Southern Stars Donates to Community

A recent Christmas concert on Nov. 23 presented by the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) was a resounding success with an audience of nearly 1100 attending this free admission concert.

The concert was sponsored by Bed & Biscuit Kennel (Season sponsor), and Concert sponsors – the City of Crossville, Happy Hound Realty, and Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

The program of Christmas and holiday selections was enthusiatiscally received by the audience. Local soprano vocalist Brenda Frye was the featured performer along with several instrumental soloists from among the talented musicians of the SSSB.

This concert is a bi-annual event given by the Southern Stars as their way of thanking the Cumberland County area businesses sponsors and their concert audiences for the financial support that has allowed them to become a cultural mainstay for Crossville for the past seven seasons.

At each Christmas concert, the SSSB selects various non-profit organizations to receive donations from a free-will offering taken from the audience in attendance.

The receipients this year were the Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County (CCCCC), and Stone Memorial High project to improve their sound system in the auditorium.

As a result of the generosity of the Southern Stars musicians and the large audience, the SSSB presented $914.61 to the CCCCC, and $900 to Stone Memorial High School’s auditorium sound system project.

SSSB President, Dwight Wages, had the following to say about the donations made possible by their Christmas concert.

“When I founded this ensemble in 2008, there were many in the music entertainment arena who were skeptical that a large 30 musician group like the SSSB could survive financially by charging for tickets to hear the group.”

“Our existence for seven years is proof of the high quality of our concert performances and that local residents have recognized that our premium entertainment is something that justifies their support as well as the businesses that have continued to sign on as sponsors,” Wages added.

“Because of this support, the SSSB sees the bi-annual Christmas concert as our way to thank our sponsors and the greater Crossville area for their support and at the same time meet the dual purpose of providing a free admission concert for the general public and donate much needed funding for local non-profit organizations,” Wages said.

Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County is in its 12th year, providing a full range of affordable, professional counseling services from a Christian perspective to children, teens, adults, and couples.

Clients pay only what they can afford based on their family’s income. Though our counselors all work from a Christian perspective, clients do not have to be of any particular faith, or have a faith at all, to be served.

Offices are located in the United Fund Building in Crossville; satellite offices are located in Sparta and Fairfield Glade. Their Executive Director Carol J. Donalson, LPC-MHSP, is available to speak at local churches and civic organizations on Christian Counseling Center’s services and mental health and relationship topics.

For referrals or questions, the Christian Counseling Center can be contacted at 931-707-8200. For more information, also see the website at

The project at Stone Memorial High School is being coordinated by Ned Serleth (Theater instructor) and volunteer to the Drama department (Susan Jay).

The projected needs to make improvements to the sound system and stage area is projected to cost $8300.

This includes the purchase of special microphones to allow audiences to hear better the drama musicals/plays and vocal/instrumental performances, improved acoustic hookup locations in the stage area, and removal of auditorium entrance doorway restrictions which prevent musical equipment being able to be moved on and off the stage.

If you would like to contribute to this project at SMHS, contact Susan Jay at 585-455-1671.

Euphonium virtuoso Brandon Jones returns!

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band kick off their seventh season with a salute to our Armed Services on Sunday, Sept. 28, at Stone Memorial High School Auditorium.

The band is excited to welcome back Technical Sergeant Brandon Jones, an alum of the band who is now a solo euphoniumist with The United States Air Force Band Ceremonial Brass, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

Brandon Jones

Brandon Jones will perform two solos with the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass

For tickets:
Tickets are available starting Monday, August 18 at our normal outlets; Cumberland Eye Care, First National Band of TN branches in Crossville and FFG, Bed & Biscuit Kennel, and at the Cumberland County Playhouse.

Questions, contact:

Dwight Wages
President, Founder, and Artistic Director

Young trumpet phenom Geoff Gallante performs May 17 with the SSSB

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) present their last concert of the 2013-2014 season on Saturday, May 17 at 7 pm at the beautiful 1200-seat Stone Memorial HS auditorium. The concert theme is Classics & Jazz and will include a wide variety of music styles. Business sponsors for the concert are: Bed & Biscuit Kennel (Season sponsor), State Farm Insurance (David Bell, agent), Caring Touch Therapeutic Massage, and Guest Artist sponsors – Flynn Sign Company, and the City of Crossville.

