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Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor

Mississippi Sings Performance

Many talented people got their start right here in our home town.  Maybe they took piano or voice or even guitar.  They might have played in the school band or even sung in the school choir.  This week, one of those talented Grenadians returns to his roots to perform with the Grenada Middle School choirs.

            “Mississippi Sings”, a program featuring music written about Mississippi, or written orrecorded by Mississippi artists, will be performed by the GMS choirs on Thursday, February 16, 2012, at the Grenada High School Auditorium.  Featured during the program will be Mississippi musician Raphael Semmes, a former Grenadian, who will perform his original song “Mississippi Feels Like Coming Home.”

            Semmes recalls the start of his career when he performed for his 1st grade class at Lizzie Horn Elementary School.  He later taught himself to play bass guitar and assembled several local rock and rhythm and blues bands that played for parties in the area.  During his career Semmes has lived and performed in music hotspots such as Los Angeles and Memphis but eventually returned to make Mississippi his home once again.  “Wherever music takes me it becomes more evident that it all begins and ends here.  Some of the key architects of popular music from blues and early rock and roll to Motown are products of this very town and county,” Semmes related.  “The music is here…in the air, in the water, and especially in the people.” 

            Other songs presented during “Mississippi Sings” include Star Spangled Banner; Blue Suede Shoes; Look Around, Mississippi; LA Woman MS Man; Love the Way You Love Me; Rubberneckin’; Mississippi Girl; Little Less Conversation; Mississippi Mud; Jailhouse Rock; Ode to Billy Joe; Up the Mississippi; Cream of the Crop; Delta Blues; This Little Light of Mine; Hound Dog; What a Wonderful State; and God Bless America.

             Another local performer, Terry Lyons, will also be featured on guitar with one of the GMS choirs.  Lyons is employed by the Grenada Middle School as an instructor and also coaches the GHS golf team.  He performs locally with his band “Midlife Crisis.”  Additionally, GHS Visions members Shane Harbin and Mark Campbell, on keyboard and drums respectively, will be featured as they accompany two of the groups. 

     GMS choir groups featured in “Mississippi Sings” include Showtimers, Ovations, Starz, Sensations, and Entertainers.  Student Showtimers performers are:  Kassidy Barker, Reagan Bennett, Casalee Burroughs, Abby Byars, Christina Dowdle, Ebony Ellis, Mallory England, Madison Martin, Maeci McCullough, Rylee Payne, Jakeddrick Robinson, Mercedes Townsend, Kaila White, and Drew Williams.  Ovations members include Reed Austin, Will Baker, Jared Barnes, Caitlin Blair, Ben Brasher, Savannah Correro , Easton Curry, Cale Gatlin, Lindsey Griffin, Katelin Hayward, Erin Hill, Elizabeth Lee, Marcus Leigh, Alexa Lucius, Tripp McCrory, David Meadows, Shelby Moorman, Danielle Robinson, Zakiriah Sizemore, Mickaeya Spencer, Leggett Steed, Frederick Tidwell, and Peyton Trotter.  Starz students are Faith Alexander, Paige Austin, Hope Barker, Ayanna Berry, Kaylee Clanton, Shaye Conner, Jillian Conner, Courtney Dees, Jazmen Everette, Ty Fair, Anna Marie Gray, Anna Hayward, Bradford James, Adriana Jones, Jake Jones, Kelsey Lipe, Hannah Livingston, Raina Livingston, Drew McClain, KK McCrary, John Michael McDaniel, Trey Moore, Miracle Moore, Jaime Muilwyk, Kendall Preston, Catherine Reeves, Lauren Rodgers, Austin Simmons, and Isaac Spears.  Members of Sensations include Hunter Austin, Jordan Byford, Carley Caulder, Lasavier Daniels, Raylin Ellis, Joy Everett, Glenneisa Frost, Nyesha Harvey, Devin Jordan, Diamond Joseph-Learyk McKenzie McCalop, Jessi Morgan, Kushun Round, and Taylor Vaden.  The Entertainers consist of Rylee Artman, Anna Bradlie Blair, Carson Carrithers, Brent Dalton, Taylor Garlington, Robin Holly, Bailey Muselwhite, Noah Porter, Sloane Reid, Melissa Sones, Katie-Noelle Steed, Ladarius Thurmond, and  Jaylon Townsend. 

            “Mississippi Sings” takes place this Thursday, February 16, 2012, at 6:00p.m., in the GHS Auditorium.  Admission is $3.00 for adults and $1 for students. Raphael Semmes said it best, “Can you imagine what a great band you could assemble from just the musicians that have come from Grenada?  It would be awesome!  In fact, music’s next major star could be sitting in Gale Dorroh’s class RIGHT NOW!  I wouldn’t doubt it!” 

            Don’t miss your chance to see Grenada’s next star!  Make plans to attend “Mississippi Sings” today!