Alexis Grace, Gina Glocksen, David Hernandez and Michael Sarver are embarking on a holiday tour beginning Dec. 2, traveling from Lakeland, Fla., to Cleveland, Ohio. Their performance in Oxford will have an added local touch — students from Oxford High School and Gadsden State Community College will serve as back-up singers for some of the selections.
As holiday melodies go, these voices should be the brightest and best, Oxford Arts Council members believe.
"These are emerging young singers who are on their way to important futures," said Theresa Haynes, the group's treasurer. "It will be interesting to follow their careers."
Grace has performed in bands, sang in choirs, played the guitar and written music since she was in high school in Memphis, Tenn. With her father's instrumental group for singer Ann Peebles, she has been lead singer and performed in venues around Memphis and the region. Season eight's American Idol put the small singer with the big soulful voice on national television for the first time. She currently hosts a show on radio station Q107.5 in Memphis.
Sarver's ambition is to become a solo force in country music. After being a part of the American Idol Live Tour, which recently ended, and a finalist in season eight, he is now recording his debut album.
Although Glocksen was often referred to as the "rocker chick," according to Internet sources, her musical skills range far beyond the realm of rock. Since her time on Idol (season six), she has toured North America on the American Idol Live Tour and performs around the country showcasing her original music. She is co-host on the FOX Reality show American Idol Extra.
Singer/songwriter/actor David Hernandez, an Idol 2008 finalist, has been writing and recording music since he was 15. His most important invitation to perform so far came when he was asked to sing at the Inaugural Kick-Off Celebration ball for President Barack Obama. And, the Phoenix, Ariz., native has landed a principal role in the movie Synthetic Truth.
The 12-member Oxford Arts Council makes sure that this area has artistic entertainment year-round, and this commitment for Oxford's citizens is a daily declaration on their individual parts. They provide entertainment for Senior Days in February, the Freedom Festival on Independence Day at Oxford Lake and coordinate home Christmas decorating contests in the fall. Next year they will host the Birmingham Children's Theatre production of The Wizard of Oz March 18 at the Oxford Civic Center. The Glenn Miller Band is scheduled to perform June 3.
"But the Idol show is our most ambitious project so far," said Elaine Edmundson, vice president of the group. Haynes and Gloria Horton, president of the council, agree.
"Technically, it is the most challenging," Haynes said. "But it's good, for we are learning how to provide what the artists require. We look forward to the time when the performing arts center can be built by the high school here. If the funding comes through and it's built, then we'll be ready to supply some important artists."
Anyone interested in joining the Oxford Arts Council is welcome to talk to any of the three officers. The meetings are the first Monday evening of each month at the Oxford Public Library.
Tickets are $20 and seating is limited and non-refundable. For more information, call Haynes at 832-0000. Tickets may be purchased at Cheaha Bank and Noble Bank in Oxford, Quintard Mall guest services desk and from Oxford Arts Council members.