Clarinet Holiday: A Festival of Pipes, Dec. 17 and 23

The Asheville Clarinet Quartet. From left: Jonathan Salter, Anne Salter, Gary Spaulding, Steve Loew.

PRESS RELEASE:

Clarinet Holiday: A Festival of Pipes

Produced by Woodsong Clarinet Choir of Western North Carolina with:

E. Normous Trio

The Asheville Clarinet Quartet

Reynolds High School Clarinet Choir

Thursday, December 17 at 7pm

Isis Music Hall (743 Haywood Rd, West Asheville)

Sunday, December 20 at 3pm

White Horse Black Mountain (105 Montreat Rd, Black Mountain)

Woodsong Clarinet Choir Starts New Interactive Holiday Tradition in WNC

This December, the Woodsong Clarinet Choir of Western North Carolina hopes to start a new holiday tradition that will unite musicians from across the region in a celebration of music and community. Clarinet Holiday: A Festival of Pipes invites all clarinetists, young or old, professional or amateur, to dust off their instruments and join the Choir for a “clarinet-along” of two Christmas tunes to welcome the season: Silent Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Clarinet Holiday is modeled on TubaChristmas, an annual event marked by gatherings of tuba players around the world. Since its founding in Indiana in 1974, TubaChristmas has grown exponentially: this year, players will gather in 151 cities across the US and Switzerland to perform songs from their standard repertoire, Carols for a Merry TubaChristmas.

Although he’ll be kicking things off with just two participatory carols this year, Woodsong director Steve Loew envisions similar success for Clarinet Holiday. “I see this growing and continuing throughout the US and world,” he says. But it will start right here in Western North Carolina, with gatherings on December 17 at Isis Music Hall and December 20 at White Horse Black Mountain. Loew hopes to set a Guinness World Record for the most clarinetists ever to perform together; in recognition of the attempt, White Horse Black Mountain will be serving up Guinness stout to help players wet their reeds.

Clarinet Holiday promises to be an exuberant celebration of the tremendous appeal and variety of the clarinet, with information about the origins of clarinet choirs, performances on the rare contra alto and contra bass clarinets, and opportunities to mix and mingle with players from across the region. In addition to the clarinet-along, the event will feature energetic (if eclectic) performances of klezmer music and selections from the Nutcracker Suite by Woodsong Clarinet Choir, and The Asheville Clarinet Quartet, as well as performances by E. Normous Trio, Steve Alford, and the Reynolds High School Clarinet Choir.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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