrorist murdered the five Armed Forces service personnel in nearby Chattanooga. A special piece of music titled “The FIVE” will be performed by the Southern Stars to remember the sacrifice of these Marines and Navy personnel. With so many terrible acts of violence against our military and police, the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) have chosen to honor those who have dedicated their careers to serve and protect us, our military, police, firemen and EMT’s. Your attendance to pay tribute to these unsung service personnel will inspire you with pride and gratitude.

A concert of patriotic music titled “Duty & Service” will be presented by this 30-piece professional instrumental ensemble on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. at Stone Memorial High School in Crossville, as the opening concert of their 9th season presenting three-concert series. All active or retired military veterans, police personnel, firemen and EMT personnel will be admitted FREE to this concert and their spouses and children will be admitted at reduced ticket prices. Admission and tickets to this concert for the above service personnel will not be available at the normal ticket outlets.

Tickets to the general public are priced at $22 for adults and $5 for students. Season tickets for the three Crossville concerts are $50, for a savings of $16 over the cost of purchasing individual concerts. The other concerts are on Feb. 12 and May 20. Ticket outlets are Cumberland Eye Center in Fairfield Glade and First National Bank of TN branches in Fairfield Glade and Crossville.

For FREE admission to the concert, police, firemen and EMT’s are requested to wear their uniforms. Military veterans should contact the VSO (Veteran Services Organization), or the other veteran organizations (American Legion, Korean War Veterans, Vietnam War Vets, etc.) for their FREE ticket vouchers. These vouchers are not available at regular ticket outlets listed above. Any answers to any questions, please contact Dwight Wages at (931) 484-6939.

This “Duty & Service” concert will feature the following music: “Olympic Fanfare,” “Armed Forces Salute,” “The Five,” “American Pageant,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Wind Beneath My Wings,” “Glen Miller Magic,” “Mighty Fortress” and John Philip Sousa marches “Solid Men to the Front,” “Guide Right” and “Yorktown Centennial.”

The Southern Stars are recognized as one of the premiere brass band ensembles in North American and have been recently honored by being asked to perform three concerts at the Great American Brass Band Festival on June 3-4 in Danville, KY. This event consistently draws between 30,000 to 40,000 attendees to this yearly event, and it is typical to have 5,000 people to hear the SSSB in concert.

The Southern Stars look forward to having a large appreciative audience to honor our service personnel who provide “Duty and Service” to all of us.

2016 – 2017 Season Announced!

Here’s the scoop on the 2016-17 Season!
 
CONCERT – Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 – 3pm
CONCERT – Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 – 3pm
CONCERT – Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017 – 3pm
CONCERT – Sat. May 20, 2017 – 7pm
 
All concerts are subject to change; season tickets will remain at $50 for the three paid concerts, and $22 and $5 each for the individual concerts. The Dec. 5 concert is free admission.
 
The Southern Stars will also be appearing for at The Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky. This is a free event, and the band will tentatively be performing Saturday, June 3, at Noon, and again early in the evening. The band is also slated to play Sunday, June 4, at 1pm (Eastern Daylight time).
 
More details to follow on both the regular season, as well as details about the band’s special appearance at The Great American Brass Band Festival!

Nashville’s Buddy Greene in concert with the SSSB on Saturday, April 16, 2016

Buddy Greene will make a return engagement to perform with the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) on Saturday, April 16 at 7 pm Central at the Stone Memorial HS auditorium in Crossville, TN. This auditorium seats 1200 and has beautiful acoustics and seating is very comfortable. The theme of this concert is Buddy Greene & Friends. The concert program music selections will be announced soon.

Buddy Greene and friends perform with the Southern Stars Brass on Saturday, April 16, at 7 pm Central.

Buddy Greene and friends perform with the Southern Stars Brass on Saturday, April 16, at 7 pm Central.

Buddy and sideman Jeff Taylor last appeared with the Southern Stars in 2013 and nearly 900 attended that concert. Patrons left the concert truly amazed at the talent and stage presence of Buddy and Jeff.

“SSSB patrons have been asking for a return engagement and we have been able to find a time from Buddy’s schedule to make this happen,” said Dwight Wages, President and founder of the SSSB.  “Buddy’s persona is such that during a concert, you feel as if you are a friend of his.”

Besides performing with the SSSB for a couple of selections, he will also favor the audience with a separate, 30-minute concert of his music stylings where he will play harmonica, guitar and sing, accompanied by his Nashville sidemen.

The 30-piece professional brass ensemble will also perform selections of their own for this nearly two-hour concert (including intermission).  The SSSB and Buddy will have their CD/DVD assortments available for purchase.

