There were singers and dancers and musicians playing, but the highlight of the 2018 Christmas in Carthage was an unexpected “Love, Actually” moment when band member Colby Taylor walked on the stage, took the hand of choir member Maggie Sims, and proposed to her. She said, “Yes,” much to the delight of the audience.
Christmas in Carthage was held this year on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the Carthage Civic Center. The event is a local tradition, started by the late Larry Brumley, who conceived of the idea as a way for Panola County to usher in the holiday season, explained Dwaine Hubbard, master of ceremonies and instrumental music professor at Panola College.
This year’s program included performances by the Panola College Choir and Panola Pipers, under the direction of Sandra Bauer, vocal music professor, along with the Concert Band and Jazz Band. In addition, dancers from the Carthage High School Bulldog Belles, Rowe Performing Arts, and singers from the Gary ISD Junior High School Choir performed.
Dr. Greg Powell, Panola College president, welcomed everyone to the event, and Freddy Mason, retired Panola College dean and speech professor, provided a reminder of “the reason for the season” with a reading of “One Solitary Life.”
Bulldog Belles included Savanna Gwinn, Shelby Walters, Emily Pyle, Constance Barber, Taylor Barton and Mary Kathryn Smith.
Students performing included from Rowe Performing Arts: Constance Barber, Brooke Cabello, Molly Windham, Madison Dunn, Ainsley Piedra, Jeriona Williams, Sh’Jerian Williams and Addison Pope.
Gary ISD Junior High singers, directed by their teacher Kristy Cawthon, were Bailee Lilly, Abi Kate Cawthon, Aubrey Kennedy, Katrina Pugh, Alyssa Thompson, Samantha Griffith, Jordan Brown and Michael Duron.
Panola College singers are Susan Adewale, Ronke Ajoniloju, Toluwani Ayodele, Boluwatife Babalola, Samiat Fashola, Charles Felix, Latifat Opeodu, and Ademola Sanni, all of Nigeria; Funminihi Alabi, Loma Linda, CA; Loren Caserta, Beckville; Victor Chinaka, Dallas; Kaitlyn Cox, Hallsville; Afrikina Dotson, Center; Lucy Eke, Carthage; Latiffannie Gardner, Center; Michaela Garrett, Center; Joel Martinez Gonzalez, Tenaha; Jamya Gossett, Nacogdoches; Emma Harden, Tyler; Joy Jekayinoluwa, Arlington; Kacia Johnson, Tatum; Abigail Joseph, Kenya; Carrie Lilly, New Caney; Destiney Miller, Ore City; Makayla Miller, Ore City; Hunter Moon, Beckville; Pamela Nichole Painter, Marshall; Whitney Ramsey, Center; Mia Sartor, Carthage; Maggie Sims, Center; Kailey Stephens, Carthage; Sydnee Taylor, Carthage; Aaron Tello, Center, and Jaren Whitton, Etoile.
Panola College band members include on flute: Ma’Kayla Campbell, Henderson; Madison Cichoracki, Tatum; Jessica Coats, Henderson; Maricruz Gonzalez, Center; Savana Hanaway, Carthage; and Perla Mateos, Center.
On clarinet: Chelsea Ener, Hemphill; Kirsten Mayfield, Garrison; Destiney Miller, Ore City; Emily Ortiz, Carlisle; Samantha Stilley, Hallsville. On bass clarinet: Lucero Luna of Tatum. On contra-alto clarinet: Megan Gilley, Hallsville. On bassoon: Whitney Ramsey, Center; on saxophone: Kassi Orbaugh, Carthage; Elijah Johnson, Shelbyville; Selena Mendoza, Tenaha; Alex Rodriguez, Tenaha; and Lydia Woods, Beckville. On tenor saxophone: James Lilly, Jasper; and Whitney Ramsey, Center. On baritone saxophone, Somali Fletcher, Hallsville.
On trumpet: Sarah Allen, Henderson; Kaleb Baker, Carthage; America Cabriales, San Augustine; Ruben Hernandez, Tenaha; Miguel Mendoza, Tenaha; Makayla Miller, Ore City; Mahiko Moreno-Flores, Nacogdoches; Brandon Renteria, Tenaha; Maggie Sims, Center; and Josh Wood, Carthage.
On French horn: Sarah Allen, Henderson; Mauricio Alejaldre, Center; Dakota Brown, Marshall; Erica Lee, Center; Jose Torres, Center, and Maddox Whitaker, Hallsville. On trombone: Dakota Brown, Marshall; Jaime Gonzalez, Carthage; Hernan Hernandez, Center; Tressie Key, Henderson, and Eder Nunez, Center. On bass trombone: Carrie Lilly, New Caney, and Steven Sierra, Hallsville. On baritone: Colby Taylor, Carthage; Jessye Massey, Shelbyville; Makayla Bell, Garrison; Demetrius Cooper, Carthage, and Andres Leon, Center.
On tuba: Martravian Williams, Tenaha; A.J. Bowers, Carthage; Steven Sierra, Hallsville, and Daniel Quetzala, Garrison. On percussion: Nicklaus Powell, Shelbyville; Itzel Farias, Garrison; Moses Sangowoye, Lagos, Nigeria; Godwin Adewale, Lagos, Nigeria; and Crystal Whitehead, Marshall. On piano: Carrie Lilly, New Caney.
Sponsors for 2018 Christmas in Carthage were First State Bank & Trust Co.; First United Methodist Church; Bauer Furniture; Central Baptist Church; KGAS Radio; Pippen Motor Co.; State Farm Insurance, Tate Barber and Patsy Meck, local agents; Kay and Dwaine Hubbard; Sarah and Mike Isbell; the Panola College Foundation, and Complete Printing & Publishing.