Event celebrating arts and culture in the Lone Star State brings first-class country act to Conroe, Friday, April 21, 6 — 10 p.m. and Saturday, April 22, Noon – 10 p.m.
Singer Mary Sarah has made her way from singing in churches to Nashville stardom — moving from stages in Houston to the set of the popular television show “The Voice,” and from regional Opry theaters to the spotlight of the Grand Ole Opry itself.
In the midst of her career activities, Mary Sarah has found time to represent Caiden’s Hope Foundation* for the past four years as the National Ambassador for Caiden’s Hope, and has worked to raise support and funding for families affected by long-term hospitalization of their newborn(s) in Neonatal Intensive Care. She wants to be “a voice for those who do not have one,” and with Caiden’s Hope she is making that aspiration a reality.
Now the effervescent country star is preparing to shine in Conroe as part of the Rising Stars & Legends of Texas, a celebration of arts and culture in the Lone Star State.
During the special event, which kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 21, at the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park, 104 Interstate 45 in Conroe, the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance will present art and artists from Conroe and around Texas for a fete of visual, performing, literary and cultural arts.
The evening will feature the raising of the 13 flags that have flown over Texas, and Mary Sarah will perform as a special guest, singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” a cappella and “God Bless America” accompanied by guitar.
On Saturday, April 22, Mary Sarah will perform a 45-minute concert at 1 p.m. at Heritage Place, later singing the national anthem at the beginning of the Conroe Symphony Orchestra’s “Celebrating the Classics” concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at Conroe High School located at 3200 W. Davis St.
“I always love going back to Texas; it’s home,” Mary Sarah said.
Although she was born in Oklahoma, her parents “moved to the Lone Star State as soon as we could,” according to her mother, Patricia Gross.
Mary Sarah attended Foster High School in Richmond and knew then that music was her calling. She credits her piano teacher for recognizing her talent at age 8.
“My teacher told me, ‘You have a natural vibrato; you should get a vocal coach,’ ” she said.
By age 12, she was a featured lead vocalist and dancer for Kidz Bop.
“It exposed me to the touring life and I got the experience of singing in front of tens of thousands. I was able to connect with an audience and I just fell in love with it.”
Her whole family has supported her pursuit of music as a career. “It’s become a dream of all of ours,” she said. “My sister, brother, mom and dad all work extremely hard. They saw a passion in me, and they support me 100 percent.”
Mary Sarah released her first album “Crazy Good” in 2010. Her second album, “Bridges,” in 2014 showcased duets with some of country music’s biggest names including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Vince Gill and The Oak Ridge Boys.
In 2016, Mary Sarah stepped into the national spotlight through NBC’s “The Voice.” She finished in fifth place on #TeamBlake in Season 10, making her Grand Ole Opry debut the same year, and has since graced the iconic stage a number of times. In the 11th season of “The Voice,” Mary Sarah was invited back to co-host the show’s Kohl’s Green Room.
Now Mary Sarah is back to writing songs, and working on a new project due out this year.
“The beautiful thing about writing is you can find inspiration almost anywhere around you,” she said. “Music is the one thing that connects us all. I love to write about challenges I face. I’m imperfect, and that’s ok. It’s not just forgiveness of others that’s important. You have to be able to forgive yourself.”
Rising Stars & Legends of Texas kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 21, at Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park with the raising of the 13 flags that have flown over Texas, musical entertainment and special guests. The festivities move to downtown Conroe until 10 p.m. and continue on Saturday, April 22, from noon – 10 p.m. when the streets will be filled with fun, food, entertainment for the whole family and lots of fabulous art.
There is no entrance fee to Rising Stars & Legends of Texas. Food trucks will be available, shops will be open, and there will be many opportunities to purchase fine art. Tickets for Stage Right’s production of a full-length play by Texas playwright Jesse Jones will be available for purchase, as will tickets to Conroe Symphony Orchestra’s Saturday evening concert with a full program of entertainment.
Rising Stars & Legends of Texas is presented by the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance, comprising 13 arts and culture organizations and encompassing the visual, performing, literary and cultural arts.
Sponsors of this exciting event include: First Financial Bank, Impact Printing, James Avery, Mack Barnhill State Farm, Woodforest National Bank, Keating Honda-Nissan, Soules Insurance, Hailey-Sadler Properties, Conroe Convention & Visitors Bureau, Lone Star Community Radio, Hello Beautiful Boutique, and Alice and John Eckstrum, Lone Star College-Montgomery, The Courier, Mike and Patsy McLemore, City of Conroe and Spirit of Texas Bank.
For more information about Rising Stars & Legends of Texas, visit artsinconroe.org.
For more information about the young country star, visit marysarah.com.
For more information bout Caiden’s Hope, visit caidenshope.org.