CSO Presents Annual Home For The Holidays With Alison Brown On Banjo

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Alison Brown
Alison Brown

The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera will be presenting its annual family holiday tradition, Home for the Holidays, on Dec. 20 and 21, at the Tivoli Theatre. Each season the show is all-new, and over the past several years, the show has included local and national guest artists, vocalists, dancers, costumed characters, bells, and choruses. The 2014 family-friendly Home for the Holidays concerts have a new twist this season with Alison Brown, Grammy-nominated banjo player, who will be performing holiday tunes with a mix of folk, jazz and bluegrass.

The first half of the program is holiday classics, such as “Christmas Festival” and Farandole, as well as performances by the Metropolitan Bells, frequent guests of the CSO’s holiday program, directed by Gary Bynum. The second half features Ms. Brown performing festive songs such as “The Five String Nutcracker,” “Carol of the Kings,” “Greensleeves,” and “Sleigh Ride.” Local fiddler and businessman Fletcher Bright will join in on violin on several numbers.  

Santa will be available in the lobby for pre-concert and intermission for photos and wish-giving at both performances. Tickets start at $21 (while supplies last) and students and kids are $15 each. Tickets are available online at www.chattanoogasymphony.org or by calling 267-8583. 

Review for Alison Brown:
Alison Brown has achieved success in many areas: a Harvard graduate, record label co-founder and owner, mother, and, the role that most people know her in: banjo virtuoso. An internationally recognized musician with a wide-reaching and loyal fan base, Ms. Brown first came to national prominence when she was asked by Alison Krauss to join her band Union Station in 1989. Ms. Brown had already made a name for herself prior to that by performing extensively with fiddler Stuart Duncan, and on occasional pick-up sessions with artists such as Vince Gill, Byron Berline and John Hickman. 

In the summer of 1978, she traveled the country with Duncan and his father, playing festivals and contests. A first place finish at the Canadian National Banjo Championship helped her land a one-night gig at the Grand Ole Opry. And around the time Ms. Brown graduated from high school, she and Duncan recorded a duo album for Ridge Runner Records entitled Pre-Sequel. 

Ms. Brown’s journey to a professional music career took a detour while she attended Harvard, studying history and literature, then UCLA, where she secured an MBA and went to work as an investment banker. After taking a hiatus to return to composing and recording music, Ms. Brown assembled the material for her solo debut, the Grammy nominated Simple Pleasures. A three-year stint with Alison Krauss and Union Station and a year serving as band leader for Michelle Shocked followed as did bluegrass music’s highest accolade for an instrumentalist: the International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year in 1991. 

In 1995 Ms. Brown put her financial background to work, founding Compass Records with her husband Garry West. Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2009, the Nashville-based Compass Records Group is an internationally recognized label group with a catalog of over 600 roots music releases across the Compass Records, Green Linnet, Mulligan Records and Xenophile catalogs. Compass Records Group is home to artists such as Colin Hay, Catie Curtis, Lúnasa, Solas, Martin Hayes and The Waifs, and has been called “one of the greatest independent labels of the last decade” by Billboard Magazine.  

Ms. Brown tours internationally with the Alison Brown Quartet, was personally requested to play at the 2007 inauguration of Harvard’s first female president, Drew Faust, and was the 2007 recipient of Irish America Magazine’s “Stars of the South Award” for Compass Records’ efforts towards the “cultivation and preservation of Irish music.” Ms. Brown’s discography includes four releases on Vanguard Records as well as six on the Compass Records label, including The Company You Keep (March 2009). She currently lives in Nashville with her husband, Garry West, and their two children, Hannah and Brendan.


Coco Montoya Brings Blues-Rock To Songbirds Dec. 11

Lee Opera Theatre To Present Musical Revue

Floami Fly Releases Latest Mixtape Friday


Legendary blues-rock guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya, touring in support of his latest Alligator Records release, Hard Truth, will perform at Songbirds Guitar Museum on Tuesday, Dec. 11, ... (click for more)

Lee University Opera Theatre will present its fall Musical Revue, comprising various scenes from a variety of musicals, on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. in the Squires Recital Hall. The first ... (click for more)

Floami Fly (pronounced FLO-AH-ME FLY) is a hip-hop artist, songwriter, and performer from Chattanooga. Her latest mixtape, 4th Quarter, is slated to drop on Friday. Review for Floami Fly: ... (click for more)


Entertainment

Coco Montoya Brings Blues-Rock To Songbirds Dec. 11

Legendary blues-rock guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya, touring in support of his latest Alligator Records release, Hard Truth, will perform at Songbirds Guitar Museum on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available here . Review for Coco Montoya: Taught by the "Master of the Telecaster," Albert Collins, and schooled by a decade on the road with John Mayall, ... (click for more)

Lee Opera Theatre To Present Musical Revue

Lee University Opera Theatre will present its fall Musical Revue, comprising various scenes from a variety of musicals, on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. in the Squires Recital Hall. The first half of the program will celebrate American composer Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with his complete musical composition “Trouble in Tahiti.” First performed in 1952, “Trouble in Tahiti” ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Putting $10 Million Toward New Shelter For Humane Education Society

County officials are committing $10 million toward a new shelter for the Humane Education Society (HES). Only Commissioner Tim Boyd spoke against the allocation at a commission meeting on Wednesday. He said a more urgent need was a $5 million training center for police, fire and emergency workers. County Finance Director Albert Kiser said the county came up with a total $14 ... (click for more)

Several Large Trucks Get Stuck On Lookout; 1 Demolishes Wall On Ochs Highway

Lookout Mountain, Tn., Commissioner Jim Bentley said there has been a lot of concern with large trucks on Ochs Highway. In the past month five different trucks have been stuck at the top of the road. Additionally, a large truck hit and demolished the rock wall at the top curve of Ochs Highway. The destroyed walls were near the intersection of Fleetwood Drive and Forest Avenue. It ... (click for more)

Opinion

Thanks To First Volunteer Bank

Thank you to the Highway 58 branch of First Volunteer Bank. On behalf of the Ernie Pyle Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, I would like to express our appreciation to the manager and staff of the HIghway 58 Branch of First Volunteer Bank for putting on a Veterans Day lunch in the lobby of your bank on Friday, Nov. 9. It was a cold and rainy day and Army, Marines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Lamar Rants

Being a child of the South, I’ve marveled at our funny sayings for all of my life. I’ve been at a football game and heard a disgruntled fan in the stands say of his team’s quarterback, “That boy couldn’t play dead in a cowboy movie.” I’ve been at the Sunday supper table and heard, “I’m of a mind each one of his sermons is better than the next.” And I’ve sat in a Saturday morning ... (click for more)