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Conquering the Divide Through Music: Maestro Matthew Troy Brings The Wailers to Town

wailers-slider-110216_d600Even though Winston is building up tremendously around us, that still doesn’t fill the void that there aren’t too many inviting events for certain people in the area. I recently sat down with Matthew Troy, the Music Director of the Piedmont Wind Symphony, and talked about how he wants to bring more events that cater to all demographics through the universal language of music. I’m sure you’ve seen the Wailers billboards on the highways but going 75 mph I missed the fact that they would be accompanied by the Piedmont Wind Symphony! Imagining some of Bob Marley and the Wailer’s greatest hits being played with an orchestra was mind blowing to me.

Even though I grew up in Winston, I have never been to a Piedmont Wind Symphony (PWS) concert. I was in awe to find out about the many things that they have going on in the community. Last season, days before Halloween, PWS had a performance that featured a live soundtrack by Michael Shapiro that accompanied the 1931 classic horror film, Frankenstein, as it played. Recently, PWS received a grant through the Kenan Foundation to support an outreach program into the Forsyth County Prison System created by Matthew Troy. Last year they accompanied pianist Ben Folds; and this year they will be accompanying the Wailers. In our heart to heart talk, Matthew stated that certain people do not feel welcomed to certain events in Winston and he wants to change that through music with the Piedmont Wind Symphony.

I honestly was so amazed by the idea of the Wailers playing next to PWS that I wanted to know where he got the idea and would there be more! He originally wanted to the PWS to play next to Snoop (yep the
rapper) but he wasn’t available the day of the concert, December 16. Even though Snoop wasn’t available the managing company had several other artists that were and when the dsc_2635-2Wailer’s were presented as an option, Matthew expressed it was like an instant light bulb went off.



“When he said the Wailers I instantly thought wait, ‘Young people know this music. Old People know this music. White, Black, Everybody knows and loves this music, they would be great to appeal to a diverse audience and bring everyone together.”


Instantly, popular Bob Marley and the Wailers songs came into my head and you know I had to ask what we could expect. With the current election and police shootings, he wanted to make sure he used songs that are relevant with the mood of America. You can expect their political songs like “Buffalo Soldier” and “Get up Stand up” and of course hits like “Could you be Loved” and “We’re Jamming.” Piedmont Wind Symphony will play a few Christmas selections, and then they will accompany the Wailers for 11 songs.

I cannot wait for this! If you are interested in going Friday, December 16, you can purchase tickets at the Piedmont Wind Symphony’s website here. It starts at 7:30 so it’s a perfect after dinner date or just something to do to get out of the house. There are people working to bring great events to the Winston Salem area and this is one!

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(All photos were taken from the PWS and Matthew Troy’s website)
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