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!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.

Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band Announce 2015-16 Crossville Concert Series

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band, a 30-piece professional brass ensemble directed by Dr. Steven Sudduth, has announced their 2015-16 Season

All concerts are in the Stone Memorial High School auditorium, a beautiful 1200-seat facility. Ticket price for Adults is $22 each for the first two concerts and $25 for the final concert. Student tickets are $5. Season tickets for the three-concert Crossville series is a bargain at $50. Season ticket holders sit in a reserved section and can exchange tickets for a different concert if they need to miss a concert.

Purchase Southern Stars season tickets by Wednesday, Sept. 9, and receive an invitation to attend a reception on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 3:00 pm at the Fairfield Glade Community Church.

In addition to more details about the concerts, light refreshments will be served including a drawing for FREE season tickets, FREE individual concert tickets, back-stage passes to meet the guest artists, and more.

The first concert of the season has the theme, ALL IN THE FAMILY. This concert takes place on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 3:00 pm featuring SSSB musician soloists, including highly-talented off-spring of some of the band’s members.

Featured are a father/son cornet duet, cornet solo, vocal solo (daughter of a musician), and a tuba soloist.

In addition, the band will separately play a variety of music styles in addition to accompanying the soloists.

The second concert in the series is themed CASTLES, HIGHLANDS AND MOORS, and takes place on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 3:00 pm.

This second concert will feature music of Ireland, Scotland, England and connections to North America. A vocal guest artist (a future announcement) will be performing as well.

The third and final concert in the Crossville Series will feature a return of BUDDY GREENE & FRIENDS on Saturday, April 16 at 7:00 pm.

Greene is a frequent guest on the Bill Gaither Gospel shows and travels internationally as an entertainer. In addition to playing a couple of selections with the SSSB, Buddy Greene and his Nashville musician sidemen, will give a 30-minute separate concert as part of this great evening of music.

Tickets can be purchased through the Cumberland County Playhouse’s ticketing system online at: or by call the Playhouse box office at 931-484-5000.

Tickets are also available at the brass band’s corporate, season sponsors: Bed & Biscuit Kennel, Farm Bureau Insurance (Gordon Atchley), Cumberland Eye Care (Dr. Stuart Galloway), and State Farm Insurance (David Bell).

Questions? Contact the Southern Stars Brass Founder and President, Dwight Wages, at 931-484-6939.

Southern Stars to present “Walking with Heroes” concert, Saturday, April 18

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) will present their last concert for this season on Saturday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the beautiful 1,200 seat auditorium at Stone Memorial High School. The concert title, “Walking with Heroes,” is to remember great people living and passed such as teachers, family members, friends, leaders and celebrities who have touched our lives.  Their influence stays with us wherever we are, thus we are always “Walking with Heroes.”

This concert is sponsored by Bed & Biscuit Kennel (season sponsor) and the State Farm Insurance – David Bell agency and Gernt Insurance – Art Gernt agency (concert co-sponsors).

The SSSB is a 30-piece professional brass ensemble of top musicians from Eastern and Middle Tennessee that comprises 27 brass musicians and three to four percussionists. The conductor is Dr. Steven Sudduth, director of bands at the University of the Cumberlands. The musicians include university music department professors, secondary instrumental music educators and exception musicians from other careers who are also highly skilled instrumentalists.

This is the brass band’s seventh full season of presenting a three-concert music series in Crossville. They are highly recommended by those who have attended their concerts, and a attendees can expect a wonderful night of musical entertainment.

The April 18 concert program includes: “Walking with Heroes” – an inspirational, championship-level composition; “Hymn for Diana” – music inspired by the tragic death of Princess Diana; “William Tell Overture” – which contains the familiar “Lone Ranger” theme music for the masked man hero; “You Raise Me Up” – Josh Grogan’s hit about inspiration; “April in Paris” – flugelhorn solo by Chris McCormick; “Firebird Suite” excerpts –  where the mystical Firebird rises like a phoenix to glory.
Other selections include marches such as “Valdres” and “Punchinello,” “Drink to Me (Only)” – Eb soprano cornet soloist, Stephen Collins, “La Danza,” and “Hornpipe Humouresque” – a tribute to sailors who sailed the seven seas.

Tickets for this concert are $20 for adults, and $5 for children. Tickets can be obtained at the following locations: Cumberland Eye Care Center (Drs. Galloway and Holt) in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of Tennessee locations in Crossville and Fairfield Glade, Bed & Biscuit Kennel off of Peavine, and at the Cumberland County Playhouse box office by calling 931-484-5000, and the Playhouse’s website.  Shake off the winter blues and come hear the Southern Stars provide heroic music to send you home inspired.

SSSB Performs in Knoxville this Saturday, March 21

The Southeast Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference will be the hosted by Dr. Kelly Thomas and the University of Tennessee School of Music March 19-21, 2015, and the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band is slated to perform.

The conference will feature artists and ensembles from throughout the region. In addition, the conference will be featuring a unique competition format, administered by David Zerkel (Professor of Tuba/Euphonium, University of Georgia).

Click here for a schedule of events in PDF format

Other ensembles slated to appear at the conference include:

4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra
Midtown Brass Quintet
New Acoustic Metal Experiment
University of North Carolina Greensboro Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
Ohio University Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
Henderson State University Tuba Choir
North Florida Tuba-Euphonium Explosion
Valdosta State University Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
East Tennessee State University Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
University of South Carolina Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
University of Tennessee Faculty Brass Quintet
Tennessee Technological University Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
University of West Georgia Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
University of North Carolina Pembroke Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble
Charlotte Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble

Feb. 8 concert features guests vocalist Brenda Frye, and the Tennessee Tech Trumpet Sextet

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass perform Sunday, Feb. 8 at 3 pm at Stone Memorial HS in Crossville. The theme is “Curtain Up!” and will feature music of Broadway, TV, and the movies.

Guest vocalist is Brenda Frye, a terrific soprano, who will sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Softly, As I Leave You.” Other special guests for this concert are the Tennessee Technological University Trumpet Sextet, who will perform the “Overture to Candide.”

Special soloists for this concert include and a xylophone solo by Kelly Jo Birmingham on the piece, “Xylophonia.” The rest of the program will be drawn from the following: Strike Up the Band, Fanfare & Flying Theme (from “E.T.”), Liberty Bell March, Disney Fantasy, Overture to the John Wayne class movie the “Cowboys,” Cartoon Classics, St. Louis Blues, and John Williams in Concert.

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