Southern Stars Symphonic Brass to Perform on Playhouse Concert Series, May 26

The Cumberland County Playhouse is pleased to host the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) for a Mainstage Concert on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 7:30pm. This concert is themed as Hot Brass and Cool Ballads and will feature big band swing, dixieland, and jazz stylings. In addition to the selections by the SSSB, four members of the Playhouse’s resident acting company will be guest vocalists with the SSSB during the concert (Jason Ross, Hannah Hayes, Ross & Jess Griffin).

The Southern Stars Brass Band is celebrating its 10th season as a professional ensemble of instrumental musicians who rehearse and perform a series of annual concerts in Crossville, which is their geographic home. The ensemble is a 30-member group comprised of 27 brass instrumentalists and 3 percussionists. The brass instruments used are cornets, alto horns, flugelhorn, baritones, euphoniums, trombones, and tubas, and the percussionists play a full array of xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, tympani, trap set, and other miscellaneous percussion equipment. The musicians are from Nashville, Murfreesboro, Cookeville, Crossville, Knoxville, and SE Kentucky and are comprised of university music faculty, secondary music educators, and other career fields who are also outstanding musicians. The group’s music director is Dr. Steven Sudduth, who is head of bands at the University of the Cumberland in Wilmington, KY.    

The brass band is nationally recognized as one of the premier brass bands in North America, and have produced two CDs and a DVD, which will be available to purchase at this concert. They have been honored to be invited to perform on two occasions at the prestigious Great American Brass Band Festival where they have received standing ovations from the estimated 7,500 people in attendance. Their concerts typically cover a wide range of music styles including: Patriotic, marches, Broadway, movie and tv themes, sacred, overtures and orchestral transcriptions, and big band swing.

The May 26 concert will focus on the genres of big band swing, dixieland and jazz stylings and will include the following selections: Duke Ellington’s Caravan, Hannah Hayes will sing I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Dave Brubeck’s Blue Rondo a la Turk, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Ross & Jess Griffen wll provide vocals for Gershwin’s Cheek to Cheek, Chuck Mangione’s hit – Children of Sanchez, That’s a Plenty, Georgia on My Mind – flugelhorn solo by TTU jazz professor Chris McCormick, Jason Ross will sing Luck Be a Lady from the musical “Guys and Dolls,” Miller Magic – a medley of Glen Miller tunes, Just a Closer Walk With Thee, and a rousing finale of the big band hit – Sing, Sing, Sing. As an extra special treat, Alex Wilborn (a 2017 graduate of TTU, and currently in NYC at the Julliard School of Music’s grad program, and the former principal cornetist with the SSSB) will be back to perform a technical cornet solo of the selection – Debutante.

Tickets are available at the CCP box office (phone: 931-484-5000) or can be purchased online at the CCP website. The tickets are an outstanding bargain at $15 and sales have been brisk so don’t wait too long to secure your seats. Take this opportunity to hear this outstanding group perform a concert that will be memorable for their unique brand of “Premium Entertainment.”

SSSB in concert Sunday, March 4, 3 pm Central

Don’t miss the final concert of the 10th anniversary season of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band this Sunday, March 4, 2018, beginning at 3:00 pm Central at Stone Memorial High School.

Read more about the band, this concert, and ticket info here:

SSSB Founder & President Dwight Wages Interviewed on local college station

Nov. 19 Southern Stars Concert to Feature Soloists

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass, a 30-piece professional instrumental ensemble, will give the second concert of their Crossville Concert Series on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3pm in the beautiful 1200 seat auditorium of Stone Memorial HS.

This is the 10th anniversary celebration season of providing their unique concert performances which are backed up by their motto of “Premium Entertainment.” Business sponsors for this concert are: Bed & Biscuit Kennel (Season sponsor) and Concert Sponsors Cumberland Eye Care, and Farm Bureau Insurance – Gordon Atchley.

Dwight Wages is the group’s founder, President, Artistic Director and performs in the SSSB as well.

