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Symphony to perform annual concert

From big band to marching band, concertos to jazz, the Ole Brook Wind Symphony’s repertoire includes it all and they’re bringing it to the community Thursday in a free concert.

The group of amateur and professional musicians will present its annual fall concert at 7 p.m. at Easthaven Baptist Church on Hwy. 84.

The concert is free and open to the public.

While many in the symphony are retired band directors, there’s also a dentist, interior designer, teacher, banker, radiation tech and engineer. The Ole Brook Wind Symphony began in 2001 as an idea by Susan Jones and Patsy Warren, who’d been to other community concerts and felt like Brookhaven needed to be represented as well. The symphony was formed as a way for local musicians to come together and play and it allows members to express their talents.

Jones and Warren were joined by Shaw Furlow, George Edmonson and Stanley Stewart. Only Stewart still plays with the symphony, said spokesman Steve Edge, the engineer who has been the tuba player with the group since 2003.

The symphony is a completely volunteer group and anyone who plays brass, woodwind or percussion instruments is invited to join.

There is no age limit, dues or fees and no audition is required to join.

“They need to be able to play the music and in most cases should have their own instrument,” Edge said. However, other musicians in the group can help with finding an instrument if one is not available, he said.

Directors for this concert are Stewart, Leroy Smith, and Jane Graves.

About 30 musicians are expected to perform at Thursday’s concert.

The program includes “Gallant Seventh” by John Philip Sousa, “Let Us Break Bread Together” arrangement by Thomas Root, “Zacatecas Mexican March” by Genaro Codina, “Slavonic Folk Suite” by Alfred Reed, “The Seal Lullaby” by Eric Whitcare, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” arrangement by Don Gillis, “The Golden Age of Broadway” by Rodgers and Hammerstein II and a salute to the armed forces.

The jazz band will perform “Round Midnight,” “Little Brown Jug,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street” and “What a Wonderful World” with featured soloist Christopher Hart.

Stephanie Greer will be the featured soloist on “The Seal Lullaby.”

The Ole Brook Wind Symphony is a nonprofit organization.  Edge said the group usually spends money on sheet music and other band-related expenses throughout the year, so donations are greatly appreciated.

The symphony will also share its love of the holiday season with a free Christmas concert Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at the State Theatre on State Street in McComb. They’ll perform much of the same music as the fall concert but also some Christmas songs, Edge said.