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Ken Peplowski and Clairdee Join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in One-of-a-Kind Holiday Extravaganza

The concerts will take place December 12 & 13.

Ken Peplowski and Clairdee Join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in One-of-a-Kind Holiday Extravaganza

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra continues its 2020-21 season with live streamed performances of the highly anticipated holiday pops concert featuring holiday classics as well as famous arrangements highlighting the guest soloists. Legendary clarinetist Ken Peplowski will team up with one of the most celebrated jazz vocalists of our time, award-winning recording artist Clairdee, to take center stage in a socially distanced setting.

The program will include Leroy Anderson's Suite of Carols, Sleigh Ride, Strauss's Pizzicato Polka, Benny Goodman Medley, Charlie Brown Christmas Waltz, and songs such as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep, and more.

The orchestra will be led by award-winning conductor Maestro Ken Selden. Maestro Selden made his Vancouver debut in the summer of 2018 and most recently led the orchestra in the 2020-21 season's opening concert in September.

The December 12 and 13 performances will feature a reduced orchestra and will be streamed live from Skyview Concert Hall without an in-person audience (in accordance with Washington State's guidelines for Phase 2). The broadcast on Saturday, December 12 will begin at 6:30pm with the much-anticipated third episode of the VSO pre-concert show featuring prominent local podcast producer Ashley Hall and Vancouver's favorite host Greg Scholl. Intermission will feature special, not-to-be-missed interviews. The performance and the show on Sunday, December 13 will also be streamed live and will begin at 2:30pm.

This concert is generously sponsored by Ann Bardacke and David Wolf, Bill Dickey, and the PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Foundation.

The previously scheduled appearance of Broadway star Liz Callaway with Maestro Brotons is rescheduled to December 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

What: VSO Holiday Pops Concert

When: Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 7 p.m. (pre-concert show at 6:30pm) and Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 3 p.m. (pre-concert show at 2:30pm)

Where: Live streamed from Skyview Concert Hall to your viewing devices on the VSO website

Tickets: Free with season subscription. Single tickets are $30. Available online or by calling 360-735-7278


All current season ticket holders will receive a secure email link in order to access the live stream performances.

Single tickets to view the live stream are on sale now. A secure email link will be emailed to each single ticket buyer.

Our tech support team will be on standby to assist you if you have any issues logging in during the performances.

Safety Precautions

Two physicians on the VSO Board of Directors-Dr. Michael Liu and Dr. David Smith-helped to develop the safety protocols for the musicians in coordination with the Washington Health Department.

Musicians will perform at an appropriate distance and wear face masks.

The size of the orchestra will be reduced to ensure appropriate distancing.

Future Performances

We are working closely with the Department of Health to monitor the latest COVID-19 developments and will be adjusting our season's programming accordingly. Changes will be promptly communicated to the audience

Maestro Brotons

Due to current travel restrictions in both the United States and Europe, Maestro Brotons will not be able to join the VSO for this performance. We hope that Maestro will join us for our upcoming concerts, depending on safety guidelines in place at that time.

About Ken Peplowski

Clarinetist Ken Peplowski is well known to the Vancouver audience from the VSO's critically acclaimed Annual Jazz Night. Since 2016, Mr. Peplowski has returned every year by popular demand to delight the audience with his incredible artistry in front of the sold-out houses. Ken Peplowski has recorded over 70 CDs as a soloist, and close to 400 as a sideman - some of the artists he has performed/recorded with include Charlie Byrd, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops, Peggy Lee, and Madonna. He has headlined the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, and Dizzy's Club among other venues. He was a featured soloist playing Mozart in 2015 at the Siletz Bay Music Festival in Oregon and premiered a new concerto in 2016, written for him by Dick Hyman. Ken was the Musical Director of the Oregon Festival of American Music (OFAM) for eight years and is a longtime performer/consultant to The Jazz Cruise, where he was elected to the Jazz Cruise Hall of Fame in 2013.

Ken is currently the Artistic Director of the Sarasota Jazz Festival, the Newport Beach Jazz Party, and the Newport, Oregon Jazz Festival.

About Clairdee

Clairdee's lustrous voice and soulful delivery hearken back to a time when jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues often blended seamlessly together. The inimitable American Singer Nancy Wilson said of Clairdee: "In the tradition of all great vocalists, she infuses each song with her own unique style while always remaining true to the song itself." Clairdee moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1986 where she began working with her mentor, drummer Billy Higgins, as well as trumpeter Eddie Henderson, saxophonist John Handy, and pianists Roland Hanna and Allen Farnham. In addition to leading her touring band, Clairdee has been featured in concerts with Dick Hyman, Bucky Pizzarelli, Cyrus Chestnut, Houston Person, Wycliff Gordon, and Ken Peplowski. She has opened for David Sanborn, Johnny Mathis, and Etta James; performed at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival; and toured throughout Russia, Japan, and across the US. Clairdee is former vocal jazz instructor at UC Berkeley's Jazz Department and Diablo Valley College, and a teaching artist with SFJAZZ and the San Francisco Symphony's education departments. She is an Artist Advisory Committee member and active mentor in the non-profit Bay Area-based organization Jazz in the Neighborhood.

About Ken Selden
Ken Selden is currently Conductor and Music Director of the Portland State University Orchestra, a position he has held since 2006. Selden made his professional debut with the National Arts Center Orchestra (Canada) at the invitation of Pinchas Zuckerman, and has appeared with orchestras of Denver, Baltimore, Minnesota and North Carolina, and at music festivals in the United States, Israel, Japan, Romania, and Switzerland. He has performed with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra at the David Oistrakh Festival and conducted orchestras in Finland, Italy, and Belgium. Since arriving in Portland, Selden has appeared as guest conductor of the Oregon Symphony, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Portland Youth Philharmonic, and the Newport Symphony. Selden has worked with composers Pierre Boulez, John Cage, and Tan Dun, and has conducted recent world premieres of music by Peter Lieberson, Michael Nyman, and Stephen Paulus. Under his direction, the PSU Orchestra has received three awards in Adventurous Programming from ASCAP and the League of American Orchestras.

About Salvador Brotons

Maestro Salvador Brotons returns for his 30th season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the VSO. In addition to the VSO, he has been the Music Director and Conductor of the Orquestra Simfònica de les Illes Balears "Ciutat de Palma" (1997-2001, 2009-2013) and the Orquestra Sinfónica del Vallés (1997-2002). He is presently the Conductor of the Barcelona Symphonic Band. In 2005, he received the "Arts Council" award by the Clark County and The City of Vancouver as well as the Kiwanis Rose Award. He has guest conducted orchestras in countries such as the U.S., Israel, France, Germany, China, Poland, South Korea, Mexico, Uruguay, and Colombia.


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