Geoff GallanteSpecial guest artist for this concert will be a 13-year-old trumpet phenom, Geoff Gallante, who hails from Washington, D.C., and has developed a national recognition for his highly advanced technical and musical skills. Geoff has already performed on the Jay Leno show, CBS and NBC national morning news programs, at the White House (and is still the youngest entertainer to perform there), the Lincoln Center, and with military bands and concert bands in 43 states. Geoff has many YouTube videos you can watch showing him performing a variety of styles from sacred, classical, popular, and jazz.

For this concert, Geoff with be playing four selections with the SSSB in accompaniment: “La Virgin de la Macarena,” a fiery Latin piece, “The Debutante,” a classic trumpet selection, “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” a cornet trio, and “Our Love is Here to Stay,” a flugelhorn jazz improvisation solo. Trumpet fans in particular will surely want to come hear Geoff, as he as been compared to a young Doc Severinsen or Wynton Marsalis, and will be a certain entertainment star of the future. His technical skills are unique, but it is his improvisation techique that will also amaze with its maturity beyond his years.

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band is a 30-musician ensemble of 27 brass musicians and three percussionists under the direction of Dr. Steven Sudduth, Director of Bands at Cumberland University in Williamsburg, KY. The musicians are top players from the areas of Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Cookeville and Crossville. They perform a wide variety of music at each concert and to follow the theme of Classic and Jazz, they will be playing the following pieces: “Entry of the Gladiators,” “American Patrol,” “Pittsburgh Overture,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,” a euphonium solo, the “Typewriter,” “A Russian Fantasy,” “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera, “1st Suite for Band” by Holst, and “Saints Go Marching In.”

Dwight Wages, founder and Artistic Director of the Southern Stars, says, “Our final concert of the season has for the past three years brought in national talent as our guest artists. We had Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor in 2012, and Pete Huttlinger in 2013—recording artists from Nashville—and now Geoff Gallante, who also has 2 CDs to his credit.”

“While it is a significant expense to provide artists of their stature, we do this with expectations that we will receive larger audiences who appreciate the risk we have taken to bring such unique performers to the Crossville area,” Wages says. “It is my sincere hope that people who may not have heard the Southern Stars before, take this opportunity to hear this outstanding group and to see young Geoff Gallante in action.”

Tickets for the concert are priced at $20 for Adults, and $5 for Students. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Cumberland Eye Care (Dr. Galloway) in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of TN branches in Fairfield Glade and Crossville, Cumberland County Playhouse box office and website, and Bed & Biscuit Kennel (off Peavine Road). Group tickets of 10 or more can be purchased for $17 ($3 discount) only from Dwight Wages by calling 931-484-6939.

Preview of the SSSB DVD, available for order

Video below is of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band, featuring a Euphonium duet with Brandon Jones and Layne Todd on Herbert L. Clarke’s “Cousins.”

This DVD was professionally recorded at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the campus of Maryville College in Maryville, TN. For information on ordering the DVD, contact Dwight Wages.

Young trumpet phenom Geoff Gallante to appear with SSSB as guest artist on May 17

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass’ final concert of the Crossville Concert Series will feature one of the rising stars in the trumpet world, 13-year-old Geoff Gallante, from Washington. D.C. as their guest artist. This concert will take place on Saturday, May 17 at 7pm in Crossville, TN at the Stone Memorial HS Auditorium located at 2800 Cook Road (near exit 320 of Interstate 40).

For this concert Geoff will be performing four selections with the Southern Stars: La Virgin de la Macarena – a flashy solo made famous by the likes of trumpet icons Doc Severinsen and Vinnie Dimartino; Herbert Clarke’s technically difficult solo – Debutante; he will play fluglehorn on a jazz rendition of Our Love Is Here to Stay; and finally he will join two members of the SSSB for a cornet trio version of Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.

The remainder of the concert program will be released at a later date, however, be certain it will contain a variety of music styles for a most enjoyable concert of “Premium Entertainment” for which the SSSB is known. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a virtuoso talent, who you will be able to look back on as “I was there” and heard this star in person!

