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Winter Solstice Concert comes to OTCA

William Eaton (Courtesy)

William Eaton (Courtesy)

Originally Published: December 14, 2021 2:15 p.m.

The ninth annual Old Town Center for the Arts ‘Winter Solstice Concert’ will feature some of the world’s favorite Christmas melodies, original songs, and a special visual, musical tribute to honor our indigenous ancestors, in observation of the ancient winter solstice ritual.

This year’s ‘Solstice Ensemble’ features flutist Claudia Tulip, violinist Carrie Caruso, cellist Melanie Yarger, guitarist Fitzhugh Jenkins, bassist Bart Applewhite, and harp guitarist William Eaton.

A special added holiday feature of the evening will be aerial performances by Taylor Marie on silks and Lyra hoop. Lighting director Elena Bullard said. “Attendees don’t often get to witness the wonderful visuals and ‘movement art’ performed high above the audience on silks and lyra (hoop), especially in our area. We’re looking forward to an evening of diverse musical styles and ‘elevated’ movement art.”

If You Go ...

• What: Annual Winter Solstice Concert

• When: Saturday, December 18, 2021

• Where: Old Town Center for the Arts, 5th Street & Main, Cottonwood

• How Much: $20 advance, $22 door, $25 priority seating in the first 3 rows

• More Info: (928) 634-0940 www.oldtowncenter.org

Taylor has performed in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and California, and has also taught workshops in aerial dance.

“We’re excited to bring a world chamber sound to our Verde Valley - Sedona audience,” OTCA Co-Director William Eaton said. “All of the ensemble members are talented soloists in their own right. It will be an evening rich with recognizable, seasonal melodies intertwined with innovative and inspiring improvisation.”

This year’s solstice concert will feature arrangements of classic Christmas songs, including: “Carol of the Bells,” “O Come, O Come Emanuel,” “What Child Is This” and “Silent Night.” In addition, the ensemble will present several eclectic instrumental arrangements of “Deck the Halls,” “We Three Kings,” “Coventry Carol” and “Little Drummer Boy.” The ensemble will also perform an original chamber piece composed by Eaton, for the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, entitled “With the Love We Bring.”

The Winter Solstice is a time of reflection, contemplation and story telling. Music has always been an important part of the solstice tradition amongst all the world’s cultures and religions.


Taylor Marie (Courtesy)

Come enjoy a special evening of holiday music, a pre-show vintage Christmas postcard slide show, and lovely holiday images projected during the concert, in the warm vintage elegance of Old Town Center for the Arts on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. Refreshments including wine, beer, snacks and popcorn will be available for purchase.

Tickets for this special event are $20 in advance, $22 at the door, and $25 priority seating in the first three rows. For ticket information and to learn more about upcoming concerts, classes at Studio B and community events at OTCA please visit www.oldtowncenter.org. Tickets are available online at www.showtix4u.com, in Cottonwood at Desert Dancer; and in Sedona at The Mary Fisher Sedona Film Festival Box Office. Old Town Center for the Arts is located at 5th Street & Main in Old Town Cottonwood. For more information please visit OldTownCenter.org or call Elena Bullard at 928-634-0940.

Information provided by OTCA.


Melanie Yarger

About the Musicians:

Claudia Tulip performs on silver and ethnic flutes, and panpipes, with a beautiful blend of imagination, deft technique and soulful expression.

Violinist Carrie Caruso performs and arranges for the modern fusion quartet Urban Electra and has performed in many string ensembles and orchestras including the Redford Symphony, Eastern Michigan University Honor Orchestra and the Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra.

Cellist Melanie Yarger is classically trained, and has held Principal positions with the New York Symphony, the Celebrity Symphony Orchestra, the Koscuiszko Opera Orchestra, and many others. She currently plays along with Carrie Caruso in the notable quartet Urban Electra.

Bart Applewhite toured nationally with the band Congo Shock. He is a graduate, and now Financial Manager and Assistant Director, of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, in Phoenix, Arizona, where he designs and builds one-of-a-kind bass harp guitars and is perhaps the only builder and player of these hybrid instruments in the world.

William Eaton is a four-time Grammy Nominee and Canyon Records recording artist, he is also acknowledged as one of the world’s great designers and builders of unique guitars and stringed instruments. He is currently the director of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, a guitar making school in Phoenix, Arizona, and co-director of Old Town Center for the Arts.

Fitzhugh Jenkins has travelled the world seeking the always illusive muse. He grew up playing professionally in Honolulu, has studied music in Cuba, at Berklee College of Music and in Paris. He has taken in the Tango rhythms in Buenos Aires and has performed in Mumbai and Delhi. His original music has been used on the Discovery Channel, the Oprah Network and the Green Channel. Fitzhugh has performed musical healing on elephants in Thailand.