“When people take the initiative to come to our concerts, I hear nothing but praise for the quality & value of our performances,” Wages says. “I am so confident of how our audiences receive our concerts, that I am announcing a money-back guarantee to anyone who feels that our quality of performance did not meet their expectations.”

“Where have you ever had anyone backup their entertainment with a promise such as this?” Wages added. “It is my sincere hope that folks who have never been to our concerts, make the time to invest in tickets for this concert and take the challenge to see and hear for themselves why people keep returning and remark what a gem the SSSB are and why we deserve the support of the community.”

This concert is themed BRASS POPS, and will include a wide variety of music styles and genres that will include patriotic, marches, light classical, a medley of WW2 songs, a movie soundtrack theme, and the band’s three feature soloists.

Ten-year-old Kyra Crosby (of Cookeville) will be singing “Let it Go,” the hit song from “Frozen” the 2013 Walt Disney animation hit. Kyra has performed at The Cumberland County Playhouse and was featured at the FGRS “Golden Age of Broadway” concerts last August.

Tennessee Tech University School of Music jazz professor, Chris McCormick will provide his cool improvisations on a flugelhorn solo of the jazz ballad “Laura.”

Dr. Raquel Rodriquez, Tennessee Tech University School of Music associate professor of the trumpet studio and principal solo cornet with the SSSB, will demonstrate her outstanding cornet mastery in her performance of the aptly named “Whirlwind Polka,” which is full of fast triple tonguing and pyrotechnics. Read more about Dr. Rodriquez here:

In honor of the proximity of this concert to Veterans Day, the SSSB will perform “Hymn to the Fallen” from the classic Tom Hanks movie “Saving Private Ryan” and the WW2 medley of songs of that era, “Bless Em’ All.”

Other selections are: “Sandpaper Ballet” featuring our percussion section on various grits of sandpaper for this unique Leroy Anderson classic; the Latin-flavored “Tico, Tico,” “Simple Gifts,” and the marches “Washington Post” and “Klaxon.”

Finally, the Southern Stars will treat the audience to the performance of “Year of the Dragon” which is an example of the difficult compositions used in International Brass Band Championships to showcase high-quality ensembles.

Tickets for the concert are available at the following locations: 1) Cumberland Eye Care in Fairfield Glade, 2) First National Bank of TN branches in Fairfield Glade and Crossville, and 3) at Bed & Biscuit Kennel off of Peavine Rd.

Short Season tickets for the Nov. 19 and March 4 concerts are a bargain at $35 and offer exchange privileges. Single ticket prices are $22 for Adults and $5 for Students.

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band Kicks Off Their 10th Anniversary Concert Season on Sept. 10

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) is one of only three professional ensembles of its kind in the U.S., they perform a three-concert series right in Crossville at the beautiful 1200-seat auditorium at Stone Memorial HS.

The series of concerts this season are all scheduled on Sunday afternoons at 3 pm Central and those dates are September 10, November 19, and March 4.

The musicians in this 30-piece ensemble (27 brass instrumentalists and 3-4 percussionists) are top-quality musicians on their instruments and hail from the regions of Nashville, Murfreesboro, Cookeville, Crossville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and southeastern Kentucky who come together to rehearse in Crossville and perform concerts for the enjoyment of residents of the greater Cumberland area.

They include professors of music at the university level, select high school band directors, and skilled musicians from other careers who also have advanced skills as musicians.

As a measure of their reputation in North America, they were invited to perform this past June at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, KY where they performed three concerts, one of which drew an audience of 6,000.

One audience member remarked, “I have been coming here for 14 straight years, and the SSSB gave the most entertaining and enjoyable concert during that time period.”

The SSSB have produced two CD’s and a DVD which have received very positive comments from international reviewers.

The Sept. concert theme is “Celebration Music,” which will honor their 10 years of providing concerts (see below for more details on that concert).

The Nov. 19 concert theme is “Brass Pops” where selections will showcase classical to popular styles. The last concert of the season is March 4 and the theme is “Bright Lights and Big Screen” which will feature Broadway and movie hits.

