Trinity graduate honored to be part of Natchez’s rich pilgrimage history
NATCHEZ — Burne Sharp has found his comfort zone behind the scenes, but this spring he’s stepping into the spotlight as the Natchez Garden Club king.
Sharp, 23, has participated in the Historic Natchez Tableaux since he was a child. He has participated in Little Maypole, Big Maypole and played the role of fisher boy, page and Natchez Indian.
However, Sharp said in recent years his niche has been working backstage.
“I like working behind the scenes with sound, lighting and curtains,” Sharp admitted. “But being king this year — that’s a huge honor.”
Sharp, who is a 2010 graduate of Trinity Episcopal Day School and studied aviation at Louisiana Tech University, said he’s most excited about being a part of Natchez’s rich history.
“I love Natchez,” Sharp said. “The fact that Tableaux has so much history, that means a lot to me.”
His Confederate outfit, borrowed from 2001 NGC king Richard Edgin, features all the signature costume details — sword included.
And although Sharp is the first in his family to be named NGC king, he does come from a long family line of Tableaux participation.
Sharp’s mother, Sharon Sharp, is an active member of the NGC. And his younger siblings — Chapman Sharp, Davis Sharp and Olivia Edgin — have all participated in the pageant.
“My dad (Richard Sharp), he passed away when I was 9 years old, and he always wanted to be king,” Sharp said. “So this would also be a huge honor for him.”
Currently living in Natchez, Sharp directs most of his energy toward promoting area musicians.
Sharp Sound Design, a music-recording studio located at 127 Homochitto St., is Sharp’s latest endeavor.
“I’m trying to help Natchez musicians get out there and compete with the rest of the world,” Sharp said. “Mississippi has more musicians per capita than any other state in the country. We created American music right here.”
Sharp is the grandson of Richard B. Sharp and Stella Sharp and Don Ater and Linda Mann.
His reign began March 21 and extends through April 4.