TUPELO • Danielle Adams loved to sing, and she enjoyed every chance to share her gift whether it was in a church choir, a theater or concert stage, a school classroom or a private vocal session.
Even when Adams battled cancer, she kept on singing.
“I spend a great deal of time ill on chemo or recovering from its effects, so I appreciate these opportunities even more,” Adams told the Daily Journal in a 2015 article about an upcoming Link Center concert she was performing in. “To get to sing music I love with dear friends and new friends, feeling the support of this community, I can’t think of anything more rewarding or more healing. That’s what I look forward to on my worst days and weeks.”
Adams, an Itawamba County native who embraced the performing arts scene in Tupelo, died Sept. 14, 2018, after a five-year battle with cancer. She was 27.
Though the person is gone, the music and legacy of Adams live on. She will be remembered by many of her dear friends Sunday afternoon during the first classical music concert at the Link Center since her death.
“Faith Truth Love” is the latest event in the center’s Monthly Music Mix series. Adams planned and performed in many Music Mix concerts during her three years on the center’s Performing Arts Commission.
The concert, which starts at 2:30 p.m. in the Link Center concert hall, features four classical vocalists: Isaiah Traylor, Victor McMillan, Paden Bell and Demi VanderWerff. They will sing as individuals, duos or as a group.
Dr. Jerri Lamar Kantack, associate professor of music at Blue Mountain College, will accompany them on piano.
“They’re all wonderful singers,” Kantack said. “It’s a treat for me to be involved with singers of that caliber, and especially to come together to honor such a wonderful singer and musician like Danielle.”
Kantack said she’ll never forget the first time she heard Adams sing.
“When she was 11, I was judging a middle school choral festival in Tupelo,” Kantack said. “I heard her in the choir and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness. That voice. Who is this child’?”
Kantack later heard Adams sing on stage during Tupelo Community Theatre productions of “Les Miserables” and “The Last Five Years.” Adams also was a member of the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir in Tupelo and assisted with the church’s youth choir.
“I watched her develop over the years,” Kantack said. “She was a great talent and a huge arts advocate. She touched a lot of people.”
Traylor, a Tupelo resident studying music performance at the University of Mississippi, is honored to be a part of the concert.
“Having this program be in memory of Danielle takes it to another level of special,” he said. “She was truly a genuine, special, talented person. One that always greeted me with the warmest smile and heartfelt sentiments that encouraged me to continue my studies in the realm of classical voice. My goal for the concert is to carry on her memory to others through this music, while also hoping to make her proud.”
The final number of the tribute concert will be “Danielle’s Song,” written by Derek Cooper and performed by the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir.
“Danielle’s Song” uses Adams’ own words, taken from her Facebook posts, to share her story. The song ends with a message Adams often put at the end of her posts during her final year: “God is good, and life is full of love and joy.”