After a year of quiescence due to the pandemic, Friends of Music and the Arts is cautiously resuming operations, offering an array of events for the enjoyment of all.

The initial offering features Knoxville Symphony Orchestra cellist D. Scot Williams in music of J. S. Bach, George Crumb, and Robert Cronin (former principal flute of the Knoxville Symphony). Scot was scheduled to perform for the 2020 Big Ears Festival, and FOMA is delighted is to be able to host this superlative instrumentalist on October 14 in both classic and contemporary music.

Malcolm Matthews, another non-pareil instrumentalist, will perform an organ recital on Friday, February 4. A Knoxville native, Malcolm earned his Baccalaureate, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees as well as the coveted Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, becoming the Associate Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville earlier this year. He last performed here eight years ago as harpsichordist, and we look forward to hearing him put Ascension’s Wilhelm organ through its paces.

Concerted instrumental music will be represented with a performance of chamber music for strings given by KSO musicians on Monday, April 25. On the program will be works of Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Knoxville’s own Dosia McKay.

On Friday, March 25, the Lorelei Ensemble, an a cappella women’s choral ensemble based in Boston, will present a program entitled “This Tyrant, Love,” featuring an array of composers – Monteverdi, Rossi, Shaw, and Mvuli among others – from many different time periods. Accompanying the ensemble will be noted lutenist Adam Cockerham.

Ascension’s own choirs will honor Church of the Ascension’s festal day with a presentation of J. S. Bach’s Ascension Oratorio (Cantata 11, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen), on May 22. The choirs will also observe seasonal celebrations with a candlelight Lessons and Carols service for Advent on December 5 and a Twelfth Night Festival Eucharist for the eve of the Epiphany on Wednesday, January 5.

Every effort will be made to present these events in a safe manner. Filtration units have been installed in the church HVAC system and social distancing will be expected of audiences when possible. Attendees will want to consult Church of the Ascension’s website,, for the most up-to-date information regarding each event. The FOMA family hopes that with this music there will be something to delight everyone. These concerts are made possible through the support of many friends and donors, and Friends of Music and the Arts acknowledges that support with sincere gratitude.

Should you wish to donate to Friends of Music and the Arts online, you can append a donation to a ticket purchase and we will acknowledge you in the patron listing. Call us at 865-588-0589 for any questions or concerns.

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