Southern Stars Announce Cancellation of April 19 Concert

It is with reluctance that the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass have cancelled their American Tributes concert on April 19 at the Stone Memorial HS auditorium. This has become necessary due to the Covid-19 virus, the nationwide recommendations of limiting the size of social gatherings, and the extended closing of school system facilities through April 26.

For those who have already purchased a ticket for this last concert of the season (includes season ticket patrons), the following policy of two options will be enacted related to refunds:

1) Exchange the ticket for one of the concerts in the 2020/2021 season. This can not be resolved at our normal ticket outlets. You must contact Dwight Wages directly (see below for contact information).


2) Donate the ticket value (no exchange) back to the Southern Stars to help with their financial status.

The SSSB are a 501-c3 non-profit organization, and rely heavily on the ticket sales for each concert to bring their brand of “Premium Entertainment” to the Crossville area. NOTE: The SSSB will sending an email directly to all patrons affected by this circumstance with details of the refund choices. If you do not receive a direct email, please contact the SSSB per the following: For further details and questions, contact SSSB President, Dwight Wages, at or 931-484-6939.

We thank our loyal patrons for your support and want you to know that we will be initiating our 13th consecutive season in September, 2020. While the specific dates are yet to be confirmed with Stone Memorial HS’s calendar, the following are estimates of when the concerts might occur:

• September (Labor Day weekend) – Tentative outdoor concert at the new Mirror Lake Performance venue (under construction)
• Late September (Sunday at 3pm) – 1st subscription concert at Stone Memorial HS Auditorium
• Late November – Christmas Concert (Free to the public) at Stone Memorial HS Auditorium
• February 2021 (Sunday at 3pm) – 2nd subscription concert at Stone Memorial HS Auditorium
• April 2021 (Sunday at 3pm) – 3rd subscription concert at Stone Memorial HS Auditorium


Dwight Wages
President & Founder – Southern Stars Symphonic Brass

Friends of the SSSB and Those Who Enjoy Good Music

I hope that you have missed coming to our concerts as much as we have missed performing for your enjoyment. We have two concerts scheduled at Stone Memorial High school on Feb. 7 and April 24 or 25. However, we have been prevented from rehearsing as the school system has banned the use of the facilities thru Oct. 19. The system will be reevaluating whether to continue that ban into 2021, so we are up in the air as to if the above dates will work out.

It was only two weeks ago that I and our music director, Dr. Steven Sudduth, met to see how we could safely bring the SSSB musicians back together and start making music again. All musicians terribly miss performing, as this pandemic has curtailed our sharing of our talents for 8 months. So Steve and I developed the idea of an outdoor performance which would be safe for both the musicians and the public.  I would have loved to have given you more notice, but it has taken a couple of weeks to iron out the logistics and receive commitments from the musicians who were willing to get together with some safety precautions outlined in the information below.

You have two options to hear our concert:  (1) Live in the audience at the Cookeville amphitheater,  or (2) tune in to our Facebook page to catch the Live Streaming concert.

Hope to see you there, or if you decide to catch us from home. But either way, let me know what you think of this unique attempt to bring some musical joy to your lives. Share this information with your friends, and maybe make it a concert and a meal out at the many restaurants in Cookeville.


Dwight Wages
Founder & President – Southern Stars Symphonic Brass


Catch the Southern Stars in their “Premier” of an Outdoor Concert

On Sunday, Oct. 18 at 3pm, the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) will be presenting their first concert since last February when the Covid pandemic postponed their season similar to most large scale entertainment locally and across the nation.

The SSSB musicians are eager to get together, as long as safety precautions are taken to protect themselves and the audience members. They enjoy making good music together and are providing this **FREE concert** (see below) as their gift to the area residents, to help raise the spirits of all who take advantage of listening to the event. To accomplish a safe performance environment the musicians will be spaced 8 feet apart, will have special bell coverings (“masks” for the bells of the horns), and where feasible they will perform while wearing a mask with a slit cut in the front to allow the mouthpiece to protrude to hook up with the instrument.

The concert will be LIVE STREAMED on the Facebook page of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass at 3pm on Oct. 18. In addition, the public is invited to come to Dogwood Park in Cookeville (35 East Broad Street, behind the Police station and Performing ARTS Drama Center). There is a performing arts outdoor pavilion in Dogwood Park which has a tiered amphitheater that gives the audience a great place to watch and hear the SSSB in action. Social distancing of the audience is recommended.