Since first finding his older brother’s trumpet at age 4, Geoff has performed in distinguished venues and along side distinguished artists all across the country—not just as a concert band soloist but also as soloist with brass band, orchestra, as a featured jazz soloist, as national anthem performer and as church soloist.

Geoff has performed in 34 states nationwide—including 5 different ensembles of the U.S. Military. By the age of 6 he had already garnered guest soloist engagements with the likes of the The LOUISVILLE ORCHESTRA and DUKE ELLINGTON ORCHESTRA and PHILADELPHIA BRASS, one the the finest brass quintets in the land.

As anthem performer Geoff has appeared in 16 pro-sports venues across the country, including seven Major League Baseball stadiums, eight NBA arenas and one NHL arena. He’s the youngest instrumentalist , at 6-years-old, to ever perform at the White House and the Kennedy Center in D.C. Geoff’s network TV appearances include THE TONIGHT SHOW with Jay Leno, NBC’s TODAY show and the CBS EARLY SHOW.

In the jazz realm, Geoff is comfortable playing all styles, from traditional New Orleans style to small group straight-ahead jazz to classic big band and swing. As a ‘traditional’ jazz player he’s a member of the D.C. based award-winning CAPITOL FOCUS JAZZ BAND and as a big band trumpeter he plays in the BLUES ALLEY YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA.

As a contemporary, straight-ahead jazz performer, Geoff has shared the stage with such jazz icons as Maynard Ferguson, Dick Hyman and Bucky Pizzarelli, as well as a host of other distinguished jazz musicians including Grammy Award winners Earl Klugh, Kevin Mahogany, Chris Botti, and Christian McBride.

Geoff has performed in such prominent jazz venues as ANDY’S (chicago), BLUES ALLEY (D.C.), METROPOLITAN ROOM (NYC) and IRIDIUM (NYC), SCULLERS (Boston), Shanghai Jazz (NJ) and was a feature performer on the 2012 edition of ‘Jazz Fest at Sea ‘ cruise event.

In addition to solo engagements with professional orchestras in KY, MA, IL, IN & NJ, Geoff has soloed with some of America’s very finest symphonic bands, most notably, U.S. Naval Academy Concert Band, Ridgewood (NJ) Concert Band, Allentown (PA) Band, Wheaton (IL) Municipal Band, Compton Heights (St. Louis) Concert Band, Ames (IA) Municipal Band, Plano (TX) Community Band, Naples (Fla.) Concert Band, Fond Du Lac (WI) Symphonic Band, Northwinds Symphonic Band (GA) and Metropolitan (Boston) Wind Symphony. In 2012, Geoff was accorded the honor, at age 11, as guest soloist at the annual convention of the Association of Concert Bands in Poughkeepsie, NY.

SSSB presents “March Madness” concert on Sunday, Feb. 16

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) present their Winter concert of their Crossville Concert Series on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 3pm at the 1200-seat Stone Memorial High School auditorium in Crossville, TN. The concert location is at 2800 Cook Road, just north of Exit 320 from Interstate 40.

This 30-piece professional brass ensemble is comprised of 27 brass instrumental musicians and 3 percussionists who are the top musicians from Eastern & Middle Tennessee. Their music director, Dr. Steven Sudduth, is Director of Bands and low brass at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.

The concert will feature a variety of marches, thus the theme of March Madness. The march selections in the concert are from iconic composers of march music such as:

Edwin Franco Goldman’s March for Brasses, and Cheerio;
Karl L. King’s Melody Shop;
J.J. Richard’s The Waltonian, and John Philip Sousa’s Washington Post.

The remainder of the concert will include a variety of music styles/genres for which the SSSB’s concerts have become famous for providing. Selections include the following: MacArthur Park, Beautiful Dreamer, selections from Sound of Music, theme music from the movie Superman, George Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over Me, and I Got Rhythm, a xylophone duet, Black & White Rag, and the spiritual, Lord, Lord, You Sure Been Good to Me.

Concert sponsors are Bed & Biscuit Kennel, and Gordon Atchley of Farm Bureau Insurance.

Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door, and at the following locations for advance purchase:
1) Cumberland Eye Care Center (Dr. Stuart Galloway) in Fairfield Glade
2) First National Bank of TN branches in Crossville, and Fairfield Glade
3) Bed & Biscuit Kennel off Peavine Rd
4) Cumberland Co. Playhouse at their box office (931-484-5000) or their website.

