Singer to perform benefit concert at Norton

by Life Editor Tyler Hargett

Shoals singer and performer Edsel Holden will present his concert, “What a Wonderful World,” June 11 at Norton Auditorium, with proceeds going toward UNA bands.

The concert will begin at 2 p.m., and tickets are available for $15 at the Tennessee Valley Arts Center and the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts.

Lloyd Jones, director of UNA bands, said Holden has performed with music groups and live theater for over 60 years, and his summer benefit concerts, which he has held for several years, feature many talented singers and musicians. 

“He’s one of the Shoalsmost talented citizens,” Jones said. “I’ve always admired his versatility, his musicianship and his show biz sense.”

Holden is a former Florence State Teachers College (now UNA) student, during which he joined with a group of students to form a band, the FSTC Starlighters.

Senior Ben Thompson, who has known Holden for around two years, said he loves that the shows Holden puts on every summer benefit the communit, and he is the right choice to headline the concer.

“There are so few groups I hear around town that play this style of music, and it is rare to go listen to a few performance,” he said. “The opportunity he is providing is incredible.”

Holden is accompanied by the Edd Jones Orchestra, led by Edd Jones, former UNA band director. Special guest performers include Michael Curtis, Garrett Miles, the Wagnon Sisters, Lloyd Jones, Louise McCoy, collaborative pianist, David McCullough, professor of Music Education, and Aubrey Holden, Edsel’s grandson.

“The concert will have something for everyone to enjoy,” Jones said. (Holden) is the only person I am aware of who can bring together such an eclectic group of talented people for an afternoon of entertainment.”

McCullough said he considers performing with Holden a special honor.

Senior Alex Hamrick, who was formally introduced to Holden last year, said he thought of him as a “perfectionist” after meeting him.

“He works extremely hard to make his concerts the best that they can possibly be for the audience,” Hamrick said. “Edsel is just the type of guy that can put a smile on anyone’s face.”

Thompson, who will be playing trombone in the Edd Jones Orchestra, said people should not miss the show.

Hamrick, another trombone player in the orchestra, said attendees will not regret coming to the show.

Military veterans can pick up a complimentary ticket to receive free admission. These tickets may be picked up at the Kennedy-Douglass Center but will not be available the day of the concert.

For more information, visit una.edu/music or call the UNA Department of Music at 256-765-5122.