Dec. 4, 2013/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



WINSTON-SALEM – Visitors to Tanglewood Park’s Festival of Lights are in for a treat again this year: original music by composers from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA).The annual drive-through display of nearly a million LED lights features music by a student and an alumnus of the School of Music.

Clay Davidson, a junior composition student from Greensboro, created the music for the jingle bells display, and Joe Miller, a guitarist and 2013 graduate from Seattle, Wash., created a “Nutcracker Mashup” for the dancing Christmas tree. Both studied music technology with Michael Rothkopf in the School of Music.

“It’s the second year my students have composed music for the Festival of Lights as part of their coursework,” Rothkopf said. “We also create music, using computers and synthesizers, for animated cartoons, films, dance, and concert pieces.”  

School of Music Dean Wade Weast said the Festival of Lights provides a wonderful opportunity for young composers. “They will have their music heard by hundreds of thousands of visitors,” he said. “The School of Music is proud to partner with Forsyth County Parks and Recreation to enhance the holiday season for so many.”

In its 22nd season, the Festival of Lights is open nightly from 6 to 11 p.m. through Jan. 1. Park staff estimate that more than 280,000 people visit the festival each year. For information, visit http://www.forsyth.cc/Parks/Tanglewood/fol/Documents/FINAL_FOL_BROCHURE2013.pdf.


As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.