Wind Symphony readies for ’21 season

Published 10:00 am Saturday, November 27, 2021

For the first time since COVID-19 raised its ugly head, the beautiful, comforting sounds of Christmas will come again from the Ole Brook Wind Symphony.

“Due to COVID, this will be our first concert since November 2019,” said Steve Edge.

Performances are set for 7 p.m., Dec. 14, at the State Street Theatre, 222 State St., McComb, and 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at Easthaven Baptist Church, 130 Hwy. 84 E in Brookhaven.

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Founded in 2001 by way of Susan Jones and Patsy Warren’s idea that Brookhaven needed a symphony much as other community concerts had entertaining its listeners, a volunteer group took shape with the addition of Stanley Stewart, Shaw Furlow and George Edmonson. The symphony includes brass, woodwind and percussion players and is conducted by Leroy Smith, a retired McComb band leader.

Anyone who plays brass, woodwind or percussion instruments is always invited to join, even at this late date. There are no age limits, dues, fees or auditions required to join.

This year, the symphony will play the following:

• “El Capitan,” by John Philip Sousa

• “They Led My Lord Away,” by Adoniram J. Gordon, arranged by Fred J. Allen

• “A Welsh Rhapsody,” by Clare Grundman

• “Clarinet Escapade” by Russell Ward, featuring the Old Brook clarinet section

• Gypsy Rhapsody,” by Uri Hodoroz, a Clarinet solo with symphonic band, featuring Jane Graves

• “Armed Forces — The Pride of America!,” arranged by Larry Clark and Greg Gilpin

• “Glenn Miller in Concert” (In the Mood, Tuxedo Junction, A String of Pearls, Little Brown Jug and Pennsylvania 6-5000), arranged by Paul Murtha

• “El Relicario Paso Doble,” by Jose Padilla, arranged by Robert Longfield

• “A Jazzy Christmas” (We Wish You a Merry Christmas, O Christmas Tree, Good King Wenceslas), arranged by Johnnie Vinson

• “Feliz Navidad,” by Jose Feliciano, arranged by Chris Sharp

• “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” by Edward Pola and George Wyle, arranged by Chris Sharp

• “Sleigh Ride,” by Leroy Anderson

The group has been practicing every Tuesday at the Alexander Junior High band room in Brookhaven. Edward Cutrer, a retired Pike County teacher, taught for 36 years and he’s excited to be part of the symphony.

“Leroy contacted me to invite me to come play and here I am,” he said with a grin. “I played for two of years before COVID and it’s given me a way to keep playing. Leroy is a fine director and our concerts are quite entertaining.”

Members of this year’s symphony and their occupations include:

Flute: Sandi May, Monticello, sales; Stephenie Sullivan, Meadville, Workforce at CLCC

Oboe: Dr. Donna Foster, Brookhaven, dentist

Clarinet: Beth Boehm, Summit, retired teacher; Mac Flowers, Monticello, retired teacher; Jane Graves, McComb, retired band director; Stephanie Greer, Jayess, SMCC Nursing and associate vice president; Dr. Carrie Nunnery, Summit, veterinarian

Bass clarinet: Dawn McKenzie, Summit, teacher; Elizabeth Smith, McComb, hair stylist

Alto Sax: Koty Cox, Summit, cabinetry; Stephen Evans, Brookhaven, retail

Tenor Sax: Hannah Cox, Summit; Kyle Beckham, McComb, band director

French Horn: Dylan Becker, Brookhaven, student; Sydney Bilbo, Brookhaven, band director

Trumpet: Anne Berthold, Raymond, oncology nurse practitioner and Mississippi Symphony musician; Amanda Chapman, McComb, correctional officer; Eugene Cutrer, Osyka, retired teacher; Debbie Halford, Meadville, Chancery judge

Trombone: Bryan Calcote, Copiah County physician; Charles McCall, McCall Creek, retired band director; Kenny Westbrook, Smithdale, retired oil industry

Baritone: Bill Dowdy, Wesson, radiation protection at Entergy

Tuba: Steve Edge, Brookhaven, engineer; Emma Mirabal, Brookhaven, student

Bass: Bob Jones, McComb, retired band director

Percussion: Dr. Pat Barrett, Jackson, retired orthopedic surgeon; Carley Greer, Jayess, student; Bill Halford, Meadville, attorney; Ryan Walker, McComb, orthotic fitter; Madison White, McComb, student; Morgan White, McComb, student