Christmas concert rocks Claudia Crosby Theater

Published 11:00 pm Monday, December 9, 2013

The “Shelia Jackson and Friends” Christmas concert at the Claudia Crosby Theater Friday night brought down the house. Not just at the close of the concert but as the curtain came down at intermission.

Jackson closed the first half of the concert with a rousing rendition of “God Bless the USA” with a stage-size American Flag as a backdrop and the audience responded with thunderous applause.

Those who attended the annual Christmas concert would be hard pressed to decide which half of the concert they enjoyed more, said Leigh Anne Windham.

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“Shelia’s friends are a wonderfully talented group of singers, musicians and dancers and I enjoyed the first half of the concert which was more Broadway and pop music and, then, I loved the second half which was Christmas music,” Windham said. “I enjoyed the variety of the musical numbers.”

Windham said that she appreciates Jackson’s bringing local artists to the stage.

“We have so much talent in our area and Shelia showcases others’ talent as well as her own,” Windham said. “The Carver High School Choir was wonderful. It was a fantastic concert for all ages and for all musical interests and a wonderful beginning to the Christmas season.”

Ruth Walker, president of the sponsoring Troy Arts Council, said, too, that the “Shelia Jackson and Friends” concert was a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season.

“What always impresses me is that Shelia brings together so many talented people from the community,” Walker said. “Of course, Shelia is such a talented singer and performer that she could do the concert herself but, instead, she includes a large number of talented people from the community.”

Tony Terry, WSFA-TV’s “Today in Alabama’ anchor, was the concert emcee and enhanced the program with her introductions and comments, Walker said.

“The musicians were outstanding, the dancers were so graceful and the Children’s Chorus was magnificent,” she said. “Children are such a part of Christmas that having them was very special. The Carver High School Choir was impressive.

“Shelia’s family is very talented. Her son, Patrick, is a very good, young saxophone player and he seems to get better all the time. The entire concert was outstanding. We are fortunate to have such talent here in Pike County and to have so many great guest artists participating in the concert.”

Jackson expressed appreciation the Troy Arts Council for sponsoring the concert and to all of those who joined her on stage and those who packed the theater.

“It’s uplifting to be surrounded by so many talented people,” she said. “Everyone worked extremely hard to prepare for the concert and I thank them all for being a part of what, to me, is such a special time with friends on the stage and in the audience. It’s a wonderful time of the year when we come together to celebrate the season and remember the real reason for the season.”