The 10th anniversary of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass has brought wonderful concerts to Crossville just as it has for a decade.

The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) is celebrating their 10th anniversary. Since 2008, the SSSB has been bringing professional brass band concerts to Crossville. 

The music and style of a brass band is unique and I felt that residents would support a high quality professional group,” said Dwight Wages, SSSB founder. 

Wages wanted to establish a brass band similar to those in which he performed in Cincinnati and Toronto. His vision for SSSB was that concerts would be viewed as “premium entertainment,” SSSB would be acknowledged as one of the top brass bands in North America and SSSB would be invited to perform at nationally recognized brass band festivals. The SSSB also wanted to support instrumental music programs in local schools with its Lonely Instruments Needing Kids (LINKS) initiative collecting 47 used instruments and donating them to music programs, as well as provide financial support for music programs like Support the Arts (STARTS) and local non-profits like Bread of Life. 

“While there is more to be done in supporting the instrumental music programs of Cumberland County, what will really help us achieve more is to get even more residents to experience our concerts,” Wages said. 

Every concert season, SSSB performs a series of three themed concerts, as well as benefits and festivals. 

Conducted by Dr. Steven Sadduth, SSSB also has been known to feature artistically inclined musicians as unique as the SSSB itself lending the stage to a musical integration, melting their brands of music together to create something new and wonderful. Fascinating musicians such as Buddy Greene, Pete Huttlinger, Jeff Taylor, Matt Combs, Alex Wilborn and local talents from the Cumberland County Playhouse have graced the stage as featured guest performers of the SSSB. 

Generally, brass bands like SSSB have an incredible sound- it sounds like patriotism, like victory, triumphant and optimistic. The music is reviving and genuinely moving. SSSB’s sound rocks you like a mother– swaying back and forth in a rolling tide, it swells and builds up to a precipice before swallowing its audience up into a breaking wave of glorious sounds. Brass band sounds are surprisingly smooth, rich and yield an ebb and flow of emotions to match. 

SSSB is comprised of 30 professional musicians playing all manner of brass and percussion instruments, including: cornets, flugelhorns, alto horns, baritones, euphoniums, tenor and bass trombones, tubas, tympani, snare drums, bass drums, xylophone, chimes, cymbals, marimba, vibraphone and concert bells.

The final concert of the SSSB's 10th Anniversary season, "Broadway and Big Screen," is set for Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. at the Stone Memorial High School auditorium. The concert will feature guest vocalist Susan Jay. Advance tickets are $22 for adults and $5 for students and are available at Cumberland Eye Care in Fairfield Glade, First National Bank of Tennessee branches in Crossville and Fairfield Glade and Bed & Biscuit Kennel. For more information, contact Dwight Wages at 484–6939. 

Happy anniversary, SSSB, for a decade of making a joyful noise in Crossville.  

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at

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