There is still the opportunity to receive the benefits of season ticket holders by the purchase of a short-season ticket. For $35, you receive tickets to the Feb. 16 and May 17 concerts, along with reserved seating in our season ticket section and a savings of $5 off the price of single admission tickets.

New studio recording of the SSSB now available

The SSSB has recorded their second CD, and the release is titled: “Encore! Making Tracks”

Southern Stars Symphonic Brass recording session, Jan. 2014

SSSB recording session, Jan. 2014

The patrons of our concerts have been asking us when we will be making another CD. Our initial CD recorded in 2008, Live, In Concert!, was well received and the quality of that recording turned out very well considering it was recorded under “live” conditions.

“Encore! Making Tracks” was recorded in “studio” conditions at Stone Memorial High School’s auditorium on the weekend of Jan. 24 and 25.

We are alerting you of this CD project and encourage you to help us by purchasing some CD’s for yourself or friends, which will aid us with this important project. Initial sales of this CD have been brisk, so we encourage you to order soon to reserve yours from this limited production.

CD Selections

    “Encore! Making Tracks” has 12 selections that include a variety of music styles and music that has been popular in our concerts. Selections are:

    — Breezin’ Down Broadway
    — Georgia On My Mind……Flugelhorn solo – Chris McCormick
    — American Salute
    — Blue Rondo a la Turk
    — Gabriel’s Oboe….Cornet solo – Charles Decker, Flugelhorn
    solo – Chris McCormick

    — Black & White Rag……Xylophone duet – Kelly Jo & Erica

    — Circus Bee
    — Little Fugue in G Minor
    — Someone to Watch Over Me….Cornet solo – Charles Decker
    – I Got Rhythm
    — Lord, Lord, You Sure Been Good to Me…..Trombone solo –
    Adam Featherston, Trumpet solo – Chris McCormick

    — Amparito Roca

    CD Purchase

      The CD price is $17 each and shipping cost is $3.50 for 1-2 CD’s. Checks should be made out to SSSB, with the memo line stating “New CD”.

      Enclose a note providing your mailing address, email address and phone number for us to contact you related to status and/or mailing of the package you select.

      Send check and above information to:
      Dwight Wages
      c/o SSSB
      361 Rotherham Drive
      Crossville, TN 38558.

      I am confident that you will enjoy the music of “Encore! Making Tracks”. We have been receiving rave reviews on the outstanding quality of this CD, so we look forward to providing you with one or more for you collections.

      If you have any questions, please contact me at 931-484-6939 or email me at:


      Dwight Wages
      President & Founder
      Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band

SSSB Kick Off Sixth Season Saturday, Sept. 7

Here’s a sneak preview of Saturday’s performance from a recent rehearsal. This will be Brandon Jones’ last performance with the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band as he leaves to take his soloist position with the premiere ensemble of the USAF Military Bands.

Southern Stars to give concert June 29 at Maryville, TN Music Festival

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass has been invited to provide a featured concert on Saturday, June 29 at 6:30pm. This is part of a three-day festival of music that is being presented at the world-class Clayton Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Maryville College in Maryville, TN. Maryville is the next town south of the Knoxville airport.

This three-day festival begins on Friday, June 28 evening, continuing all day Saturday, and into the afternoon on Sunday.

“We have concert bands, a brass band, brass ensembles, adult and youth jazz ensembles, Dixieland band, swing bands, chamber music, flute ensemble, audience participation tribal drumming, klezmer band, and native American flute,” says Robert Hutchens, director of the Clayton Center.

Tickets are $25 for adults, and $10 for students for the entire weekend. These can be purchased (cash or check) at the box office at the Clayton Center.Credit card sales will incur a surcharge.

In addition, the festival has arranged a very special room rate at:
Candlewood Suites in Alcoa, TN (reserve at 865- 233-4411). Suite with Queen bed, full kitchen, and large bathroom for $59 plus tax. A double Queen suite is just $69. Consider making this a mini-vacation! Help us spread the word!

