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The members of Southern Stars Symphonic Brass will represent Crossville in the Great American Brass Band Festival next month. Dwight Wages, SSSB founder and member, expects this performance to booth the group’s national recognition.

Crossville's Southern Stars Symphonic Brass (SSSB) has been invited to perform a concert at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, KY, in June.   

"This event is the preeminent brass band festival in all of North America, and was one of the top goals on our mission statement of objectives for the band to become nationally recognized," said SSSB founder and member Dwight Wages. "To be invited to this in only the third year of our organization is a tribute to not only the band, but to those who have supported us to date. We are very grateful for that support."

This festival is in its 21st season of providing free concerts featuring top professional brass ensembles from North America and occasionally Europe, Wages said. This season there will be 15 different ensembles performing for the weekend festival, scheduled for June 12-13. There will be two other brass bands the size of the SSSB, three brass quintets, two New Orleans/Cajun style brass bands, the 202nd US Army band, a Dixieland group, a Civil War era band, a jazz/big band, a wind ensemble band, and even a Clown band, Wages said.

"To be invited to perform here is validation that we are being recognized outside of the Tennessee area and will really boost our national recognition," Wages said. "This weekend event often brings 30-40 thousand visitors to Danville, and it is not uncommon to perform for an audience of 10,000."  

The band members are excited to be representing Crossville at this event, Wages said. "Despite the fact many of the band's members have been professional musicians for several decades, few have had the opportunity to play for an audience of the size that will be there in Danville, or maybe even cumulatively, for their entire career," he said.

The band's concert is scheduled for Saturday, June 12, at 2 p.m. on the Main Stage on the mall of Centre College in Danville. They have 10 scheduled pieces to perform that day, including "Misty," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and selections from "Chicago" the musical.

"We hope that some of our supporters can come up to hear this special performance, plus have the opportunity to hear other tremendous music from the other ensembles," Wages said.  

Concerts begin at 9 a.m. on June 12 and continue until 10 p.m. that evening. Concerts will begin again at noon on Sunday, and continue to 5 p.m, with free admission. Danville is only 115 miles north of Crossville and you can easily go up and back on the same day to enjoy these concerts in a relaxed outdoor atmosphere, Wages said.

Wages says if you like what the SSSB does, then the other two 30 piece brass bands present are "guaranteed to thrill you at another level." Fountain City Brass Band has won the North American and US Open championships four consecutive years and just returned from a tour of the United Kingdom, where they won the Scottish Open Championships against 20 other UK brass bands. The Canadian Staff Band of the Salvation Army is also recognized as one of the very top bands internationally. The website for more information about the festival is GABBF.com.  If you would like more information about the festival, you may call Dwight Wages at 484-6939 or email at dwight.wages@gmail.com.

"The Southern Stars will be representing Crossville at this event, and we are thankful for financial sponsorship from the City of Crossville to help defray expenses for the band to perform in Danville," Wages said.  Since the event in Danville is attended by visitors from around the country, the band's performance will be "helpful in letting the audience become aware of this cultural gem and the fact that Crossville has a lot to offer visitors and future residents," he said.

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