Classics in Courtyard return

Published 1:16 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2015

For the eighth year, the people of Vicksburg can spend their Friday lunch break in the relaxing courtyard of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center, 1302 Adams St., and listen to local musicians over a meal.

“There‘s no better way to bring in fall than to come out and enjoy the music outside in a beautiful setting and have some great lunch,” Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation executive director Stacey Massey said.

Classics in the Courtyard is a yearly lunchtime concert series from noon to 1 p.m. on four consecutive Fridays starting on Oct. 16 and ending on Nov. 6. Massey is expecting to host around 100 people each week in the comfortable afternoon autumn weather.

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“It’s a good time of year to be outside and enjoy the fall temperatures before it gets cold,” Stacey Massey said. “It’s just a nice season to be outdoors and enjoy listening to great music and enjoying great food that comes from our local musicians and caterers.”

As for who is chosen to provide the music and food, Massey said they make sure everyone is local Vicksburg talent. Sometimes they stick with tradition and other times they shake it up. Some acts and caterers request to be a part of the event while others are invited.

“We try to change it up, add new ones here an there. We try to pick some crowd favorites,” Massey said.

This year’s series begins Friday, Oct. 16 with classic jazz, blues and country music by Osgood & Blaque with a $10 lunch from T’Beaux’s Blues Le Roux.

The concerts are free and open to the public. Those who would like to purchase a $10 meal need to make a reservation by 5 p.m. the Thursday before the show by visiting, calling or emailing the SCHC. Payment can be made with the reservations or on the day of the show.

Entergy Mississippi provides a grant to pay for the musicians who play during the events. Massey applies for the grant yearly to have the performance fees covered. The caterers are paid from the $10 meal ticket. The SCHC does get to keep the remaining meal ticket money, but it usually doesn’t add up to enough to consider the event a fundraiser.

“This is more something we offer to the community because in our mission it is to offer arts and cultural activities to the Vicksburg community, and surrounding communities, for free whenever we can and if not, at a low cost,” Massey said. “This is one of those events where it’s not a fundraiser, it’s not a moneymaker for us, it’s just a way for us to offer something to the community.”

Programs the SCHC puts on for the community are possible from support by the Mississippi Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Vicksburg among others.

“It just enriches our community by having cultural events. This being a lunchtime concert is just a fun way [because] you don’t have to take off the whole day and everybody’s got to eat lunch,” Massey said.

The upcoming shows will feature classic blues, rock and originals by Lee H. Abraham & the Boone Brothers and food from Goldie’s Express Friday, Oct. 23.

The following Friday, Oct. 30 will highlight classic blues, rock, pop and originals by Patrick Smith Band and food provided by Palmertree Catering.

The final Friday will be Nov. 6 with classic pop and country music by Maria Signa & Ralph Miller with food from Martin’s at Midtown.

For more information or to make reservations, call 601-631-2997 or email