The 30th annual Tina-Avalon Country Music Show ended its run with shows Friday and Saturday nights. Freewill donations netted the group $4,000 this year, with part of the money going to the Alumni Scholarship fund, and part to assist the needs of the local school music department.
"After a large crowd for Friday's show, the Saturday audience was around 500 [persons], due to the inclement weather," said Mary Jones, the show's director/coordinator.
The Tina-Avalon Country Music Show began 30 years ago, when T-A Superintendent Merl O'Neal recognized the need to showcase some of the tremendous talent in the community. He formed a committee consisting of Mary Jones, Evelyn and Larry Kerby, and Carolyn Maberry. Jones was recruited to coordinate and direct the show, and has served in that capacity since the beginning.
"School and community support for the show has always been tremendous," Jones said.
In 1990, Terri (Potter) Henry was hired as the T-A music teacher. Coming from St. Louis County, with vocal and piano talent and skill, she was unfamiliar with country music. She volunteered to be part of the show, and has been a driving force in creating the band that has been able to provide the support necessary for a show featuring both experienced and novice singers.
"Terri left T-A and has been the vocal music teacher in Braymer for many years, but has always returned to T-A in January to help create this amazing show," said Jones.
Other band members this year were: Tim Dunagan (lead guitar), Rick Phillips (drums), John Batson (bass guitar), Lee Jones (saxophone and flute), Jaime Hesler, Bailey Phillips, Carl Walby, and Travis Norris (rhythm guitars).
"The T-A Country Music Show has been more than entertainment," Jones said.
The show has brought the community together for a common interest and cause, has provided funding for 44 college scholarships, has done numerous school improvement projects, has helped in the development of new performers (young and old) and has developed a network of music enthusiasts who will continue to work together in many ways.
Friday and Saturday's shows marked the last of this series of programs with the current band and director. This is to be noted, as plans are beginning to emerge for a redesigned show that will continue the tradition into the future. Details of such are still in the works.