Deane Conley, right, and her daughter, Pam Williamson, were NOT dressed as Victorians!
What the Dickens? We just threw on our dress clothes and headed to Cherokee Country Club to check out the Knoxville Symphony League Ball. With this year’s theme being “A Charles Dickens Christmas,” the invitations said to wear either formal clothes or attire from the Charles Dickens era. We opted for the former, although my friend Ellen Robinson threatened to dress as the big Christmas turkey from “A Christmas Carol.” (She didn’t!)
Remember, it was at the Symphony Ball last year when Knox County’s then First Lady, Allison Burchett, stopped traffic in a form-fitting blue dress (click here for a reminder). That’s the blog post that still gets dozens of hits a month, even though it’s more than a year old. There were some stunners again this year, as you will see. But with a Victorian theme, you really couldn’t expect anything too shocking.
I have to say the ladies of the Knoxville Symphony League really know how to decorate a room. The club’s ballroom was absolutely stunning with street lamps as centerpieces and pine cones as place card holders. One tradition of this event is that it is held the same night as the Southeastern Conference championship football game. This insures that large portions of the crowd will sneak away into Cherokee’s pub where a large flat-screen TV dominates the room. I’m glad I had the time to drink a strong martini before my team, the Georgia Bulldogs, lost to Alabama in a nail-biter.
Other than that, the night was very festive.
My husband, Alan Carmichael, poses with Knoxville Symphony League members Hannah McDaniel, left, and Pat Jobe in front of a huge sleigh.
Carolyn Lawrence was chair of the ball this year. She says she bought this muff "ages ago" and just couldn't find an appropriate time to wear it. But a lot of ladies wore muffs in Dickens' time! Perfect.
Here's a look at the table settings. Aren't they pretty?
Loved the centerpieces.
My favorite part! Clever.
The servers dressed in period clothes - or at least had one article of clothing that fit the theme. This is Alvin Hall.
Here are Kyle Wehrenberg, left, and Christopher Ewing.
I absolutely adored Cindi DeBusk's dress.
And I thought Cathy Hill's brooch was super appropriate!
Rose Moseley had an eye-catching hair piece.
You wouldn't believe all the silent auction items! I loved this little snowman. But Alan and I have a pact not to buy more "stuff" since we've moved into a downtown condo. Instead, everyone at our table chipped in during the live auction and bought a yacht cruise.
John and Sandra Butler. She went the Victorian route.
Pete DeBusk, left, and Jim Clayton during the cocktail and silent auction part of the evening.
From left, Angela Howard, Michael and Judith Foltz, and Symphony Board member Rick Stone
Carol and Jim Cortese
Debbie Richman, left, with Harriet and Fred Hodge
Maestro Lucas Richman had on a new tuxedo, which was very well-suited to the event. (Pun intended.)
Here's a closeup of the fabric. Don't you agree? It was custom made for him by John H. Daniel in the Old City.
Here are Kay and Jim Clayton taking a break to watch the football game in the pub.
Tami and Bruce Hartmann were in the pub watching football, too. They didn't go to the Symphony Ball, but it was fun to run into them, anyway.
Finally, we were called to dinner, which began with a poached pear salad. It was delicious.
The Tennessee Theatre's Tom Cervone and Susan Creswell were at our table.
So were Mark and Cathy Hill.
And Peter Acly and Ellen Robinson
Don and Tami Yager completed our group.
Ed and Donie Green are KSO regulars.
Bill Regas and Janet Testerman Crossley looked great.
Carol and Don Parnell, left, with Loretta and Michael Crowder.
Maestro Lucas and Debbie Richman
Kreis and Nancy Weigel
John Cate and Gail Jarvis
Symphony League member Edie Volk was in charge of arranging seating at the tables, a challenging job for sure.
Terry and Rachel Ford. She's the executive director of the Knoxville Symphony.
Former Symphony Board Chair Mark and Cathy Mamantov, left, with future chair, Rick Johnson.
Symphony Board Chairman Jon Lawler with Suzanne Schriver, a board member
Walter and Hannah McDaniel
I thought the sorbet, served between courses, was beautiful.
The entree was a big hunk of beef.
Dessert? Figgy pudding, of course!
I think Alan liked it. Ellen, too.
Alan posed with our friend Jim Braun who works for the News Sentinel and also plays in a great dance band, The Max, which performed at the end of the evening.