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Wilson County Children's Music Association to host annual gala and jazz festival

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The Wilson County Children's Music Association (WCCMA) will once again host the WCCMA Gala on Friday, April 10 at The Mill in Lebanon with a plated dinner, silent auction and cash bar. The bar opens at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at The Mill or online at www.changinglivesthroughmusic.org.

Saxophonist and composer Dr. Alex Graham will serve as this year's featured entertainer.

Graham is an assistant professor of music at Belmont University. He completed his doctorate in jazz studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. in 2009 and has performed with a variety of major artists. His groups have performed at festivals, clubs and concert halls all around the world.

Graham has been awarded fellowships and residencies to compose original music, and he has composed and arranged for small group, big band and studio orchestra.

He currently directs the Mackinac Jazz Initiative on Mackinac Island, Mich., where he has been teaching jazz studies to selected university students every summer since 2008. Graham's latest CD on Origin Records, "Brand New," was ranked in jazzweek.com's Top 50 nationally for airplay and made several top 10 lists in the year of its release.

Jazz at The Mill will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 11. It is free and open to the public, and the featured group will be the Army Jazz Band. The WCCMA Children's Choir, David Christopher Ivy and other musicians are also scheduled to perform.

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