As Memphis evenings go, it was an eclectic night of song and music accented by the talents of local artists, along with the vocal and instrumental skills of Southwest Tennessee Community College students.
Billed as “Live Off Beale,” the Sept. 26 event was a musical benefit for Southwest music students held at Southwest Tennessee Community College Theatre, 737 Union Medical Center.
For Memphis Community Voices, a new choral ensemble, it was debut night. Composed of community singers and Southwest students, the ensemble performed spirituals and hymns arranged for them and directed by Charles Pender, the group’s founder and a professor in Southwest’s Department of Communications, Graphics and Fine Arts.
Among the solos were performances by tenor Winston Merriweather, contralto Cristian Robinson and alto LaShay Brown.
Violinist Tammy Holt and trumpeter Johnny Yancey, both Memphis musicians, joined Southwest student musicians in performing blues, classical, gospel and jazz selections, many of which featured a string quartet, horn section and a full rhythm section.
The event sponsors were Circle Music, Lane Music and the Memphis Jazz Workshop.