CULLMAN, Ala. – Seed-Harvest Music Academy brought holiday cheer with its fifth annual Cullman Christmas Sing-Along Concert this week at St. John’s Evangelical Church.
Seed-Harvest is run by husband and wife Micah and Brittany Simpson.
Brittany Simpson said of the concert, “We’ve done this ever since we’ve opened up; we schedule our Christmas concert and it’s probably our biggest concert of the year. We have performers that are soloists, so all of his (Micah Simpson’s) private lesson students, they have the opportunity, if they want, to perform in this concert, to perform a solo piece.”
She continued, “Then, it’s all of my classes- that’s primarily what I do, I teach the elementary and pre-school classes- they also get to perform a few songs for their parents. I try to make it fun and combine as many as the ensembles as possible, and we’ve grown so much we’ve had to have two separate concerts now. The first concert was my classes, so our Junkyard Percussion, World Percussion, Sprouts 1 and Sprouts 2 and our Christmas singers, as well as our Sweet Keys, which is our elementary and preschool age keyboard classes, String Beans which is elementary and preschool violin classes and our Junior Guitar Ensembles. So, all of those classes, especially the beginners, they get their first performance under the belt.”
Simpson said the larger ensembles made up the second concert.
“Our second concert is our larger ensembles, and we still had a couple that didn’t get to perform this time, but we did have our Jazz Band, Senior Orchestra and Beginner Orchestra,” she said. “At other concerts we also have our Cullman Youth Strings program and Senior Guitar Ensemble. Those are a couple of other things that we offer.”
Simpson believes performing teaches important life skills.
“Well, it’s always exciting to be able to provide an opportunity for them to perform, because you can take lessons and you can take classes and things like that, but giving opportunities to perform really grows a musician, especially when they’re young, giving them those opportunities helps them later in life,” she said. “They may not stick with music, but getting them in front of a crowd and having them be a part of a group or an ensemble, it teaches them a lot of things like teamwork and being able to know that if you make a mistake, it’s okay and just keep going, just those sorts of things. Just getting used to being in front of an audience. And like I said, we’re just excited we get to continue to do that every year and that it keeps growing. The biggest problem that we have right now is continuing to be able to fit everyone that we have, and that’s a good problem to have.”
Tuesday’s concert featured 20 soloists and 13 groups.
The soloist performers were:
- John Aiden Cregan on drums and Samuel Cregan on tuba performing “Frosty the Snowman”
- Whitlan Harris on guitar performing “Away in a Manger”
- Tripp Moseley on piano performing “O Christmas Tree”
- Logan Perdue on guitar performing “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas”
- Miles Dawsey on piano performing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
- Emmaline Powell on violin performing “Up on the Housetop”
- Lucy Williamson on piano performing “Deck the Halls”
- Zarah Kate Harden on piano performing “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”
- Claire Mason on violin performing “Joy to the World”
- Ella McAfee on piano performing “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
- Benjamin Weber on trombone performing “God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen”
- William Montgomery on piano performing “Carol of the Bells”
- Tori Glover on violin performing “The First Noel”
- Jasper Bridges on flute performing “Jingle Bell Rock”
- Reagan Phillips on piano performing “Greensleeves”
- May Dawsey on guitar performing “Russian Dance” (from “The Nutcracker”)
- Lewis Whitmore on piano performing “Somewhere in My Memories” (from “Home Alone”)
- Brady Philips on guitar performing ‘Angels we have Heard on High, Winter Wonderland, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’
- Noel Montgomery on piano performing ‘White Christmas’
- Adeline Sartin on violin, Elijah Sartin on cello and Sylus Martin on piano performing ‘Jingle Bells’
More on Seed-Harvest, with Brittany Simpson
“My husband and I graduated from the University of Montevallo with our music education degrees and I got a job in public school as a K-12 music teacher, band director, arts-survey teacher. If it was arts, I was doing it. We lived far away from our family, we had our first child and so we decided to move back to Cullman to be closer to my family, and my husband, we had always had the dream of being able to teach on our own terms, being able to open up our own school. We just decided to do it one day; we knew we could handle it with us both being music education majors so we just tried to find ways that we could serve the community and fill a gap.
“One of those areas we saw a need for was homeschool music. Elementary-aged public-school children, they mostly get music of some sort, even if it’s not consistent, they do get music every other week. But there are many, many homeschool students who don’t have that opportunity outside of their parents may find a private lesson instructor for them eventually, but we wanted to offer general music and offer those same opportunities to homeschoolers.
“So we opened up classes with those students in mind, but we also knew that there would be some public-school students as well who had a proclivity for music and wanted to do it, so we scheduled our classes to where it can be a public-homeschool combination, but we do offer the homeschool jazz band, homeschool orchestra and those things to cater specifically to the homeschool community.”
Learn more at www.facebook.com/MusicSHAcademy.