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Clarion Brass' "This Is What Christmas Sounds Like"

Andrea Olsen and William Berry in the SPR performance space
E.J. Iannelli
Spokane Public Radio
Andrea Olsen and William Berry in the SPR performance space

The brass choir's arranger and conductor preview a PBS-televised holiday concert

For our second holiday-themed From the Studio segment this morning, William Berry and Andrea Olsen sat down in the KPBX studio with E.J. Iannelli to preview Clarion Brass' upcoming concert, titled "This Is What Christmas Sounds Like."

Berry is the founder and artistic director of Clarion Brass, a 13-member brass choir that has been performing since 1992. Olsen is a regional music educator and performer and will be conducting Clarion at this year's concert.

As the Clarion artistic director, Berry is known for his inventive and unconventional arrangements that take traditional songs and give them new time signatures or flavors. Throughout the interview, three songs were played to highlight Berry's arrangements and Clarion's signature sound: "Kum Ba Yah," "Jingle Bells" and "We Need a Little Christmas."

Olsen talked about her 20-year friendship with Berry and their past collaborations. She also discussed the "storytelling" mindset that she will bring to the conductor's podium for this concert.

Additionally, "This Is What Christmas Sounds Like" is being recorded by KSPS for broadcast on December 18 and 24 as part of the PBS station's Inland Sessions series.

There are two performances of the "This Is What Christmas Sounds Like" concert. The first is on Monday, November 20; the second on Tuesday, November 21. Both are at St. Aloysius Church (330 E Boone) in Spokane.

Tickets and more information are available at Figaro Tunes or on the KSPS website's events page.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director