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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

ETSU’s Sally Berry performed at NYSE Christmas Tree Lighting

Sally Berry
Sally Berry

December 04, 2018

This ceremony, held in conjunction with the day’s NYSE closing bell, is one of the oldest tree lightings in New York City.

Berry, who holds a degree in sociology with a minor in bluegrass from ETSU, is a daughter of bluegrass legend Rhonda Vincent and a vocalist and guitar player in the Grammy Award-winning Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. She is also the wife of Hunter Berry, the band’s award-winning fiddle player, and is an adjunct faculty member at ETSU, teaching voice and bluegrass band classes in the Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies program within the Department of Appalachian Studies.

Berry gave a solo performance of “Mary, Did You Know?” during the NYSE ceremony. This popular Christmas song written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene in 1991 will be included among the numbers on “God is in Control,” Berry’s debut solo gospel album slated for release in January 2019.

Her invitation to perform at the NYSE Christmas Tree Lighting came following a January 2018 performance by Rhonda Vincent and the Rage at the official opening of the Grand Ole Opry City Stage in New York City’s Times Square, during which Vincent asked her daughter to perform “Mary, Did You Know?” Officials with the NYSE who heard the performance asked Berry to return for the tree lighting ceremony.

“I’m excited to be able to perform this song and to be in New York City,” Berry said. “It’s a really cool opportunity, and I think the way it came about just makes it more special.

“My mother has been so amazing in the way that she has steered me and guided me in music. She features everybody on stage, and she doesn’t have to. People come to see her and her alone, but it’s cool that she allows not only her band, but also me as her daughter, to be featured in a way that promotes us, as well. I never thought that this would be my career, my life. It’s not what I envisioned for my life, but I love it.”

In addition to Berry, artists who performed during the NYSE Christmas Tree Lighting included Vincent, appearing as a solo artist, as well as the Radio City Rockettes, Jake Miller, Sophie Simmons, Raleigh Keegan, the Columbia Kingsmen, the Léman Manhattan Prep School Choir and more.

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