The concert will be about an hour in length and the program will include a wide variety of music styles and genres to showcase the versatility of  this outstanding professional instrumental ensemble.  Concert selections will be:  John Williams stirring patriotic composition – “Summon the Heroes” which will honor all the heroes who have served us during the Covid crisis;  “Amparito Roca”  – a Spanish march;  “America the Beautiful” with a vocal by Emily McCormick;  “Georgia on My Mind” – flugelhorn solo by TTU jazz professor, Chris McCormick;  Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”;  “Amazing Grace”;  the big band classic “American Patrol”;  the classic “First Suite for Band” (Movt. 1)  by Holst;  Sousa’s “El Capitan” march: and to get us in the mood for the Christmas season “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.

The Southern Stars are in their 14th season of providing a 3 concert season in Crossville. The musicians are from the areas of Nashville, Cookeville, Murfreesboro, Crossville, Knoxville, and S.E. Kentucky and include University music professors, secondary school music directors, and other folks from non-music careers who are also outstanding musicians. Their conductor is Dr. Steven Sudduth who is a full professor and head of the band program at the University of the Cumberland in Williamsburg, KY.  They have produced 3 CDs & DVD and were honored with invitations to perform at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, KY where they performed for audiences in the 5,000 to 8,000 range.

So grab a lawn chair or blanket and come over to Cookeville to enjoy the concert (rain or shine) and grab something to eat on restaurant row after the event, or sit in the comfort of your home and watch the LIVE STREAMING event on the SSSB Facebook page at 3pm, Oct. 18.

**  Due to the impromptu nature of this concert, there was not time to line up sponsors to help subsidize the expenses for the concert.   The cost for the event will be around $1900, which has been taken from the band treasury, to provide this much needed performance for our audience and the musicians.
A FREE WILL offering will be taken to help with these expenses.

The Southern Stars Return!

If you’ve gone “Covid Crazy” we may have the cure—live music!

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band will perform a free, outdoor on Sunday, October 18, beginning at 3:00 pm Central. The concert takes place at the picturesque Dogwood Park Performance Pavilion.

Groups are encouraged to bring a picnic, but also have face masks handy to wear when not eating. The band’s stage is a safe distance from the crowd, and the instruments will also have light coverings over their bells for added safety as recommended by medical experts.

The brass band will be set up with more spacing than usual to allow room for a videographer to move among the ensemble during the concert to live stream the concert for those unable to attend.

Selections being considered for the performance include:

Summon the Heroes
Amparito Roca
Georgia, On My Mind
American Patrol
America the Beautiful (featuring vocalist Emily McCormick)
Gustav Holst’s First Suite for Military Bandin E-Flat major Op.28-1
I Got Rhythm
Amazing Grace
Sleigh Ride
El Capitan

The long-range weather forecast shows no rain, a high temperature of 71º and low of 43º, which should be a perfect day for an outdoor concert if the forecast holds.

The band truly hopes to see everyone that can make it there for the performance. If not, be sure to check our Event Page for live-streaming information:

Amparito Roca, as performed by the SSSB

We’ve missed performing “live” for you during COVID-19, so we put together this video performance of Amparito Roca as a ‘thank you’ to our audience for supporting us all of these years, and to say “we hope to play for you in person very, very soon!”

Please view it on our YouTube Channel (link below), and subscribe while you are there. We will be adding several videos in the near future. Thank you!

The remainder of the 2020 SSSB Season Canceled Due to COVID-19

We regret to announce the remaining concerts on the Southern Stars’ concert season for the spring of 2020 have been canceled due to COVID-19.

We had hoped to play a Memorial Day Weekend Concert, however, things remain uncertain with the virus, as well as the finish date for the new outdoor venue at Fairfield Glade.

In summary, we wish you all to stay healthy, and we look forward to seeing you in August as we kick off our 2020-21 season.

Stay tuned!

Jericho Brass Band reading session features trumpet great Vincent DiMartino as guest artist, March 14, 2020

The Jericho Brass Band of Chattanooga, Tennessee, presents its 2020 Brass Band Reading Clinic with trumpet great Vincent DiMartino (International trumpet performer and educator) as the special guest artist.

The clinic takes place Saturday, March 14, 2020, from 10 am to 3 pm at the Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe High School Bandroom. The school is located at 1850 Battlefield Parkway, Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia, 30742. Contact the folks at the Jericho Band by calling (423) 653-0854 or emailing with any questions.

The cost is $20 per person and only $10 for students to participate. Crossville/Southern Stars folks looking to car-pool should contact Dwight Wages at or via his cell phone number.

