Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Clayton Concerts Get Their Irish Up

This weekend brings the twenty-somethingth annual Clayton Holiday Concerts to the Civic Auditorium! I believe the inaugural Clayton was my first season here, but now I’ve even lost track of that tally. Okay, twenty-eighth, says my abacus. This year’s shows will be given a Highlands treatment, with appearances by local specialists in all things Celtic. Go! Contemporary Dance Works, Boyd’s Jig and Reel house band Four Leaf Peat, Knoxville Pipes and Drums, and the Knoxville Choral Society will all “throw down” this Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 3:00.

Go! Contemporary Dance Works has appeared with the KSO on numerous occasions, and you will be seeing dancers who are veterans of previous years’ Nutcrackers. It will be a treat to have fine ballet grace the Civic stage for the second time in three weeks. A quick stroll down Google Lane found this article in Maryville’s Daily Times about one Go! dancer’s experiences. The article isn’t about these concerts per se, but it’s still a very honest and engaging look into the ballet life.

Four Leaf Peat is the band you are most likely to want to hear if you are walking in the Old City craving a jig or a strathspey. Winners of the Del Rio Days’ Band Contest, the Peat have recently been seen at The Square Room, the Laurel Theatre, and Tennessee Shines, and they opened for Jean Redpath at the Rugby Village Festival in May. Their drummer, Jason Herrera, is also known to us Symphony players through his work as wigmaster for the Knoxville Opera Co. It’s always nice to see his smiling face at work!

I can’t picture a Clayton concert without the Knoxville Choral Society. I’m listening to them right now on their website. They have mellowed like fine wine under the watchful ear of Eric “Doc” Thorson, and the young artists’ competition that they endow is one of the essential young musicians’ contests in East Tennessee. Knoxville Pipes and Drums will bring it all home with the timeless sound of Celtic bagpiperie. You, the audience, will be featured in the singalong, and maybe... just maybe, tuba player Sande MacMorran will wear a kilt...

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