The Sept. 10 concert and the other two concerts of this season is supported by the season sponsor, Bed & Biscuit Kennel.

Since this is the 10th anniversary season, the SSSB is planning special drawings and door prizes to be given away at each concert as thanks for the resident support.

The Sept. 10 “Celebration Music” will feature the following selections:
1) “Liberty Fanfare”
2) “Pantomime” -euphonium solo by TTU’s Justin Gorodetzky
3) hymn tune “Beautiful Savior”
4) “Carnival of Venice” – cornet solo by the new TTU trumpet professor Raquel Rodriguez
5) “Manhattan” march
6) “Disney Spectacular” a medley of hits from Disney movies
7) “Fanfare for the Common Man”
8) “Ragtime for Horns” – featuring the Eb Alto horn trio
9) “Barnum & Bailey’s Favorite” – circus march
10) “And the Band Played On”
11) “Morning, Noon, and Night” overture by Von Suppe.

Tickets are now available for purchase at Cumberland Eye Care in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of Tennessee (branches in Fairfield Glade and Crossville), and at Bed & Biscuit Kennel off of Peavine Road.

Adult tickets are $22/concert and Student tickets are $5/concert. Season tickets for all three concerts are only $50 which is a savings of $16 versus the purchase of individual tickets for each concert.

Artistic Director & Founder Dwight Wages, explains “the season ticket is a particularly good deal as the SSSB offers to exchange tickets for a concert you can not attend, with a replacement ticket to one of the other concert dates. In addition, season ticket holders get seating in a reserved section of the auditorium.”

Wages stated, “We have a loyal season ticket base of 325 and typical average attendance of between 450 to 600. I encourage anyone who has not heard one of our concerts to give us a try, as this many season ticket patrons indicates that we are a very good value and folks are missing out on “Premium Entertainment,” which is our motto for each concert. I have not had a single complaint in 10 years for any disappointment, but only very positive feedback.”

The SSSB is also honored to be part of The Cumberland County Playhouse’s 2017 Concert Series on May 26. This concert is themed Hot Brass & Cool Ballads and will feature jazz, big band stylings, and sweet tunes.

Tickets for that concert will be separately promoted by the Playhouse and will be available in through the Playhouse box office and at

For any questions about the SSSB or future concerts, contact Dwight Wages at 931-484-6939.

SSSB performs at Great American Brass Band Fest

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band will be performing at the Great American Brass Band Festival this weekend, June 3-4, in beautiful Danville, Kentucky. The band will feature guest soloist trumpeter Jens Lindemann on Saturday evening.

The Great American Brass Band Festival is a festival that celebrates brass music and is in its 28th year. The festival is every June in beautiful downtown Danville, Kentucky and on the campus of Centre College. The Festival is a free, family-friendly, four-day event. Bands come from all over the United States and Europe. Many events are featured throughout the four days, including, a Bayou and Brass Street Party, People’s Parade, Great American Picnic, Kids Art Fest, Great American Swing Dance and our newest event, The Great American Art Festival. Travel to Danville, Kentucky and enjoy this one of a kind Festival. For complete information, visit

Southern Stars present “Roaring 20’s & Broadway hits” on May 20

Crossville’s own professional brass band of 30 musicians, the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass, will be giving their last concert of this season on Saturday, May 20 at 7 pm at Crossville’s Stone Memorial HS’s 1200 seat auditorium. The concert will feature music from the Roaring 20’s era, with other selections from Broadway, and even a movie theme and a Beatles hit.

You will certainly find a wide variety of music that is sure to meet with approval by the appreciative audiences who have come to understand the great quality and value of this cultural addition to Crossville. Members of the SSSB are top brass instrumentalists and percussion musicians from Eastern & Middle Tenn. and include University music professors, secondary music educators and great musicians from other career backgrounds. The SSSB is in its 9th season.
Sponsors for this concert whose support helps keep this outstanding instrumental ensemble financially viable are: Season Sponsor – Bed & Biscuit Kennel, and Concert Sponsors – Best Friends Veterinary Hospital, David Bell – State Farm Insurance, and Cumberland Eye Care (Drs. Gallaway and Holt). The SSSB encourages folks to patronize these sponsors who have been loyal sponsors of our Crossville concert series.

