The Arts Council, Inc. Logo - Location Address: 331 Spring Street SW, Gainesville, GA 30501The Arts Council, Inc. Phone Number 770-534-2787

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performing at Carnegie Hall


Sunday, July 3, 2016
Gates open @ 6PM
Concert @ 8PM

The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center Lawn

$18 Adult; $15 Senior (65+) /Students; $194 Table for 8; $108 Series Ticket;
$1,114 Series Table for 8

7% tax will be added to all ticket sales
For tickets call 770.534.2787 or visit
Address: 331 Spring Street SW, Gainesville, GA 30501

buy tickets online



Join the NORTHWINDS SYMPHONIC BAND presented by The Arts Council, outdoors at The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center for our annual Patriotic Concert.

The Northwinds Symphonic Band was organized in 1984 as a performance outlet for adult musicians, primarily music educators, in the North Georgia area. The Northwinds Symphonic Band, currently led by Mercer Crook along with Craig Cantrell, will perform patriotic selections honoring our country and the people dedicated to preserving our freedom. The evening is a pure celebration of American spirit and pride.

Bring the entire family and kick-start your fourth of July holiday at The Arts Council. BBQ will be available for sale. Purchase your tickets or a table of 8. Bring your lawn chairs, picnics and beverages of choice. Food vendors will be on-site with food for purchase.

With the encouragement of many North Georgia band directors, Ron Evans originally organized the ensemble and became its conductor. The Northwinds Symphonic Band has performed for the State Association of Music Educators on five occasions. The band has commissioned two major works for the symphonic band repertoire.

In 1997, the name of the organization was changed to the Northwinds Symphonic Band and it continues to perform a series of concerts throughout the year. Notable guest conductors of Northwinds have included Dr. Dwight Satterwhite, U. of Georgia, Dr. John Culvahouse, Kennesaw State University, Dr. John Paynter, Northwestern University, Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, Conductor Emeritus, U. S. Air Force Band, and Col. John R. Bourgeois, Conductor, U. S. Marine Band, Retired, Robert Sheldon, Composer, and Charles Booker, Jr. Composer. Renowned soloists performing with the band include Edwin Riley, clarinet, Adam Frey, euphonium, Dr. D. Ray McClellan, clarinet, University of Georgia, Sam Skelton, saxophone, Kennesaw State University, Brandon Craswell, trumpet, U. of Georgia and Scotty Shelsta, U. S. Army Band, trombone.

Mercer CrookMercer Crook: Conductor
Conductor Mercer Crook a native of Northeast Georgia, graduated from Winder-Barrow High School. He received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Fine Arts Degrees in Woodwind Performance from the University of Georgia, and taught at Toccoa High School for one year before beginning a distinguished 31-year tenure at East Hall High School.

Under Mr. Crook's leadership, the East Hall High School Bands performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade, two Cotton Bowl Parades, two Orange Bowl Parades, two Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parades, four National Cherry Blossom Festival Parades, four Macy's Atlanta Christmas Parades, two Gatlinburg Christmas Parades, and the Outback Bowl Parade. Mr. Crook’s symphonic bands were selected to perform for both the Georgia Music Educators Association In service Conference and the University of Georgia January Music Festival. His bands received superior ratings over 90% of Mr. Crook's 31 years at the school. Mr. Crook currently serves as principal conductor with the Northwinds Symphonic Band, and as principal oboist. He performs with several ensembles and chamber groups throughout Northeast Georgia and the Atlanta area.
Mr. Crook is a member of Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu, and has been inducted into the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honor.

Craig CantrellCraig Cantrell: Associate Conductor
Mr. J. Craig Cantrell was appointed Director of Bands at East Hall High School in 2003. He administers all aspects of the music department and serves as chairman of the department of Fine Arts. Mr. Cantrell, a recognized member of multiple editions of Who’s Who Among American Teachers was named Teacher of the Year at EHHS in 2007 and Star Teacher in 2011, 2013, and 2014.

Mr. Cantrell received an Associates in Music from Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, GA, where he studied piano and euphonium and a Bachelors of Music Education from Kennesaw State University, studying conducting and musicianship and euphonium. He is currently working toward a Masters in Music Education and a degree in Educational Leadership from the University of West Georgia. He has received the prestigious Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association on two occasions and is a proud member of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster Fraternity. Under his leadership, the East Hall Wind Symphony has been a featured performing ensemble at the University of Georgia (JanFest), the Southeastern United States Concert Band Clinic at Troy University, the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference (2015), and the University of Alabama Band Festival. Most recent honors include winning first place in all captions at the Lake Lanier Tournament of Bands, being presented the Gene Shadburn Salute to Marching Bands Award and being named a finalist in the’s “Best High School Band in Georgia” contest.


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