I'm Clarence Padilla, Personnel Manager and Clarinetist for the Des Moines Symphony. Although I’m primarily a classical musician, I think a Holiday season playlist needs to include songs and pieces that everyone can enjoy.  In putting this playlist together, I imagine being with friends, colleagues, and perhaps people I don’t even know. We are all talking,  laughing, eating and drinking a favorite beverages. Therefore, I’ve chosen a variety of genres and styles that hopefully meets everyone’s satisfaction.  I hope the selections make you sing, dance, clap, snap your fingers, and most importantly, reflect upon the important things in life!

My favorite vocalists are Karen Carpenter and Mel Torme.  The beauty of these two voices make me stop whatever I’m doing and just LISTEN!  Additionally, I love listening to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett sing anything. I’ve always appreciated the creativity of Mannheim Steamroller and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, particularly for how they subtly alter the melodies and harmonies, but always making sure the well-known themes are still clear and easily recognizable.   The Gordon Goodwin Phat Band and the Canadian Brass include the best instrumental musicians in the world. The final two songs on my playlist are in memory of my mother, featuring the impeccable Yo-Yo Ma, and Mannheim Steamroller's timeless version of Silent Night.  Enjoy!