The Winston-Salem Symphony Presents and Evening with Ricky Skaggs

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (JANUARY 15, 2019) – Join the Winston-Salem Symphony for a special one-night only performance with 15-time GRAMMY® winner and music legend Ricky Skaggs on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Under the baton of Jessica Morel, Assistant Conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony, the audience will enjoy an evening of bluegrass, gospel, Americana, and more. Among the many songs Skaggs will perform are Highway 40 Blues, Uncle Pen, Country Boy, Crying My Heart Out Over You, Bluegrass Breakdown, Appalachian Joy, Return to Sender, and many more. Skaggs’s renowned and GRAMMY® Award winning band, Kentucky Thunder, will join him on stage for several songs.

An Evening with Ricky Skaggs is part of the Pops Series and will take place at Reynolds Auditorium, 301 N. Hawthorne Road in Winston-Salem. Tickets range from $32 to $90 and are available in advance by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145 or online at

Ricky Skaggs was born on July 18, 1954 in Cordell, Kentucky, and received his first mandolin at the age of five after his father, Hobert, heard him harmonizing with his mother as he played with his toys. Two weeks after teaching him the G, C, and D chords, Hobert returned from working out of town shocked to see his young son making chord changes and singing along. When the legendary Bill Monroe came to Martha, Kentucky for a performance, the crowd wouldn’t let up until “Little Ricky Skaggs” got up to play. By age seven, Skaggs performed with bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs on their popular syndicated television show.

In 1971, Skaggs entered the world of professional music full-time with his friend, the late country singer, Keith Whitley, when the two young musicians were invited to join the band of bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley. In the late 1970s, Skaggs turned his attention to country music. With the release of Waitin’ for the Sun to Shine in 1981, Skaggs reached the top of the country charts and remained there throughout most of the 1980s, resulting in a total of twelve #1 hits. In 1982, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the youngest to ever be inducted at that time. As his popularity soared, he garnered eight awards from the Country Music Association (CMA), including “Entertainer of the Year” in 1985, four GRAMMY Awards and dozens of other honors. These achievements also placed him front and center in the neo-traditionalist movement, bringing renewed vitality and prominence to a sound that had been somewhat subdued by the commercialization of the “Urban Cowboy” fad. Renowned guitarist and producer, Chet Atkins, even credited Skaggs with “single-handedly” saving country music.

In 1997, after Ricky’s then-current recording contract was coming to an end, he made the decision to establish his own record label – Skaggs Family Records. Since then, Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder have released an amazing 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated classics (8 of which went on to earn the revered award) while also opening the label to a variety of other musical artists, all the time keeping emphasis on bluegrass and other forms of roots music. For more information, please visit
An Evening with Ricky Skaggs is sponsored by Season Presenting Sponsors Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A. and BB&T; Symphony Unbound Sponsor Chris & Mike Morykwas; Concert Sponsor Convergent; the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council; and media sponsors WXII12 and Fairway Outdoor Advertising.

About the Winston-Salem Symphony
The Winston-Salem Symphony, one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras, began its 72nd season in October 2018. The season will include performances featuring the five finalists for the Music Director position. Each candidate will conduct a pair of Classics Series concerts, and attendees will have a chance to play a role in the selection process. In addition, the 2018–2019 season will include a Plugged-In Pops series, Discovery Concerts for Kids series, an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, the Concert for Community featuring Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony musicians, holiday concerts, three youth orchestra ensembles, and a multitude of educational and community engagement programs, including the newest offering, the P.L.A.Y. (Piedmont Learning Academy for Youth) Music program providing, primarily to under-served youth, instrumental music instruction and more. The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsors BB&T and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A., as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors. For more information, visit

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This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

The Winston-Salem Symphony receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Educational initiatives made possible with funding by Wells Fargo, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.