Tickets will be $25 for Adults, and students will be $5. Tickets will be available in the Crossville, TN area beginning on March 1 at the following locations: Cumberland Eye Care in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of TN branches in Crossville and Fairfield Glade, Bed & Biscuit Kennel, and at Cumberland Co. Playhouse at their box office, by phone (931-484-5000), or via the Playhouse website.

Tickets will also be available at the door. For out of town people wishing to purchase in advance, please contact Dwight Wages at 931-484-6939.

Southern Stars present “Castles, Highlands, and Moors” on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) are a 30-piece professional brass instrumental ensemble which rehearses and provides a three-concert series in Crossville, TN each season. The upcoming concert is their second in their 8th season of providing “Premium Entertainment” to residents of the area. The musicians are top players on their instrument, and hail from Nashville, Murfreesboro, Cookeville, Crossville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and southeastern Kentucky. This concert will be held at the beautiful 1200-seat auditorium of Stone Memorial High School in Crossville, TN.

Terri Utsey will be the guest vocalist with the Southern Stars on Feb. 20, 2016.

Terri Utsey will be the guest vocalist with the Southern Stars on Feb. 20, 2016.

Guest vocalist for the concert will be local favorite Terri Utsey. Terri made her first public appearance in 2010 at the Historic Palace Theatre right here in Crossville, where she performed with the Cumberland Jamboree.  She enjoys singing all types of music, and has performed for a variety of benefits and charitable organizations in Crossville as well as Fairfield Glade. Recently she has added big band stylings to her repertoire as the female vocalist with the Swing Street Orchestra, managed by Rusty McClanahan. For her debut with the Southern Stars, Terri will be singing the classic Irish folk song “Danny Boy,” and the hymn used in the movie “Titanic,” which is the beloved “Nearer My God To Thee.”

As the concert theme above suggests, the remainder of the music will be associated with England, Scotland and Ireland and as typical of SSSB concerts, will include a wide variety of styles.  Selections will include the following music pieces (and the country represented): “The Men of Harlech” (Wales), “Colonial Song” (England), “Gaelforce”  (Scotland), the Beatles hit “Can’t Buy Me Love” (England), movie overture from “Far & Away” which featured Tom Cruise and Nichole Kidman (Ireland),  “James Bond Collection” (England), “Colonel Bogey march” (England). The SSSB will also feature three of their own outstanding musicians as soloists:  Chris McCormick on the flugelhorn to play “Ye Banks & Braes” (Scotland);  Lisa Burden on alto horn to play “The Lark in the Clear Air” (Ireland), and principal cornetist Alex Wilborn to play “Rule Britiania” (England).

Tickets for this concert go on sale on January 4 and can be purchased at Cumberland Eye Care in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of TN branches in Fairfield Glade and Crossville, Bed & Biscuit Kennel, and at the box office or by phone or website of the Cumberland County Playhouse. Adult tickets are $22, and students are admitted free as a means of encouraging children and teenagers to be exposed to outstanding music.

The SSSB are offering a particularly good deal with the purchase of a “short season” ticket, which gives admission to the Feb. 20 concert, as well as the April 16 concert which will feature Nashville entertainer Buddy Greene, as a highly-requested return guest artist. The “short season” ticket is discounted to $35, which is a savings of $12 from the price of the two remaining concerts which are $22 and $25 respectively.

This is a terrific offer which not only provides seating in a reserved section, but also includes the benefit of being able to exchange a ticket for use for another concert should the need arise. The Southern Stars encourages its patrons to take advantage of this opportunity to hear a group of musicians that attracts audiences of 400-500 on average. Haven’t heard a professional brass band? You owe it to yourself to find out about the quality music that is here in your backyard, entertaining folks for into the band’s eighth season in 2015-16!

Southern Stars Brass mourns the passing of friend and guitar great, Pete Huttlinger

Pete Huttlinger, 54, passed away Friday, January 15, 2016, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after suffering a stroke on Monday, January 11.

Pete Huttlinger, 54, passed away Friday, January 15, 2016, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after suffering a stroke on Monday, January 11.

It is with great sadness the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass learned tonight of the passing of guitar virtuoso Pete Huttlinger. Huttlinger was a friend of the band, and had been a wonderful guest soloist in a recent concert. His musical genius, effortless mastery of his instrument, and his wit that made his stage presence something to be envied will all be greatly missed. The band and its President and Founder, Dwight Wages, extends condolences to Pete’s family, loved ones, friends, and fans everywhere. May he rest in peace, and may his music last forever.

He was a 1984 graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, and in 2000 won the National Fingerpick Guitar Championship. Country legend Vince Gill once described as him as “wickedly gifted,” and his performances and recordings lived up to that compliment.

Mr. Huttlinger is survived by his beloved wife, Erin Morris Huttlinger (the couple recently co-authored a book, “Joined at the Heart: A Story of Love, Guitars, Resilience and Marigolds”); stepchildren Sean Della Croce and James Della Croce; a brother, Frank Huttlinger, in California; and a sister, Theresa Vigour, in Mississippi.