The theme for this concert is “Strike Up the Band” which indicates the rousing music which is on this concert program. A special guest conductor, Dr. Ronald Holz, will be on hand to direct some selections and share the baton with our regular director, Dr. Steven Sudduth. Ron Holz is a renowned director and musicologist who retired recently as the Director of Music at Asbury College (now Asbury University) and was the longtime director of the Lexington Brass Band. The band’s principal cornet for the past 4 season’s, Alex Wilborn, will be featured soloist on the beautiful and dynamic “Manhattan” piece. This will be Alex’s last concert with the SSSB, as he has been accepted to the prestigious Julliard School of Music in New York City for graduate school, to further his career plans to be a member of a top tier symphony orchestra.

Alex Wilborn

Alex Wilborn


The remainder of the concert will contain the following selections: “Breezin’ Down Broadway” (medley of Broadway hits), “Mardi Gras” from Grofe’s Mississippi Suite, John Philip Sousa’s ” Who’s Who in Navy Blue”, “Jurassic Park” movie theme, Gershwin’s “I’ve Got Rhythm”, the latin hit “Malaguena”, Gershwin’s “Strike Up The Band”, Holst’s “Moorside Suite”, the big top march “Entry of the Gladiators”, Beatles hit “Ticket to Ride”, roaring 20’s hit “That’s a Plenty”, and the Spanish March “Amparito Roca”.


Ticket prices for this concert are $22 for Adults and $5 for Students. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the following outlets: Cumberland Eye Care in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of Tennessee branches in Crossville and Fairfield Glade, and at Bed & Biscuit Kennel (off of Peavine Rd.). Group sales discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Call Dwight Wages at 931-484-6939 for additional details on group sales or other questions.


The Southern Stars have also been honored with an invitation to provide three concerts at the “one-of-its-kind” Great American Brass Band Festival on June 3 & 4 in Danville, KY. They have been selected to represent the North American brass bands and will be one of 20 other music ensembles performing at this weekend of FREE outdoor concerts. This is the 29th annual GABBF event and it is common to have audiences of 5,000.

Southern Stars present “Valentines in Brass” on Sunday, Feb. 12

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass will present their winter concert with the theme of “Valentines in Brass” on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 3 pm at the 1200 seat auditorium at Stone Memorial HS. Two very special guest artists from the Cumberland County Playhouse staff will be featured during this concert with this 30-piece professional instrumental ensemble known for their “Premium Entertainment” presentations.  Sponsors for this concert are: Season sponsor – Bed & Biscuit Kennel, Concert sponsor – Gordon Atchley of Farm Bureau Insurance, and Guest artist sponsors – LaVerne Killian, and Tim & Sue Tewalt.

Posted by Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Nicole Hackman will sing “Our Love is Here to Stay” and Jason Ross will present the Bobby Darin big band version of “Hello Dolly.” Nicole and Jason will also perform a medley of selections from the musical “Oklahoma” which will have you humming many of those famous songs. The band will perform the following selections to round out this very enjoyable concert:  “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “The Girl I Left Behind Me,” “De-lovely,” “Molly on the Shore,” “Huntress” march, “2nd Suite in F Major” (Holst), “El Capitan” march, “Appassionata” – baritone horn solo, and “Capriccio for Trombone.”

Posted by Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Adult tickets are $22 and student tickets are $5. The SSSB are offering a particularly good value “Short Season” ticket to both the Feb. 12 and May 20 concerts which cost only $35, with a savings of $9 off the cost of separate tickets to these concerts.  In addition, the Short Season ticket carries seating in a reserved section and ability to exchange tickets for a concert that you may have to miss.
Tickets are now available at the following outlets: Cumberland Eye Center in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of TN branches in Crossville and Fairfield Glade, and Bed & Biscuit Kennel. Any questions, call Dwight Wages at 931-484-6939.

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.