By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
Calvin and Jauna Ellis are home for the holidays. Calvin, a former Tupelo High School choral teacher, his wife, Jauna, and their family have been living in Opelika, Ala., since leaving Tupelo, but this weekend they’ll return to their old stomping grounds to perform a holiday concert for the Link Centre’s Monthly Music Mix series.
For the Ellises, it’s a homecoming show.
“We are coming home, and we’re so thankful for the opportunity to be asked to sing at the Link Centre’s Monthly Music Mix. We didn’t even second guess it,” Jauna Ellis said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal. “We’re blessed to share our talents once again. Tupelo will always be home.”
The focus of this Music Mix is Christmas music. The Ellises will be joined by Tupelo singers Mary Frances Massey and Lauren W. Zuelzke and pianist Brian Eads. The show, Ellis said, will feature a mix of fun and sacred holiday music.
“We’re going to have ‘Sweet Little Jesus Boy,’ ‘Mary Did You Know,’ ‘Breath of Heaven,’ ‘Ave Maria,’ and ‘Gesù Bambino,’” Ellis said. “Then we’ll have some fun songs like ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ ‘Jingle Bells’ – and it’s the ‘Jingle Bells’ rendition by Michael Bublé, so we’re really excited about that. It’ll have a 1930s kind of vibe.”
The concert will also feature audience participation.
“For the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas,’ you’ll get a program at the door with a number on it, from one to 12, and when we get to that number you’ll stand up and sing. It’ll be fun,” Ellis said. “We want to include the audience as well, because that’s what this season is all about: us being unified and together.”
The Ellises have performed at several Monthly Music Mix shows, and the couple is excited to return not just to the series but to Tupelo, especially at Christmas.
“We’ll always love Tupelo,” she said. “We’ll always come back and sing whenever they need us.”
WHAT: Monthly Music Mix: Sounds of the Season, featuring Calvin and Jauna Ellis, Mary Frances Massey, Lauren W. Zuelzke and pianist Brian Eads
WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Link Centre Concert Hall
COST: $10/adults, $5/students
INFO: (662) 690-4011