Read more here:
http://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2016/01/15/master-guitarist-pete-huttlinger-dies/78796926/

Southern Stars to appear at Arts Assoc. of S.E. KY on April 23, 2016

The Southern Stars are honored to participate in the 54th concert season presented by the Arts Association of S.E. Kentucky.  The Arts Association is presenting a 7 concert series of highly acclaimed artists and ensembles, including guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, gospel singer Sandy Patty, and the Peach State Opera company presenting Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”.

 

The SSSB will be presenting the closing concert of the season on Saturday, April 23, 2016.  The concert is scheduled for 7:30 pm and will be held at the O. Wayne Rollins Center on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY.   General admission ticket prices for the concert are $30 for Adults, and $15 for students from elementary to college age.  

 

Music selections for the concert will be released at a later date, but attendees can be assured that the program will include a wide variety of music styles and genre, and will feature virtuoso soloists from within the ensemble.   The SSSB pride themselves on providing “Premium Entertainment” and have produced 2 CD’s and a DVD which demonstrate their repertoire and skills.

 

For more information about the concert series, use the following link to the Arts Association website http://www.fineartsseky.org/#!schedule/cjg9, or contact SSSB President and founder, Dwight Wages, at 931-484-6939.

Nashville’s Buddy Greene in concert with SSSB on Saturday, April 16

Buddy Greene will make a return engagement to perform with the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) on Saturday, April 16 at 7pm at the Stone Memorial HS auditorium in Crossville, TN.   This auditorium seats 1200 and has beautiful acoustics and seating is very comfortable.  The theme of this concert is Buddy Greene & Friends.  The concert program music selections will be announced at a later date.

 

Buddy and sideman Jeff Taylor last appeared with the Southern Stars in 2013 and nearly 900 attended that concert and all the patrons left the concert truly amazed at the talent and stage presence of Buddy and Jeff.   “SSSB patrons have been asking for a return engagement and we have been able to find a time from Buddy’s schedule to make this happen” , said Dwight Wages who is the President and founder of the SSSB.  “Buddy’s persona is such that during a concert, you feel as if you are a friend of his.”   Besides performing with the SSSB for a couple of selections, he will also favor the audience with a separate 30 minute concert of his music stylings where he will play harmonica, guitar and sing, accompanied by his Nashville sidemen.

 

The 30 piece professional brass ensemble, will also perform selections of their own for this nearly 2 hour concert (including intermission).  The SSSB and Buddy will have their CD/DVD assortments available for purchase.

 

Tickets will be $25 for Adults, and students will be $5.   Tickets will be available in the Crossville, TN area beginning on March 1 at the following locations:   Cumberland Eye Care in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of TN branches in Crossville and Fairfield Glade, Bed & Biscuit Kennel, and at Cumberland Co. Playhouse at their box office or by phone (931-484-5000) or website.   Tickets will also be available at the door.   For out of town people wishing to purchase in advance, please contact Dwight Wages at 931-484-6939.

Southern Stars present “All In The Family” Concert, Sunday, Oct. 18 at 3:00 pm Central

While “All in the Family” might bring to mind a historical comedy show, there will not be a guest appearance by Archie Bunker in the opening concert for the 8th season of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB). What will be featured as the theme of the concert suggests, will be young soloists from within the band as well as very talented children of these musicians. The band itself is made up of 30 professional musicians who have built their reputation on providing “Premium Entertainment.” The concert will be held at the beautiful 1,200 seat auditorium at Stone Memorial HS in Crossville, TN, beginning at 3:00 pm Central Time.

There will be four featured soloists presented who are from the SSSB “family.” The first will be a father & son cornet duet of Stephen Collins (SSSB Eb Soprano Cornet musician) and his son, Nathaniel. They will perform the selection “Quicksilver.”

Nathaniel Collins began studying the trumpet at the age of six. He is an eighth-grade home schooled student who studies trumpet with his father. Nathaniel is a member of both the Symphonic Band and Jazz Band of Knoxville Christian Youth Bands, and he is a member of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra. He was selected by the International Trumpet Guild to receive a scholarship to attend the 2015 ITG Conference and was selected first chair Gold Band at the 2014 ETSBOA Middle Area Junior Clinic. In his free time, Nathaniel enjoys reading and playing football.

Erica Birmingham is the 16-year-old daughter of SSSB percussionist Kelly Jo Birmingham. Erica will be featured as a vocalist in performing the jazz balland, “At Last.”

This song was made famous by such jazz vocalists as Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald, so Erica will be in good company as she presents her rendition accompanied by the Southern Stars.

Some may remember Kelly Jo and Erica performing a xylophone duet with the SSSB in 2013, as Erica is also a very talented percussionist. While in the 7th grade she was asked to play in the Dekalb Co. High School marching band for her percussion skills.

She has made the All Mid-State Honors band for two consecutive years and is frequently asked to sing the National Anthem at school sports events. Erica pans to attend Belmont University and major in singing/songwriting.

Alex Wilborn, is the principal solo cornet for the Southern Stars, and is a senior trumpet performance major at TTU.

Alex has developed a national reputation through winning of many competitions. He was the first chair trumpet in band, orchestra and jazz band at the prestigious Interlochen Music camp where the top youth in North America are showcased.

Alex is now in the process of evaluating several offers from top graduate schools as he prepares to take the next stage in his musical career. He will perform the exciting cornet solo, “Song & Dance.”

The last soloist is the SSSB’s principal euphonium, Jack Lorens. Jack is a junior music major at MTSU who will perform the difficult selection, “Pantomime.”

He is also recognized as a rising star on his instrument, as he has been either a semi-finalist, or finalist at the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium competition. This competition showcases the who’s who of the world as the upcoming top instrumentalists on the euphonium.

The euphonium is a member of the tuba family, and is often a solo instrument in brass band arrangements.

Other music for this concert in addition to the above soloists, will be: “Review March” by John Philip Sousa (World premiere performance by a brass band), “Be Thou My Vision,” “Caravan,” (made famous by the Duke Ellington Big Band; “Digger March,” “Where Eagles Sing,” “Sonata Piano Forte,” a baroque double brass choir, “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” and “Festive Overture” by Shostakovich.

Tickets for the concert are on sale at the following outlets: Cumberland Eye Care (Drs. Galloway and Holt) in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of TN branches in Fairfield Glade and Crossville, Bed & Biscuit Kennel, and at the Cumberland Co. Playhouse.

Adult tickets are $22, and as a special offer, students will be admitted free.

Season tickets for the three-concert season are a bargain at $50 versus purchasing the three concerts separately at $69, and season ticket holders qualify for a ticket exchange for any concerts they have to miss.

The other concerts are: Saturday, Feb. 20 at 3pm featuring music of England, Scotland and Ireland; and Saturday April 20 at 7 pm featuring Nashville guest artist, Buddy Greene and Friends.

Memorial Concert for Dr. Kelly Thomas (recent UT Professor of Tuba/Euphonium) scheduled for Sept. 27 in Knoxville

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) will be presenting a Memorial Concert on Sept. 27 to honor the memory of Dr. Kelly Thomas, who died in June of a wasp sting. Dr. Thomas was only 40-years-old, and left a wife and 4 children who reside in Niota, TN.

Kelly was the professor of Tuba/Euphonium at the University of Tennessee, a position which he had held for one year. He also was the principal euphonium musician with the SSSB and the ensemble’s musicians are donating their talents to perform this concert to honor one of their own.

Professor Kelly Thomas, euphonium

Professor Kelly Thomas, euphonium

The concert will be held at the Cornerstone Church, located at 1250 Heritage Lake Blvd in Knoxville. The concert will be at 3:30pm on Sunday, Sept. 27.  Admission is free and an offering will be available to support the Thomas Family Fund.

Dwight Wages is the President and founder of the SSSB and had this to say, “Kelly had only performed a couple of concerts with us, but he made a great impression on his fellow musicians in a short period of time. He was a terrific musician and what really impressed me was what a great father he was to his children. It is also obvious that he was a great mentor to his student musicians.”

The concert program was selected to represent music enjoyed by his family, sacred music, euphonium/tuba feature selections, and inspirational music. The program includes:

  • “Summon the Heroes”

  • “Be Thou My Vision”

  • “Melody Shop march”

  • “If We Hold On Together”

  • “Bugler’s Holiday”

  • “Amazing Grace” (previous two selections will be presented by the Tenn. Tech. Univ. tuba/euphonium octet),

  • “Pantomime” -euphonium solo

  • “Make His Praise Glorious”

  • Holst’s “1st Suite in Eb” (mvt. 1)

  • “Closer Walk with Thee”

  • “Walking with Heroes”

  • “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

Guest vocalist, Brenda Frye is an operatic soprano, and she will be singing “If We Hold On Together” and “You”ll Never Walk Alone.”

Thomas family portrait

Thomas family portrait

This is a great opportunity to hear an inspirational Memorial Concert honoring Kelly Thomas who was an outstanding individual and left this world too soon.

Even if you did not know Dr. Thomas, this is an chance to hear a really outstanding musical ensemble that is the only professional brass band of this kind in this area and adjoining states, and is building a reputation for their “Premium Entertainment.”

Contact Dwight Wages at 931-484-6939 for additional information about this event, or about the Southern Stars Brass Band in general.