Rotary Club hosts traditional Christmas concert

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 24, 2022

SALISBURY— The Rotary Club of Salisbury hosted its traditional Christmas concert Tuesday with three world-class musicians playing a selection of Christmas songs.

Sharon Wellington-Wilkins, a master of the cello, played three songs, accompanied by her husband, Rev. Sam Wilkins on the piano. The two played “Center of my Joy,” “Joy to the World” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”

After performing together for years, they were perfectly in sync with Samuel on the piano and Sharon mesmerizing the audience on the cello.

Sharon graduated from the University of North Carolina with an undergraduate degree in arts and music. She later traveled to New York City and received a leadership master’s degree, as well as a master’s degree in elementary education from Bank Street College of Education. Samuel has a master’s degree from George Mason University.

Sharon spent the next 21 years teaching music in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She is currently teaching at Livingstone College and also plays with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra.

“My mother was very musical and I have lots of cousins who play by ear and at churches,” Sharon said when asked about her musical upbringing.

Teresa Moore-Mitchell, an opera singer who has performed all over the world, was also part of the concert. Moore-Mitchell was born and raised in Salisbury and graduated from Salisbury High School. She said she owes a lot of her success to the people in town who have helped her.

“Many of the people in Salisbury helped me get there,” Moore-Mitchell said. “My chorus teacher was the one who helped me discover my voice.”

Starting out with “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” Moore-Mitchell stood at the front and let her voice envelop the room. She finished with “Gesù Bambino,” an Italian Christmas carol,  and “This Christmastide.”

Moore-Mitchell has been singing since she was 8. She has also been teaching for years, spending time at Pfeiffer University, Catawba College and Livingstone College, which is where she currently teaches.

She has performed across the United States, as well as in Cuba, Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece and France. She has performed at Carnegie Hall three times. She sings in French, German, Italian and Latin.

She sings gospel, jazz and Broadway show tunes but generally sticks with her true love. “I sing other genres, but opera is my favorite,” Moore-Mitchell said.