YOU MUST REGISTER FOR THE READING SESSION! Below is a link to the form to indicate your plans to attend, what instrument you play, etc.
Click the link below to get started!

Vincent DiMartino

Southern Stars kick off 2020 this Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020 beginning at 3:00 pm Central at the Stone Memorial High School Auditorium

The renowned Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band have been performing a three-concert Crossville Music Series for the past 12 years. This professional instrumental ensemble of 30 musicians from Eastern and Middle Tennessee has established a national reputation through their CDs and performances at the Great American Brass Band Festival where they have played for audiences of nearly 10,000 and receiving standing ovations. Locally, they have established a loyal patron base and have also performed twice at The Cumberland County Playhouse’s concert series to highly-appreciative audiences. However, they want YOU to hear them to realize this entertainment group that is a local, cultural gem.

If you are new to the area, or are a resident who has not yet experienced the SSSB in concert, you should contact SSSB founder Dwight Wages in advance of their February 9 concert for a special opportunity for you to attend as a gift from the SSSB. To take advantage of this special offer contact Dwight at 931-484-6939 or email him at

Their coming concert on Sunday, February 9 at 3 pm is at Stone Memorial High School’s beautiful 1200 seat auditorium and is titled “Cupid’ Favorites” in honor of the proximity to Valentine’s Day.

Music Director, Dr. Steven Sudduth, and Artistic Director, Dwight Wages, have selected a concert program that contains a wide variety of music to showcase their style of “Premium Entertainment” that is their motto.

Special guest vocalists will be: Angela Anderson, a School of Music at Tennessee Tech music degree graduate who has twice performed at Carnegie Hall and sung a solo at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Steven Boyce is owner of Rush’s Musical Services, Inc.- Knoxville,TN music stores in Knoxville where he performs with the acclaimed Knoxville Choral Society and is cantor at St. John’s Cathedral.

The program includes:
— two John Philip Sousa marches – “Fairest of the Fair” and “Our Flirtations”

— “Porgy and Bess” medley sung by Angela and Steve;

— two Beatles hits by Lennon & McCartney – “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Ticket to Ride”

— Billy Joel’s hit – “Lullabye, Good Night My Sweetheart” featuring their fluglehorn and trombone musicians

— “Bring Him Home” from the musical Les Misérables and featuring Steve Boyce as vocalist

— “Seranata” by Leroy Anderson

— “Tijuana Brass” medley

— “If We Hold On Together” from the movie “The Land Before Time” and featuring Angela Anderson as vocalist

— “Listeria” featuring a xylophone duet by SSSB musicians – Marco Schrippa (TTU adjunct percussion professor) and Chandler Franco (TTU percussion student)

— “Gershwin for Brass” a medley of George Gershwin hits.

Adult tickets are $22 and Students are admitted free. A short season ticket for the two remaining concerts on Feb. 9 and April 19 is a bargain for $35 and a savings of $9 versus purchasing single tickets.

The April 19 concert is entitled American Tribute and will feature American composers and songs from our musical traditions.

Tickets are available at the following locations:
First National Bank of TN branches in Fairfield Glade and Crossville; On Its Way (UPS/Fedex store) in the Glade’s Village Mall; and Bed and Biscuit Kennel (off Peavine Road), and at the door at the concert.

The Southern Stars are a 501-c3 non-profit organization and accepts donations to their “Fund for Achievement” which supports Cumberland County school’s music programs.

Southern Stars Kick Off Season with a Blast of Tubas!

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) begin their 3 concert Crossville Concert Series on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3pm at the beautiful 1200 seat auditorium and will feature as guest artists the 15 member TTU Tuba/Euphonium ensemble. The other SSSB concerts will be on Feb. 9, and April 19 and if you have not yet heard this 30 piece ensemble of professional musicians previously, you need to experience their style of Premium Entertainment to see why those that have attended consider their concerts to be of exceptional quality and value.

The coming concert on Sept. 29 carries the theme of Classics and Jazz and will feature music to fit those two genres. Jazz selections will include big band swing and an upbeat 70’s version of this genre. Classics does not necessarily imply Classical, but music that are classic favorites. The concert will include the following selections: Two Sousa marches – The Glory of the Yankee Navy and The Free Lance march; Cartoon Classics; Indiana Jones – The Temple of Doom; Salute to the Count (Basie); La Fiesta (a Chick Corea composition); Lux Aurumque (as arranged by our conductor, Dr. Stephen Sudduth); Lil’ Darlin’; Them Basses; and two feature soloists from the SSSB: Briana Elgelbert- Vogt will perform the euphonium solo – Party Piece; and Dr. Kathryn Adduci will perform the cornet solo – Slavische Fantasie. Both of these are virtuoso selections by two musicians who are outstanding instrumentalists. Sponsors for this concert are Bed & Biscuit Kennel (season) and Cumberland Eye Care (concert sponsor).