The following is the tentative schedule of events for the weekend for you to consider:

Friday, June 28: 7pm – East Tenn. concert Band 8:30 – Dixieland band Dancing to swing ensemble after 9pm

Saturday, June 29: 1pm – Joy Ride Jazz Septet 2pm – Knoxville youth jazz ensemble 3pm – Knoxville Jazz Orchestra
4:30 Dor L’Dor klezmar band 5:30 Craggy Top Brass Ensemble 6:30pm – Southern Stars 8:30 – Oak Ridge
Community Band 9:30pm – dancing to swing band

Sunday, June 30th: 2pm – Grace Note flute choir 3:30pm – Knoxville community band

We hope that you can come over to enjoy not only the Southern Stars, but the other groups who will be performing.

Below is the concert program which we plan to perform:

1. LIBERTY FANFARE …………………..John Williams
2. COUSINS……………….Herbert L. Clarke, Euphonium duet by Brandon Jones and Layne Todd
3. CARAVAN CLUB march…………………..K. L. King
4. JURASSIC PARK…………………..John Williams
5. MISTY…………………….Burke/Garner, flugelhorn soloist, Chris McCormick
6. SERENATA…………………Leroy Anderson
7. LITTLE FUGUE IN G MINOR…………………..J. S. Bach
8. SHOUTIN’ LIZA TROMBONE (trombone section feature)………………………Henry Fillmore
10. I DREAMED A DREAM (from Les Miserables)………………Claude- Michel Schonberg
11. SING, SING, SING………………………..Louis Prima……….featuring Chris McCormick (trumpet) and Kurt Snider (trap set)

Feel free to give me a call at 931-484-6939 for more information.

Dwight Wages, President & Founder – SSSB

Don’t miss guitarist Pete Huttlinger with the Southern Stars Brass

The April 20 concert is themed “Strings Attached!” and will feature as guest artist, Pete Huttlinger, who is recognized as a virtuoso acoustic guitar musician.

“Pete is another internationally known Nashville artist whose technique on the acoustic guitar will amaze our audience,” Wages says. “He cut his guitar chops playing with the John Denver band, was the National finger-picking guitar champion, and is a composer of his own music. Pete has a great sense of humor which he mixes into his performances.”

Pete Huttlinger

“Nashville artists such as Vince Gill, LeAnn Rimes, and John Oates (of Hall & Oates) are just a few of his admirers who recognize Pete as an extremely gifted musician”, Dwight continues. “We are very fortunate to be able to attract guest artists of this caliber. It is a credit to the SSSB, and our audiences who have appreciated having talent like Buddy Greene, Jeff Taylor, and now Pete coming to Crossville to share their brand of entertainment.”

Check out Pete Huttlinger on YouTube playing Stevie Wonder’s Superstition to see what a treat you are in for to hear Pete in person.

The concert program for Strings Attached! is as follows:

1) Klaxon march by Fillmore, 2) Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) – cornet soloist Joel Tillman, 3) Hey Jude – featuring Pete Huttlinger with the Southern Stars, 4) I Dreamed a Dream (from Les Miserables), 5) “Neath the Dublin Skies” – featuring Brandon Jones on a euphonium solo, 6) Little Fugue in G Minor by JS Bach, 7) Vitae Aeternum (Eternal Live) – featuring a major brass band work built around 3 hymn tunes. INTERMISSION 8) a 30 minutes set of solo selections by Pete Huttlinger, 9) Liberty Fanfare – celebrating the centennial of the Statue of Liberty, 10) Make His Praise Glorius, 11) Sing, Sing, Sing – featuring Pete Huttlinger, Chris McCormick (jazz trumpet), and Kurt Snider (trap set) accompanied by the SSSB.

Tickets are $20 for Adults, $5 for students, and are available at the following locations: Cumberland Eye Care in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of TN branches in Crossville and Fairfield Glade, Bed & Biscuit Kennels, and at the Cumberland County Playhouse box office and website (a small handling charge will apply at CCP).

The concert is being held at the Central Baptist Church in Crossville, not at our regular venue of Stone Memorial High School. The church is located at 1346 S. Main Street, at the intersection of Miller Bypass and Highway 127 South. The sanctuary seats nearly 1,200, and there is a wonderful balcony for those who enjoy looking down into the the band to see all of the musicians. Click here for a map: