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Rhiannon Giddens to Headline the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Annual 
New Year’s Eve Plugged-in Pops Concert

(Last Updated On: November 22, 2016)

Join conductor Robert Moody and the Winston-Salem Symphony as they welcome Greensboro native, Rhiannon Giddens, home to the Triad for a special New Year’s Eve concert. Giddens, best known as singer, violinist, and banjo player for the GRAMMY award-winning group, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, will ring in the New Year with a night of bluegrass, folk, and jazz.

Fresh off her GRAMMY Award nomination for her solo recording debut album, Tomorrow is My Turn, and 2016 induction into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, Giddens returns to the Piedmont for a hometown concert not to be missed.

New Year’s Eve with Rhiannon Giddens will take place Saturday, Dec. 31 at 8:00 p.m. at Reynolds Auditorium, 301 N. Hawthorne Road in Winston-Salem. Tickets range from $20 – $67 and are available in advance by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145 or online at WSsymphony.org.

Under the baton of Maestro Robert Moody, the evening will include “Waterboy,” “La Vie en Rose,” “Maple Leaf Rag,” “Forever Young,” “Tomorrow is My Turn,” “Roses from the South,” “Lonely House” from Street Scene, “Memories of You” from Shuffle Along, and more.

The Symphony’s New Year’s Eve concerts are always a festive and fun way to ring in the New Year. Guests are offered party hats, noise makers, and other party favors to ensure a spirited evening. Additional celebratory surprises will delight concert goers.

It was near the close of the first half of the T Bone Burnett–curated, September 2013 Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City’s Town Hall—a celebration of the early ’60s folk revival that had inspired the Coen brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis—when an extraordinary star-is-born moment occurred and singer Rhiannon Giddens, best known as a member of the GRAMMY-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, indisputably stole the show. Performing Odetta’s “Water Boy” with, as the New York Times later put it, “the fervor of a spiritual, the yips of a folk holler, and the sultry insinuation of the blues,” Giddens brought the celebrity-studded audience to its feet.

She followed that with an amazing, tongue-twisting medley in Gaelic that garnered a second standing ovation. Giddens was the talk of the lobby during intermission and at the exclusive party afterwards. “Who on Earth was that,” people excitedly said to each other, “and where can we go to hear more?” Backstage, the savvy Burnett already knew the answer and was immediately moved to ask if he could produce a record with her. The stunning result of their collaboration, Tomorrow Is My Turn, which deftly incorporates folk, jazz, gospel and the blues, is Giddens’ solo debut record, which came out in early 2015.

Reviving, interpreting, and recasting traditional material from a variety of sources has been central to Giddens’ career, especially in her groundbreaking work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops (CCDs), who also routinely bring sold-out concert audiences to their feet. With their two Nonesuch albums, Genuine Negro Jig (2010, GRAMMY winner) and Leaving Eden (2012) the CCDs have shared the role African-American performers and songwriters played in U.S. folk-music history, while making recordings that are vital, contemporary, and exuberant.

Giddens’ journey, in a larger sense, began in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, where she was raised—an area with a rich legacy of old-time music, black and white, that Giddens would explore in depth after college. She met her original CCDs band-mates at 2005’s Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, NC, and got schooled in the Piedmont’s traditional music by Joe Thompson, an elderly African-American fiddle player who passed on to Giddens and her cohorts many of the songs that would comprise their early repertoire.

Giddens is an American original—an artist with an unforgettable voice who culls the music of our collective past to point the way to the future, one in which her name will surely be well-known from the moment she steps on a stage.

This year, the Symphony is proud to partner with The Historic Brookstown Inn for a special New Year’s Eve package that includes overnight hotel accommodations, Orchestra Level seating for the concert, a midnight champagne toast, and other amenities. Space is limited, call 1-800-845-4262 or visit brookstowninn.com/packages/winston-salem-symphony-new-years-package/ for more information.

The New Year’s Eve Plugged-In Pops concert is sponsored by Season Presenting Sponsor Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A.; Plugged-in Pops Series Co-Presenting Sponsors BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina and EY; The Historic Brookstown Inn; and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.