Soul singer Brian Owens leads a star-studded line-up of St. Louis musicians to benefit The Sheldon’s All-Star Chorus travel fund. Funky Butt Brass Band, the Adam Maness Trio, Anita Jackson and the amazing students of the All-Star Chorus will all perform on this one-night-only concert event.

Led by nationally acclaimed conductor Maria A. Ellis, the All-Star Chorus is made up of some of the most talented high school singers from across the St. Louis area. Proceeds from the event will allow the chorus to travel outside of the St. Louis area to perform, with the ultimate goal of getting the chorus to Carnegie Hall in June 2023. Travel opportunities offer invaluable skills and experiences that will help prepare these students for their futures—no matter what their dreams may be.

Donations can be made by texting “NYC” to 314.582.8848, or at

Singer, songwriter and dedicated community activist Brian Owens is known globally for his heartfelt performance of  “A Change is Gonna Come,” racking up more than 100 million views on social media, and for his work with Ferguson-native and five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald. Owens is the founder and Executive Director of L.I.F.E. Arts Inc., a non-profit that provides artistic resources, opportunities, mentoring and positive experiences to help students in underserved communities.

The Funky Butt Brass Band (FBBB) was formed in 2008 by six talented musicians who respect and revere the New Orleans brass band tradition. The FBBB takes classic New Orleans brass tunes and gives them a twist, in the style of Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rebirth and Bonerama, incorporating Minneapolis funk, Southern rock, Memphis soul, Chicago blues and St. Louis R&B into the mix.

Soulful and swinging, one of St. Louis’ premier ladies of song, Anita Jackson has appeared as a featured vocalist with several jazz, R&B, blues and gospel groups around St. Louis, leaving a lasting impact with her powerful voice and commanding stage presence.

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Adam Maness is one of St. Louis’ most versatile and prolific musicians. As a founding member of popular genre-defying group The 442s, and creative director of Peter Martin’s Open Studio, Maness has earned international recognition for his creative and cutting-edge compositions and performances. Along with bassist Bob DeBoo and drummer Kaleb Kirby the group has developed a reputation as one of today’s premier piano trios.

Maria A. Ellis is a passionate educator and conductor. She is the owner of Girl Conductor LLC, a company that creates diverse music education resources and currently serves as the director of The Sheldon’s All-Star Chorus. Ellis is an active clinician, adjudicator and presenter throughout the United States and abroad, who holds a B.M. in Music Education emphasis on Voice (K-12 Certified) Degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is the host of the award winning-program Bach and Beyoncé on Classic 107.3 and is a host for the St. Louis Symphony “Live at Powell” broadcast.


The Sheldon is pleased to announce a fundraising campaign to Send the Chorus to Carnegie! We are asking for the public to help send The Sheldon’s All-Star Chorus students to New York City, June 22-26, 2023 for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform at Carnegie Hall!

Maria A. Ellis will serve as guest conductor for the concert, leading Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, in New York’s iconic Carnegie Hall.

The Sheldon’s All-Star Chorus has a goal to raise $30,000 before September 30, 2022! Anyone wishing to donate can text-to-give at 314.582.8848 with special code: “NYC,” or visit For more information, please call 314-533-9900 during normal business hours.


Sponsored by Mary Ann and Dick Shaw

The All-Star Chorus is underwritten by the Centene Charitable Foundation