The TTU Tuba (9) and Euphonium (6) ensemble will be performing their own set of classic selections: Rise up, My Love, My Fair One; Arrival of the Queen of Sheba; Toccata from Symphony No. 5 in F minor; and Euphunk (featuring TTU Associate Professor of Trombone, Joshua Houser, on euphonium). This TTU ensemble is led by professor Winston Morris who is world renowned in the world of low brass. They will wow you with their outstanding technical playing, especially on the Toccata, which was composed to be played by an organ with great technique required.

Adult tickets prices for an individual concert are $22 and Students are admitted free. Season tickets for all three concerts are $50 and a particularly good value versus $66 for purchasing a single tickets for each concert. Season ticket patrons can exchange a ticket from a concert they have to miss, for an additional ticket to one of the other concerts, to avoid losing out on their investment. Plus season ticket holders have access to a reserved premium seating section. Advance tickets are available at: First National Bank of TN branches in Crossville and Fairfield Glade; On It’s Way (UPS/Fedex dropoff location) in the Fairfield Glade Village Mall; and Bed & Biscuit Kennel off of Peavine Road. Tickets will be available at the concert

If you are new to the area, or are a resident who has not yet experienced the SSSB in concert, contact SSSB founder Dwight Wages in advance of the Sept. 29 concert, he will have a special opportunity for you to attend as a gift from the SSSB. To take advantage of this special offer contact Dwight at 931-484-6939 or at It is rare for brass bands to be found in a small city like Crossville…………they are normally only available in large metropolitan cities like L.A., Boston, St. Louis, Atlanta, K.C., Chicago, etc. We are fortunate to have this gem in our area, so please come out and experience the quality of this entertainment group.

New music in the works for 2019-2020

One piece we’ve purchased for the upcoming season is Chick Corea’s exciting La Fiesta. Here’s a sample of one arrangement you might enjoy until we get our chart!

Southern Stars Have Return Engagement at Playhouse

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB), a 30-piece instrumental music ensemble, is returning to present a Mainstage concert themed From Big Band to Broadway on Saturday, May 25 at 7:30pm. at the Cumberland Countp Playhouse.

The SSSB wowed the capacity audience last May and the patrons fortunate to hear this premier ensemble provided accolades and many testimonials to how impressed they were with the talent and outstanding program that was presented.

SSSB founder and Artistic Director, Dwight Wages, has programmed a concert full of selections that will impress the audience with the variety of music and the the list of featured soloists.

Big band selections will include: “Bill Bailey,” “Birdland,” “The Peanut Vendor,” “When the Saints” (go marching in), “Route 66 theme,” “American Patrol,” and “Swing Legends.”

From Broadway, selections include:  “Wicked” (the musical), which will feature vocalist Erica Birmingham performing hit songs “Defying Gravity” and “Popular” in addition to “I Dreamed a Dream” (from Les Miserables), “Hushabye Mountain” (from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) – Eb alto horn soloist (Lisa Burden),  “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (from Carousel) sung by vocalist Emily McCormick, “Broadway!,” “Evermore” (from Beauty and the Beast) – Euphonium soloist (Briana Engelbert – Vogt), and “The Greatest Show on Earth!”

The SSSB are pleased to present two guest vocalists for this concert. Emily McCormick holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Memphis, where she appeared in several mainstage productions. University credits include Next to Normal, Nine, Spring Awakening, and Oklahoma! She has also worked with Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre, and Ohio Light Opera, were she performed six shows in rep throughout the summer. Emily is the daughter of SSSB musician Chris McCormick (jazz professor at TTU).

Erica Birmingham is currently finishing her sophomore year at Belmont University. She is a Commercial Voice major with an emphasis in Music Performance. Next fall, she will perform with Pops, one of Belmont’s top commercial ensembles. Erica has been cast in several musicals within the community, such as The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, Phantom Tollbooth, and many others. She has performed in multiple venues, including McMinnville’s Park Theatre, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and the Gaylord Convention Center. This summer, she will be studying music abroad in Ghana, Africa as well as German Humanities in Berlin. Upon graduation from Belmont, Erica aspires to be a professional performer, with her sights set on one day performing on Broadway.

Tickets are $25 and are available thru the Playhouse box-office (phone 931-484-5000), or on-line at