Bagpiper Kay Gordon Irwin led guests from the silent auction into the ballroom when it was time for dinner.
You don’t normally expect to see a bagpiper and cloggers at the elegant Knoxville Symphony Ball at Cherokee Country Club, but since the theme this year was “A Tennessee Christmas,” it seemed appropriate.
The ball every year is the signature event of the Knoxville Symphony League, a group of dedicated supporters led by President Edie Volk who annually raise about $200,000 for the orchestra.
“Our organization would not be what it is today without the unwavering support of the league,” said Rachel Ford, executive director of the Knoxville Symphony. “I greatly appreciate the countless hours that its members spend on our behalf.”
Members of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Principal Quartet greeted folks with beautiful music as they arrived. From left, Daniel Choo, Elizabeth Joo, Sarah Johnson and Jerry Zhou.
Rhonda Webster was chair of the ball. She was running all day and night — as evidenced by the shoes.
A sleigh filled with wine and other treats was on display in the lobby. Its contents would be auctioned off later in the night.
Rick Stone and Angela Howard. He’s on the symphony board. What a fabulous dress.
This scarf of league member Margie Carico was perfect for a Christmastime affair.
Donna and Chris Kinney with KSO Executive Director Rachel Ford, right. Chris is a KSO board member.
One of the more dramatic silent auction items: an opera cloak.
KSO board member Willene Chalmers, right, with her granddaughter, Dorian Ewing, who traditionally is a model during the auction.
Symphony League members Stacy Moody, left, and Cynthia Sowa.
Willene Chalmers with Jim Clayton and Michell Witt. Jim also is a KSO board member.
KSO board member Tom Shaw and his wife, Evelyn.
Susan and Jeff Arbital.
Susan French and Bill Johnson.
From left, Rick Fox, Alan Carmichael and Ralph Cianelli. Rick is on the KSO board.
Carol and Don Parnell.
League member Elizabeth Grant, left, with Cyndi Klassen.
League member Donie and Ed Green.
League member Becky and Bob Paylor. Becky also serves on the KSO board.
David Williamson and state Sen. Becky Massey.
League member Carolyn Lawrence with Morton Massey.
Lisa Bogaty, left, with Janet and Russell Greer.
Old Forge Distillery kept folks in good spirits.
Sam Venable, shown here with his wife, Mary Ann, did a great job as master of ceremonies.
Soon it was time to be seated. I adore okra in every form, but this was really different: okra “croutons” is how they were described on the menu. Looked like regular (and delicious) fried okra to me! Ha.
It was a great place to table hop. Tom Shaw talks to Russ and Holly Watkins during dinner.
Russ is president-elect of the Knoxville Symphony board.
Theresa Stone, left, with Jay and Joanne Mounger. Theresa is on the KSO board. Joanne is an honorary board member.
League member Nancy Weigel, right, and her daughter, Nan Sweitzer.
Gil and Edie Volk, president of the Symphony League.
Shirley Elder and Bear Stephenson, the evening’s hard working auctioneer.
Terry and Rachel Ford.
Sid and Jo Blalock with Harvey White, at right.
KSO’s resident conductor, James Fellenbaum, and his wife, Sarah.
Ellen Robinson, center, with Donna Kinney and Ellen’s husband, Peter Acly. Peter is on the KSO board.
Mark and Cathy Hill.
KSO Board member Betsey Bush, left, with John and league member Sandra Butler.
My husband’s favorite part of any meal is dessert — and he loved this pumpkin roll with cinnamon Anglaise sauce. The main course was beef tenderloin and tilapia and it was delicious, too.
Mary Sue Greiner is development director of the Knoxville Symphony, but she’s also a talented singer. She was accompanied by KSO board member Tom Shaw on piano performing the theme song of the evening, “A Tender Tennessee Christmas.” Here’s a 15-second sample of it:
Soon it was time for dancing to the Al Curtis Orchestra.
And folks were ready for it!
Bill and Genetta Pugh.
Jane and Frank Venable.
Jim Clayton and Michell Witt.
Ted and Kathryn Lewis.
Here’s my favorite picture of the night. I call it “Jackson gets mobbed” because I think Rick Stone looks like my favorite singer, Jackson Browne. Ha. Doing the “mobbing” are Rachel Ford and Mary Sue Greiner of the symphony staff and Rick’s actual girlfriend, Angela Howard, in front. (She’s a good sport.)
Aww. Angela and Rick found a sweet way to end the evening out on the patio.