Classical Concert December 12-13, 2020


The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops To Highlight Two Remarkable Jazz Legends


Clarinet Sensation Ken Peplowski and International Recording Vocalist Clairdee join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in One of a Kind Holiday Extravaganza

The December 12th & 13th performances will feature a reduced orchestra and be streamed live from Skyview Concert Hall. The broadcast will begin at 6:30 pm on Saturday and 2:30 pm Sunday with the newly introduced VSO pre-concert show featuring prominent local podcast producer Ashley Hall and Vancouvers favorite host Greg Scholl. Following the Washington State Governors guidelines for Phase 2, there will be no in-person audience present at Skyview Concert Hall for these performances in December.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra continues its 2020/21 season with live-streamed performances of highly anticipated Holiday Pops concert featuring audience-favorite holiday classics as well as famous arrangements highlighting guest soloists clarinetist Ken Peplowski and jazz vocalist Clairdee.

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

Jazz legend clarinetist Ken Peplowski is well known to the Vancouver audience from the VSOs critically acclaimed annual jazz nights. Since 2016, Mr. Peplowski returns every year by popular demand to delight the audience with his incredible artistry in front of sold-out houses.

One of the most celebrated jazz vocalists of our time, award winning recording artist Clairdee has been hailed by critics as Soulful, swinging and stylish with lustrous, velvety tone. 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.

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 let the orchestra in the 2020-21 seasons opening concert.

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 States guidelines for Phase 2). The broadcast on December 12th will begin at 6:30 pm with the highly anticipated third episode of the VSO pre-concert show featuring prominent local podcast producer Ashley Hall and Vancouvers favorite host Greg Scholl. Intermission will feature special, not-to-be-missed interviews. The performance and the show on Sunday, November 8th will be also streamed live and will begin at 2:30 pm.

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

This Concert is Generously Sponsored by PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Foundation, Bill Dickey & Morel Ink, and Ann Bardacke and David Wolf


What: VSO Holiday Pops
When: December 12th, 2020 at 7 p.m. (pre-concert show at 6:30 pm) and December 13th, 2020 at 3 p.m. (pre-concert show at 2:30 pm)
Where: Live stream from Skyview Concert Hall to your viewing devices on the VSO website
Tickets: Free with the season subscription. Single tickets are $30. Available online (Click Here) or by calling 360-735-7278

Safety Precautions

Two physicians on the VSO board of directors Drs. Michael Liu and 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 seasons programming accordingly. Changes will be promptly communicated to the audience

Maestro Brotons

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

About Ken Peplowski

Ken Peplowski has recorded over 70 CDs as a soloist, and close to 400 as a sideman some of the artists hes 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 Dizzys 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 into 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 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 Symphonys 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 to Vancouver 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 Simfnica de les Illes Balears Ciutat de Palma (1997-2001, 2009-2013) and the Orquestra Sinfnica del Valls (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.

About The VSO

The VSO, now in its 42nd season, has been a cornerstone of Southwest Washington's arts community, providing symphony music of the highest caliber in live performances and through music education in schools, concert halls, and throughout the community.

About our Sponsors

The VSO is generously supported by individual donors, The M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, All Classical Portland, Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Community Foundation of SW Washington, The Columbian, Homewood Suites, Dick Hannah, PeaceHealth, Opsahl Dawson CPAs, Realvest Corporation and Michelles Pianos.


VSO Pre-Show

September 2020 marks the debut of a new, highly anticipated video series from the VSO! Hosted by Greg Scholl and Ashley Hall, this exciting pre-show will broadcast on the VSO concert live stream 30 minutes before the concert performance. Full of fascinating information about the repertoire and plenty of laughs, you won’t want to miss it!

Ashley Hall

Ashley Hall has been with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since October of 2019. Since December of 2019 she has been the host and producer of The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Podcast, interviewing prominent VSO figures and guests as well as sharing past VSO performances in the special series VSO Encore. Ashley graduated from Western Washington University in 2013 with a degree in English Literature, and has been active in the Vancouver arts community for over 15 years. She was formerly the music director for the Young Slocum House Players in 2011, and has been on the Board of Pacific Stageworks Theater Company since August of 2019.

Outside of saying flowery things about recordings of classical music Ashley produces two other podcasts, acts and sings in community theater productions, and plays nerdy tabletop games with her husband Will Johnson (the superhero who keeps Skyview Concert Hall running). It’s also rumored that she’s the girl who answers the phone when you call the VSO office, but none can say for certain.


Greg Scholl

Greg Scholl has played trombone in the VSO since 1993 - he became principal trombone in 1995. He is also principal trombone in the Portland Columbia Symphony and the Newport Symphony. Greg also plays locally in the Portland Brass Quintet and the Portland Festival Symphony. He has performed with the Oregon Ballet Theater, the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Opera, the Salem Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Symphonic Choir, the Willamette Master Chorus, and the Portland Gay Men's Chorus. He has performed with the Oregon Repertory Singers and the Portland Symphonic Choir. Greg was formerly second trombone in the Austin Lyric Opera.
Greg is the trombone and low brass instructor at Pacific University. He obtained a trombone performance degree at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Donald Knaub. Prior to that he studied with Peter Kline and David Brown in San Antonio, TX. Greg plays in the Portland modern jazz duo Dos Hermanos de Hale Bopp. He also plays guitar and trombone in a variety of styles with local bands and performers such as the Rhythm Dogs, Goombahttsi, and Elvis Presley Tribute Artist Justin Shandor.
After rejecting the millions of dollars people offered him to play the trombone, Greg obtained a law degree in 1995 from Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law. During most business days he can be found practicing law as the director of the capital case team at the Metropolitan Public Defender. He enjoys spending time with his family and dogs, reading, camping and hiking, collecting things like Conan the Barbarian comic books, LP records, and concert recordings of the Grateful Dead, and being married to incredible principal bassoonist Margaret McShea. Their son Ben is now in college - he was practically raised at VSO rehearsals back in the day.