The Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) are presenting a free admission Christmas concert on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 3 p.m. at the beautiful and acoustically fine 1200 seat Stone Memorial High School 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 Happy Hound Realty, Cookeville Regional Medical Center and the City of Crossville.
The SSSB are now in their seventh 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 three percussionists 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 "Thirty Horns a Playing" as a tie-in to a special arrangement of the traditional holiday season favorite of the "12 Days of Christmas" which the Southern Stars will debut at this concert. They can assure you that you have never heard this selection performed in such a virtuoso fashion as the SSSB will provide the audience. The concert will feature several of the SSSB musicians on solos, including their principal musicians from the cornet section (Alex Wilborn), trombone (Adam Featherston), flugelhorn (Chris McCormick) and euphonium (Dr. Kelly Thomas, UT Tuba/Euphonium professor). In addition, the Southern Stars will feature local resident and opera trained vocalist Brenda Frye in her dynamic soprano presentation of Handel's composition of "Let the Bright Seraphim," accompanied by the elegant piccolo trumpet flourishes of Alex Wilborn.
The rest of the concert will include other holiday offerings such as "Christmas Day March," "Holly & Ivy," "Go Tell it On the Mountain" (swing band style), "O Magnum Mysterium," "Angels on High" (trombone solo), "White Christmas," "Christmas Festival," "Christmas Rejoicing," "Infant Holy" (Euphonium solo), "Still/Still/Still," "3 Kings Swing," "The Christmas Song" aka Chestnuts Roasting (flugelhorn solo), and "Sleigh Ride."
There are no 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 by qualified mental health professionals to people of Cumberland and surrounding counties. The other recipient is Stone Memorial High School's drive to purchase equipment to improve the sound system in the auditorium.
As an additional treat, local portrait painter John Simms will have a display gallery in the lobby of some of his outstanding and award winning paintings for which he has been highly acclaimed. These will be displayed for your viewing pleasure and you will have the opportunity to meet this highly talented artist.
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 3 p.m. 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.