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Knoxville Symphony Orchestra presents 30th Annual Clayton Holiday Concert Dec. 16-18: ‘A World of Joy’

November 17, 2016

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra presents the 30th Annual Clayton Holiday Concert on December 16, 17 and 18 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. Music Director Aram Demirjian conducts the orchestra and special guests for “A World of Joy.”

Children’s tickets start at $8.50. There are four performances: Friday, Dec. 16, and Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 17, and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. These concerts are sponsored by Clayton Homes, Clayton Volvo and Clayton Bank & Trust.

Musical selections include “Joy to the World,” “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” “Carol of the Bells” and many other traditional holiday carols. The KSO will be joined by special guests Knoxville Choral Society, Go! Contemporary Dance Works, the Powell High School Singers, mezzo-soprano Allison Deady and Santa Claus.

kso-clayton-1“As it is my first season as KSO music director, I’m ecstatic to conduct these holiday concerts,” Demirjian said. “By getting to program some fantastic pieces of music by Robert Wendel and Richard Rodgers, I hope to fill the auditorium with hope and joy for the holiday season. We’ve got classical pieces such as Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride, and music from the films ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Polar Express.’ The theme, “A World of Joy,” will also provide plenty of traditional tunes for folks to hum along to, I hope. It is certainly a time of year to gather with loved ones and enjoy a magical live music experience with your Knoxville Symphony.”

Tickets may be purchased by calling 865-291-3310 or visiting the KSO website. Tickets range from $16 to $47, and children’s tickets start at $8.50. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets at a discounted rate by calling 865-521-2337. Adult ticket prices are: $16, $23, $30, $36, $40 and $47. Children’s ticket prices are: $8.50, $12, $15.50, $18.50, $20.50 and $24 (not including service charges).

Demirjian was appointed as the KSO’s eighth music director in June 2016 and has been welcomed by East Tennessee audiences with fervor. Originally from Boston, Aram joins the KSO family after a four-year tenure as associate conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. Demirjian was one of only two conductors in the inaugural class of the distinguished Orchestral Conducting program at New England Conservatory, where he earned his Master of Music. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in music and government from Harvard University, where his conducting journey began with a two-year appointment as music director of the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra. Demirjian’s goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, background or circumstance, has access to great symphonic music.

About the performers:

Since 2003, GO! Contemporary Dance Works has served the Knoxville community by spreading enthusiasm for the performing arts, with exceptional and innovative performances to include original contemporary ballets, such as In the Shadows of Pine Mountain, Alice, Unsung Heroes: Women of WWII and Tata Ajache: Warrior Princess. Directed by Lisa Hall McKee, GO! is known for blending classical and contemporary mediums of dance with daring artistry and athleticism that appeals to audiences far beyond the devoted dance-goer.

Since 1951, the Knoxville Choral Society has brought some of the world’s greatest choral music to East Tennessee and is dedicated to maintaining a rich tradition of choral excellence. Now under the baton of Dr. Eric Thorson, the KCS is a 130-voice auditioned chorus that performs choral masterworks and chamber pieces in a yearly concert series. The KCS sings regularly with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in the Clayton Holiday Concerts and performs major choral works in the KSO Masterworks series. Conductor of the Knoxville Choral Society since 1995 and artistic director since 1996, Thorson is professor of music and director of choral studies at Carson-Newman University, where he teaches conducting and music education courses and directs the A Cappella Choir, Men’s Chorus, and Oratorio Chorus.

The Powell High School Singers is directed by Jim Kennedy and has participated in many notable events including a week-long workshop with the internationally acclaimed professional men’s choir, Chanticleer. The Powell High School Singers has earned consistent superior ratings at regional and state choral festivals. Kennedy has been teaching chorus for more than 30 years in the Knox County Schools system.

American mezzo-soprano Allison Deady recently performed with Knoxville Opera as Edith in Pirates of Penzance and Marta in Boito’s Mefistofele. She trained with the Music Academic International in Mezzano, Italy, where she performed Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel) under the instruction of Maestro David Jackson as well as Suor Zelatrice (Suor Angelica). Deady received her undergraduate degree from SUNY Fredonia and is currently working on her masters’ degree from the University of Tennessee, where she studies with Marjorie Bennett Stephens. Deady is a native of Rochester, New York.

About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Established in 1935, and now under the leadership of Music Director Aram Demirjian, the KSO has contributed to the cultural life in East Tennessee continuously for 80 years, providing excellence in musical and educational programs. The Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 250 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre and the Civic Auditorium as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks and churches. For more information regarding the KSO, please visit or call 865-291-3310.