The Paramount Chamber Players

Chamber Music for the Mountain Empire

Click Here for details of the 2015-16 concert season

Click here to read Chamber Music Magazine's article on The Paramount Chamber Players


Exquisite sounds from the mountains flow like warm arms outreached. So brands the music of (the) Paramount Chamber Players. - Bristol Herald Courier, October 23, 2014


10th Anniversary programs were great! I am looking forward to 10 more years! - Pat Sheets, Johnson City Dynamic Contributor, May 31, 2015


Thank you for another magnificent concert in Abingdon today! - Julie Powell, Abingdon Dynamic Contributor, May 2, 2015

Oh, the quality of the Paramount Players is absolutely unbelievable - Bristol Herald Courier, April 26, 2012


Why all the fuss? Talent in abundance, thatís why.  - Bristol Herald Courier, April 14, 2011


The Paramount Chamber Players have enriched the musical life in our area in ways too numerous to mention. - Laura Ann Warner, President of The Bristol Music Club


Four words say it all. . . You feed my soul. - Beth McCoy, Director Emerita of MECCA



2015-16 Concert Season


Beethoven and His Contemporaries


            To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable

                                                                                    - Ludwig van Beethoven


Beethoven (1770-1827) pushed the boundaries of his musical generation demanding extremes not only in music but also in life. The Paramount Chamber Players explore the influence that this greatest of composers had on his contemporaries.  We compare and contrast his Piano Trio in C minor op. 1, no. 3 (1795)  to three works composed by friends of Beethoven who revered and acknowledged his lofty position: Kuhlauís Grand Trio (1831), Hummelís Piano Quintet (1802), and Rossiniís Duet for Cello and String Bass (1792).  Appearing in this program: Craig W. Combs, piano; Rebecca Paluzzi, flute; George Figueroa, violin; Luis Casal, viola; Cherylonda Fitzgerald, cello; and, guest artists, Maria Brotherston, string bass, and Sarah Kapps, cello.



Grand Trio op. 119 for flute, piano and cello by Friedrich Kuhlau

Piano Quintet in b minor op. 87 by Johann Nepomuk Hummel 

Duetto in D major for cello and string bass, Allegro: Giochino Rossini

Piano Trio op. 1, no. 3 in c minor by Ludwig van Beethoven


Thu. Oct. 22 7:30pm Mathes Hall, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Fri. Oct. 23 7:30pm First Presbyterian Church, Kingsport, TN
Sat. Oct. 24 7:30pm Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol, TN
Sun. Oct. 25 3:00pm Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church, Abingdon, VA



Tribute to Tennessee Ernie Ford


            Bless your little pea pickíin heart - Tennessee Ernie Ford


The Paramount Chamber Players will be a blessíin and a pickíin in this unique collaboration with  the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.  In this tribute concert, the TPCP will present the music of Tennessee Ernie Ford - hymns, folk songs, patriotic songs, and toe-tapping jigs - to tell the story of Bristolís most famous native son. Guest ensemble, Jeff Little Trio, will join us to add their special blend to the program. We have commissioned a new work for instrumental ensemble using the hymns that Ford made famous. Also added to the mix for a bit of spice is an original narration, video, dance, a choir and an original cover of 16 Tons, Fordís most famous recording. Yaíll come down now, hear?


Sat. Feb 13 7:30pm Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol, TN



Ancient, Modern and the In-between


            Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.               

                                                                         - Claude Debussy


This program features composers who broke the rules in either music or societal expectations. Each made decisions in their own way that laid the groundwork for future generations to do things differently. Handel was among the first musicians to make a living wage from his music thus eliminating his need for wealthy patrons. Vivaldi was ordained a priest but within a year chose to compose music instead as a profession. Debussy assuaged his disdain for academia by composing music that purposefully broke the rules infuriating his teachers. Dvorak broke with European tradition and moved to the US where he lived four years discovering the native music that became our national pride - spirituals and jazz. Exploring the music of these rule breakers: Craig W. Combs, piano; Vicki Fey, organ; Rebecca Paluzzi, flute; George Figueroa, violin; Luis Casal, viola; Cherylonda Fitzgerald, cello; Thomas Maternik, cello; Kimberly Ziegler, violin;



Organ Concerto op 4 no. 2 in B flat, HWV 290 by George Fredric Handel

Concerto for Violin and Organ in C minor, RV766 by Antonio Vivaldi      

Trio in G Major for Piano, Flute and Cello, Claude Debussy

Piano Trio op. 26, no. 2 in G minor by Antonin Dvorak


Thu. Feb 18 7:30pm (TBA), Johnson City, TN
Fri. Feb 19 7:30pm First Presbyterian Church, Kingsport, TN
Sat. Feb 20 7:30pm Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol, TN
Sun. Feb 21 3:00pm Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church, Abingdon, VA


A Question of Light


            To send light into the darkness of menís hearts - such is the duty of an artist        

                                                                                     - Robert Schumann


Donít miss this rare opportunity to hear the inimitable song cycle, Dichterliebe (Poetís Love), in its original twenty song version. Schumann shines the light into the darkness of menís hearts exposing at once the youthful exuberance of attraction and its ultimate disappointment. Also on offer is Mahlerís Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), a more lush and romanticized German reflection on the revelations of love unrequited. Winding up our journey are contemporary reflections on life and relationships by poet Gene Scheer in Jake Heggieís A Question of Light. These men spotlight six works of art from the Dallas Museum of Art. Each song is an emotional and musical response to the image and the poetry, as if one were walking through a museum and suddenly taken by surprise! Presented by baritone Mark Owen Davis, and pianist Craig W. Combs. 



Dichterleibe - Robert Schumann

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen - Gustav Mahler

A Question of Light - Jake Heggie


Sat. Feb. 27 7:30pm First Presbyterian Church, Kingsport, TN

Classical Style - Old and New

            ďFashions fade, style is eternalĒ - Yves Saint Laurent


Style goes beyond fashion.  What is fashionable in music today may be not be around in a few years.  Style on the other hand returns in ever longer cycles until it is a part of our artistic canon. TPCP presents two great works of inimitable style in Mozartís Oboe Quartet and the Brahms first piano trio.  We balance the program with two works that are still developing a stylistic reputation - Anton Arenskyís Piano Trio op. 32 and Robert Muczynskiís Fantasy Trio. Our bets are that these two works will be stylistically important in generations to come.  Guest Artists: oboist Larry Mueller and violinist Cameron Lugo, the 2015 Paramount Chamber Players Award winner.  Also appearing: Craig Combs, piano; George Figueroa, violin, Luis Casal, viola, Cherylonda Fitzgerald, cello and Eugene Jones, clarinet.



Oboe Quartet in F Major, K. 370 by W. A. Mozart

Piano Trio op. 32, Elegie and Finale by Anton Arensky

Fantasy Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano, Op.26 by Robert Muczynski

Piano Trio op. 8, No. 1 by Johannes Brahms


Thu. April 14 7:30pm Mathes Hall, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Fri. April 15 7:30pm First Presbyterian Church, Kingsport, TN
Sat. April 16 7:30pm Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol, TN
Sun. April 17 3:00pm Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church, Abingdon, VA


Join Our Mailing List

Live Concert Performances
The Paramount Chambers Players Award
Dynamic Contributors
Call For Compositions


  Luis Casal
  Craig Combs
  Mark Davis
  Vicki Fey
  George Figueroa
  Cherylonda Fitzgerald
  Eugene Jones
  Alice Kieth Knowles
  Rebecca Paluzzi
  Kimberley Ray





Copyright Craig Combs 2013