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KSO to perform Clayton Holiday Concert: ‘Christmas on the Radio’

December 11, 2018

The 32nd Annual Clayton Holiday Concert with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will begin this Friday, Dec. 14, at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian will conducts the orchestra and special guests for Christmas on the Radio with four performances: Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16, at 3 p.m. The concerts are sponsored by Clayton Homes, Clayton Volvo, Clayton Foundation and First Bank.

Santa Claus makes his appearance with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra during the annual Clayton Holiday Concert.

Musical selections include songs from favorite holiday films, including The Sound of Music and Miracle on 34th Street. Other musical highlights include ‘White Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. KSO will be joined by special guests, Knoxville Choral Society; vocalists Kathryn Paden and David Crawford; GO! Contemporary Dance Works; radio personality Frank Murphy; and Santa Claus.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 865-291-3310 or visiting the KSO website. Tickets range from $16-$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.

About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra & Featured Performers
Led by Music Director Aram Demirjian, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 300 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.

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 direction of conductor and artistic director John R. Orr, the membership of the KCS has grown to more than 125 singers from all walks of life. The KCS sings regularly with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in the Clayton Holiday Concerts and performs major choral works in the KSO Masterworks series. For more information about the Knoxville Choral Society and its current season, please visit

Aram Demirjian is the eighth Music Director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and is internationally sought after for his dynamic performances and innovative programming. He served previously as the Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. A devoted educator, Demirjian has created and conducted education and family concerts for orchestras across the country. Demirjian has conducted The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Wichita symphonies, the Minnesota and Sarasota orchestras, the Louisiana Philharmonic and appearances at the Tanglewood Music Center and Breckenridge Music Festival. Demirjian is the winner of a 2017 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award and the 2011 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, where he was a three-time Conducting Fellow in the Aspen Conducting Academy. Demirjian holds a joint Bachelor of Arts in Music and Government from Harvard University and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from New England Conservatory. Demirjian’s goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, background, or circumstance, has access to great symphonic music.

Since 2003, GO! Contemporary Dance Works has served the Knoxville community, spreading enthusiasm for the performing arts with exceptional and innovative performances including original contemporary ballets such as Alice: A revolutionary ballet, In the Shadows of Pine Mountain: The Scots-Irish exodus from Ulster to the Appalachian mountains, Unsung Heroes: Women of WWII, and Tata Ajache: African Warrior Princess. GO! is known for blending classical and contemporary mediums of dance with daring artistry and athleticism that appeals to audiences far beyond the devoted dancegoer. This is GO!’s ninth appearance with the fabulous KSO as guests for Clayton Holiday Concerts. GO! is directed by Lisa Hall McKee, Artistic Director, and consists of over 50 dancers pre-professional through professional level. For more information about GO! and their upcoming performances visit

Soprano Kathryn Paden recently performed in the 17-production run of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, presented by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Clarence Brown Theatre in celebration of Bernstein’s 100th birthday. Additional cast credits: Big River, The WordPlayers (Strange Woman), Into the Woods, Foothills Community Players (Jack’s Mother), Mefistofele, Knoxville Opera Company (Chorus), and student productions of 42nd Street (Dorothy Brock), Annie, Get Your Gun, Guys and Dolls, and The Sound of Music (Swing). Ms. Paden received a bachelor’s degree in Music-Vocal Performance in 2008 from Tennessee Wesleyan University (Athens, TN). She has been a private voice teacher for eight years and enjoys working with voices of various ages and abilities. During the day, you can find her working her magic as the Executive Assistant at Christ United Methodist Church in North Knoxville. As a proud member of the Knoxville Choral Society and Knoxville Chamber Chorale, she is no stranger to the Clayton Holiday Concert stage and is thrilled to continue this tradition with her KCS family.

Bass-Baritone David Crawford is thrilled to be making his debut with the Knoxville Symphony. A 12 year veteran of The Metropolitan Opera where he has been in over 350 performances, last season he was seen in Les Contes de Hoffmann as Hermann/ Schlemeil. Other recent highlights include Basilio in Barber of Seville with Boston Lyric Opera, The Grand Inquisitor in Candide with The Clarence Brown Theater, Betto in Gianni Schicchi with The Seiji Ozawa Opera Project in Japan, Banquo in Macbeth with Chautauqua Opera, Sam In Trouble in Tahiti in concert with The Tucson Symphony, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with The Columbus Symphony. Upcoming engagements include: Raimondo in Lucia with Knoxville Opera, as well as a return to The Metropolitan Opera this coming spring. He currently lives in Knoxville with his wife Laura Beth and their 6-year-old daughter, Lily. David is proudly represented by Ada-artists, and you can read more at or find him on Facebook as David Crawford, Bass-Baritone.

Radio personality Frank Murphy hosts the afternoon show on Classic Hits 93.1 WNOX and has been heard on the radio since 2002. Frank has been in the cast of Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association productions since 2010, including The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty & the Beast, and Into the Woods. From 2014 to 2018, he was in the Front Page Follies, an annual musical spoof of local news stories. He serves as emcee for Bone Zones, which facilitates public appearances for renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass. Frank has been the emcee for New Year’s on the Square, the Knoxville St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Knox Asian Festival, the Regional Youth Talent Competition, the GO! Contemporary Dance Works gala, the Rocky Hill Christmas Parade, and many other events. In 2018, he was voted “Knoxville’s Finest Emcee” by the readers of Blank Newspaper. Frank was the 2014 Social Media inductee in the Friends of Literacy East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. He can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and YouTube as @FrankMurphyCom.