Local artist to perform holiday concert

Lacey Alexander

Staff Writer

Local talent Shelia Jackson and an array of guest artists will be presenting their annual holiday concert on Friday, Dec. 9.

Vocalists, dancers and musicians will be joining Jackson to present a holiday show in the Claudia Crosby Theater.

Jackson performs a show around the holiday season in Troy every year. Christine Amonson, assistant professor of voice and opera at Troy, said that the show is a “classic tradition.”

“She’s a local legend,” Amonson said. “She’s entertaining, magical … Her concerts are a gift to the community.”

Jackson, who serves as director of public relations for the city of Troy, has been performing in the Troy area for many years.

She was a featured vocalist in 2013 when Troy presented a staged reading of “Four Little Girls” for the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

The director of that reading, Quinton Cockrell, associate professor of theater and dance, will be joining Jackson for this year’s concert. He will be singing “On the Street Where You Live” from the musical “My Fair Lady.”

“We have worked together for many years, and it’s always an enjoyable experience,” Cockrell said. “I just love Shelia so much.

“She’s a great talent and a hardworking woman. She’s an example for my all of my students.”

Theater and dance students of Troy will be among the guest artists in Jackson’s show. Theater major Rebekah Wall will be among the many students joining Jackson on stage.

Wall, who is a backup dancer for Jackson’s performance of “All I Want for Christmas,” said that multiple people from the school have come together for the concert.

Dance faculty Nicki Loud will be choreographing the backup dancing for “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

“I’ve never done or seen the show before,” said Wall, a senior theater major from Anniston, “but I’m looking forward to it to get me in the Christmas spirit. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

John Jinright, associate professor of music, will be accompanying Jackson on piano. Jinright, who has accompanied Jackson in her annual concert since 2009, said that her concerts are popular with the community.

“Her appeal is quite unmatched,” Jinright said. “This concert is one of the most attended every year, consistently.

“It’s very rewarding to see the community come together every year for this event.”

Shelia Jackson’s son, Patrick Jackson, is a sophomore theater major at Troy. He said that his mother inspires him to be a better performer.

“My mom and I have been performing together since I was a little kid,” Patrick said. “I’ve looked up to her and her performing ability my whole life. … She brings a certain type of energy every time she grabs a microphone.

“When I’m on stage, I want to be able to be that versatile and bring that energy.”

“Shelia Jackson and Friends” will start at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for students and $10 for general admission. A limited number of free tickets for students are available in the choral office in Long Hall.

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