Ellises return for Christmas concert

Jauna and Calvin Ellis were music teachers in Tupelo before moving to Alabama. The couple returns to perform at the Link Centre this weekend. (Courtesy photo)

Jauna and Calvin Ellis were music teachers in Tupelo before moving to Alabama. The couple returns to perform at the Link Centre this weekend. (Courtesy photo)

By Sheena Barnett

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Calvin and Jauna Ellis will be home for the holidays, just like the song says.

The couple will perform a Christmas concert as a part of the Link Centre’s Monthly Music Mix series this weekend, with the help of singers Sara Plunkett, Clint Reid and Mary Frances Massey, pianist Brian Eads and flautist Nan Lawrence.

This is the second year for the holiday concert.

“We’re so thrilled and honored to be asked to come back again,” Jauna Ellis said.

The Ellises are Memphis natives, but lived and worked as music teachers for several years in Tupelo. The pair moved to Alabama a few years ago, where they both continue to teach voice.

“We will always have a piece of Tupelo in our hearts,” she said. “It’s a special place to us.”

Tupelo’s also home to several of their friends and fellow musicians who will perform with them at the concert.

The couple has performed several Broadway-style Monthly Music Mix shows with the help of Massey and Eads. Plunkett was a student of Calvin’s at Tupelo High School, and she’s now living in New York working on a career in musical theater.

PLUNKETT

PLUNKETT

“We’re so happy to have Sara come back home and sing with us,” Ellis said. “Mary Frances Massey is just amazing and so talented, and can do just about anything with her voice.”

The program includes Christmas carols like “O Holy Night,” but there are also a few more Broadway-style holiday songs, too.

“Someone will be doing ‘Astonishing’ from the ‘Little Women’ musical, and ‘It Wasn’t His Child’ by Trisha Yearwood. We’ll have some Elvis in there. We also have ‘Let It Go,’ from ‘Frozen.’ The music in there is amazing. It’s really beautiful, and the words are really touching,” Ellis said.

The program also includes an a capella version of “Little Drummer Boy” and two songs that were special requests from last year’s show.

“(The audience) will have to wait and see which two songs they are,” Ellis said.

Ellis invites fans of holiday music to check out the concert on Sunday.

“We feel very honored to come back again and sing Christmas songs,” she said, “and get people in the holiday spirit.”

–––––

Monthly Music Mix

What: Sounds of the Season concert featuring Calvin and Jauna Ellis, Mary Frances Massey, Clint Reid, Sara Plunkett, Brian Eads and Nan Lawrence

When: 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Link Centre Concert Hall

Cost: $10/adults, $5/students

Info: (662) 690-4011