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Art & Culture

Rising Stars & Legends of Texas offers tribute to 17 artistic groups

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Conroe, TX – Lots of family entertainment was offered in Downtown Conroe during the 3rd Annual Rising Stars and Legends of Texas that began at the Crighton Theatre with the Young Texas Artists Music Competition and ended with Pam Tillis hosted by the Sounds of Texas Music Series at the Crighton.

“We wanted to change it up this year with something for everyone”, said Annette Spikes, former President of the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance.

Wednesday Night was a Gospel Night at First Baptist Church, Thursday was a renowned poet, Outspoken Bean from Houston, and a Gong Show later that night, a Variety Show took place Friday evening at the Crighton Theatre, and ending with a collection of fun free activities for everyone until the concert at 8pm that night.

The Greater Conroe Arts Alliance (GCAA) represents 17 non-profit organizations in the Conroe area: Christian Youth Theatre, Conroe Art League, Conroe Live, Conroe Symphony Orchestra, Crighton Theatre Foundation, Friends of the Flag Foundation, Heritage Museum of Montgomery County, Jazz Connection, Montgomery County Choral Society, Montgomery County

Genealogical and Historical Society, Montgomery County Historical Commission, Montgomery County Literary Arts Council, The Players Theatre Company, Sounds of Texas Music Series, Stage Right of Texas, The Woodlands Show Chorus, and the Young Texas Artists Music Competition.




Gospel Night was well attended with over 200 attendees in the church sanctuary on a rainy evening. Craig Stephan, Director of Music Ministries at First Methodist Conroe and Assistant Artistic Director at The Montgomery County Choral Society, organized the event and took on hosting duties to everyone’s delight. He encouraged the attendees to stand and sing favorite hymnals twice during the event. The Woodlands Show Chorus was spectacular with their Sweet Adelines show tunes sharing a few of their favorite songs before they hurried off to a competition. Several ensembles and groups from First Methodist Conroe shared the stage in perfect harmony to the enjoyment of the crowd.

Thursday evening after Outspoken Bean, hosted by the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council at The Corner Pub performed, the Crighton Gong Show hosted an array of different talents from young children singing solos, to seasoned local performers, and a unicyclist tumbling knives. As another new event, Stage Right of Texas hosted the event without knowing how many performances would happen that evening. Many showed up that night to perform with hopes of winning the “pot” without getting gonged out by the 3 local judges. Quite fun, the evening was a hit and you can expect to see this event next year with more entrees!

Friday, March 15 featured a Variety at the Crighton Theatre. Houston Comedian Chuck Montgomery served as host throughout the evening with performances from The Conroe Symphony Orchestra under the baton of its new conductor, Dr.Jacob Sustaita, The McTaggert Irish Dancers, Glitz – A quartet from the award winning Woodlands Show Chorus, Christian Singer/Songwriter Steven Finley, The Texas Brass Ensemble, Rich Delgrusso, Legendary Mandolin Blues Artist, Ballet Folklorico Mexico de Iglesia St. Rose and a Short Film, RED PEARL by Texas Filmmakers, Wayne Slaten, writer/director, music by Jeffrey Walton, produced by Molly Vernon.

The week concluded with a free fun event on Saturday, Chalk Up Conroe, with artistic works by both young and older individuals sponsored by the Conroe Downtown Area Association. Amazing designs that you can see for weeks to come on the cemented area of Founder’s Plaza Park. Across the street in the parking lot were tours on demand of the Art Benches and Historical Walking Tour of Conroe, and a live demonstration of a 1917 Model T Ford Touring car by the Montgomery County Historical Commission. The Heritage Museum and the Montgomery County Genealogical and Historical Society had interactive booths set up to demonstrate activities in their organization, including basket weaving.

Not to be missed on this beautiful day, The Jazz Connection youth played Glen Miller’s “In the Mood” while the Chicawa Aztec Dancers encouraged watchers to dance with them in the parking lot. Scattered on the streets of Main Street in Downtown were various artists from the Conroe Art League demonstrating Plein Air Painting of the buildings.

Rhythm Path Interactive Drumming was a new feature sponsored by Conroe Live. Participants learned the West Africa culture of drumming through simple movements. The art creates excitement to learn about instruments and music.


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Later in the afternoon, Crighton Kidz Radio Show and the radio production of Driving Miss Daisy were performed at the Owen Theatre. This concluded the artistic performances until the Pre-Party in front of the Crighton began and Pam Tillis took the stage at 8pm hosted by The Sounds of Texas Music Series.

Sponsors for the Rising Stars & Legends of Texas include The Corner Pub, Conroe Live, First Financial Bank, Lone Star College Montgomery, Mack Barnhill State Farm Insurance, Grand Central Park, Soules Insurance, Woodforest National Bank, First Financial Bank, Pierson and Pierson, and the City of Conroe. Grant funds were contributed from The City of Conroe Convention and Visitors Bureau Hotel Occupancy Taxes, and the Texas Commission of the Arts.

Rising Stars and Legends of Texas is offered to the community to inspire and enhance the community, to stimulate the imagination, awaken creativity and to share information about the 17 member organizations and their contribution of fine art, painting, poetry, theatre, music and historical collections in the Greater Conroe area with hopes that the public will get involved in upcoming events or want to learn more about their organization.

Current GCAA President, Brendi Cumberland summed it up, “I want to express my deep appreciation to all member organizations of GCAA and our Rising Stars and Legends of Texas (RSLT) sponsors for your support and contributions to the 3rd Annual RSLT event. The week-long program would not had been made possible without you.” Learn more about Greater Conroe Arts Alliance by visiting their website at or follow them on Facebook at



John Cooper School February 2022