The Piedmont Wind Symphony presents A Caribbean Christmas with The Wailers

By Ron Eldridge

On Friday, Dec. 16, the Piedmont Wind Symphony will wrap up the LJVM Coliseum in a giant bow, garland, and holiday cheer to present a once in a lifetime concert for the Triad to relish! 

Yeah Mon … de ya hear? Who’s coming to town for the holidays? Here’s a hint Mon: “Get Up, Stand Up … We’re Jamming … One Love or Could You Be Loved.” If you guessed the world’s most famous reggae band, The Wailers, then you are right!

But wait, there’s more! There is another segment to their appearance. For the first time in history, Bob Marley’s world-renowned reggae band, The Wailers, will be sharing the stage with a symphony. And that symphony happens to be Winston-Salem’s own, Piedmont Wind Symphony under the direction of Maestro Matthew Troy!

This historically and musically significant event is the brain child of Matthew Troy, who currently serves as the music director of the Piedmont Wind Symphony. The bottom line is that it is all about cultural diversity, breaking preconceptions about orchestras and classical music, and redefining the musical landscape to keep great music alive and accessible in our community.

“It’s all about musical and cultural diversity,” according to Troy. “Think about it … each and every one of us, no matter of our cultural heritage, or economic, social, or educational background; we all have our respective cultural comfort zones when it comes to music and art. We at the Piedmont Wind Symphony are interested in new possibilities and innovation, while creating a live diverse concert, with world class talent that can appeal to multiple audiences. This is the holiday gift of the Piedmont Wind Symphony to our community,” said Troy.

This is Bob Marley’s music – live – right here in Winston Salem! The Wailers have played to an estimated 24 million people around the globe, performing an average of 200 dates a year. Tthey have performed with a world class 50-piece symphony. The really cool part is that you, your family, and friends can be in the middle of this historic holiday musical extravaganza!

Troy is pulling out the big guns with his colleague Jay Meachum, who is a renowned trumpeter and arranger, to write new orchestrations of The Wailers’ songs for this PWS concert. His writing/arranging credits include Grammy nominated Jazz singer, Nnenna Freelon, and multiple Grammy winner Kenny G, and Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Ben Folds, and Ben E. King (Stand By Me), to name just a few.

The Piedmont Wind Symphony is comprised of local professional musicians and music educators of the highest caliber. For those who have not had the privilege to experience the Piedmont Wind Symphony and their creative concerts, Friday, Dec. 16 at the LJVM Coliseum is your last opportunity for 2016!

There is a seat with your name on it – come out and let’s make history together! Tickets are available at or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.

Ron Big “E” Eldridge is a Winston-Salem resident and aspiring freelance writer who frequently pens a Music Corner column about the local jazz and music scene.


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