TALLADEGA -- Talladega’s Historic Ritz Theatre is excited to present its Spring 2018 Season finale, the Annie Moses Band, on Friday night at 7.
Classically trained, the band of six siblings has presented two concerts on the stage of Carnegie Hall, yet they can play bluegrass with the best of the genre and are regular guests on the Grand Ole Opry.
Plus, their PBS special has had a record-breaking number of airings.
The Annie Moses Band siblings began training at a young age, first in classical music (their studies took them to the Juilliard School) and then expanded into a variety of genres, including folk, bluegrass and pop, according to a press release.
Showcasing dueling strings in challenging virtuosic passages and a heartfelt lyricism, this family of musicians is at home in every style of music, whether it’s a re-imagining of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” or Paul Williams’ “Just An Old Fashioned Love Song.”
Annie Moses Band instrumental classics like “Hoedown” and “Choctaw Cowboy,” lead to lyric gems like “Deep In the Fescue Meadow,” Dan Fogelberg's “Longer,” and John Lennon’s “Grow Old With Me.”
The band’s original songwriting and innovative arranging are also on call in beautiful ballads (“Steady Hands”) or show-stopping fiddle fusion (“Orange Blossom Special”).
“I honestly believe that our Annie Moses Band concert Friday will be one of the most extraordinary musical events at The Ritz in our 20 years,” said George Culver, Ritz executive director. “Not just first class, but world class … highly trained and skilled musicians who can perform anything, genre defying.
“How does a group perform an acclaimed concert on the stage of Carnegie Hall, then fire up their violins into steaming fiddles that can match anyone in bluegrass anywhere, which is why they are regular popular guests at the Grand Ole Opry.
“When I first saw the Annie Moses Band, about 2 1/2 years ago at a booking conference, they played Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” – I could have been at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center. Perfect. Powerful. Energizing.
“Then, about halfway through the arrangement, they transitioned this classic American jazz standard into an astonishing, fiery bluegrass style that blew the crowded theatre into a frenzy. I almost fell on the floor.
“I have been trying to book them for a couple of years, and now, their world-class, exhilarating showmanship and virtuosity will be on display for all to see on our Ritz stage Friday night. I’m excited and proud. Trust me, it will be a musical experience like none other in our 20 year history.”
All reserved seats are $22. A group discount is available. Tickets online atwww.ritztalladega.com or call 256-315-0000.
A quick look at each member of the band:
Annie Wolaver Dupre is a violinist and vocalist, wife and mother. Named after her great-grandmother, Annie Moses, she was born with a love of singing.
At the inspiration of her mother, Annie began violin lessons the week before her fifth birthday. A natural performer and musician, Annie excelled from a young age, winning many local, state and national competitions, eventually gaining admission as a scholarship student to the collegiate division of the Juilliard School.
Though her early ambitions took her to great heights as a classical musician, Annie's love for singing and the joy of making music with her siblings led her, alongside her family, to found the Annie Moses Band.
In 2010, Annie married Scott Dupre, and they are now the parents of two children. In addition to her love of music, Annie enjoys traveling, reading, fashion, naps, cooking and sharing great food with her family.
Named after William the Conqueror and Alexander the Great, William Alexander Wolaver was destined for a storied musical career.
Beginning at the age of 4, Alex demonstrated his musical prowess on the violin. However, after five years of schooling, Alex was ultimately drawn to the deeper, more masculine tone of the viola.
They made a good match as Alex was later accepted to study at The Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, he performed in many chamber music groups, among them a hand-picked string quartet coached by the legendary Itzhak Perlman. He also served as principal violist for the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony.
In addition to his musical accomplishments, Alex is a self-taught recording professional who has studied with Grammy Award-winning producers and engineers and now serves as chief musical producer for the Annie Moses Band.
Benjamin Wolaver is a student of music as well as literature. As the cellist of the family, Benjamin began his musical career at 4 years old, and shortly thereafter, began writing short stories and poetry.
In 2000, he was accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College Program and went on to found the Annie Moses Band in 2002 with his family. Since then, he has collaborated extensively as a songwriter, composing lyrics and co-writing several children's musicals with his mother, Robin.
An avid reader, Benjamin enjoys history, fiction and theology, accompanied by a good cup of coffee.
At 6 years old, Camille Rose Wolaver's repertoire of studies included not just the piano, but also the harp.
Excelling under the tutelage Victoria Mushkatkol of the Juilliard School and harp with Emily Mitchell of Eastman School of Music, the dual instrumentalist added B3 to her retinue of musical instruments.
When she is not performing, traveling or furthering her literary pursuits, Camille enjoys baking, holistic nutrition, exotic foods and exploring cultural history.
Gretchen plays the violin, mandolin and guitar. Her love of music has blossomed into her own songwriting, which is a burgeoning aspect of her artistry.
The Annie Moses Band began when she was 9 years old, when all she could think about was rescuing wild animals. She joined the group full time at age 11, when her dream was to own a horse farm.
Now, she prefers to play music with her siblings and leave the pets at home. Besides writing and performing, Gretchen also enjoys cooking, needlework, reading and riding horses. She is completing her bachelor’s degree in English literature through the University of London’s International Program.
Being the baby of the family is a privileged position, and Jeremiah is pleased with his pedestal. He grew up on the road, making his first cameo appearance at the age of 6, playing the classical guitar on the Annie Moses Band's first Christmas DVD.
When the road became too long, Jeremiah was known to say, “Why do we have to have this stupid ol’ band anyway?” The purchase of his first electric guitar changed all that; he is now a driving force in the band’s eclectic, crossover style.
A master of art rock, Jeremiah is a prolific songwriter and vocalist. His fearless approach to musical innovation has expanded the creative sentence of the Annie Moses Band.