Symphony Ball sparkles with diamonds and dancing

There were a lot of beautiful dresses at the Symphony Ball, but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be this stunning red number worn by Kay Clayton.

There were a lot of beautiful dresses at the Symphony Ball, but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be this stunning red number worn by Kay Clayton. Understated elegance.

Even though the annual Symphony Ball falls right in the middle of the holiday season and always on the same night as the Southeastern Conference football championship, it still draws an impressive crowd to Cherokee Country Club.

Sponsored by the Knoxville Symphony League to raise funds for the Knoxville Symphony, this year’s theme was “Diamonds are Forever,” and that theme was reflected in a number of beautiful jeweled pieces offered in the silent and live auctions. And this year, the event also spotlighted dazzling dance numbers by members of Go! Contemporary Dance Works and professional ballroom dancers Mireille Tuendemann and Nathan Simler. The Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Quartet performed during the cocktail hour and the Al Curtis Orchestra provided dance music following the live auction.

ladies in black

These ladies in black are leaders in the Knoxville Symphony League. From left, Jane Venable, Stacy Moody and Becky Paylor.

Rick Alan Ralph

Enjoying the silent auction/cocktail hour are, from left, Rick Fox, a new member of the Symphony Board, Alan Carmichael, and Ralph Cianelli.

In addition to jewelry, silent auction items included whimsical seasonal decorations like this cute snowman.

In addition to jewelry, silent auction items included whimsical seasonal decorations like this cute snowman.

And large artwork including this painting of Paris donated by Jim Clayton.

And large artwork including this painting of Paris donated by Jim Clayton.

Sharon Lord and Randy Tyree during the silent auction.

Sharon Lord and Randy Tyree during the silent auction.

Here are the folks from Go! Contemporary Dance Works in their opening performance prior to dinner.

Here are the folks from Go! Contemporary Dance Works in their opening performance prior to dinner.

Professional ballroom dancers Mireille Tuendemann and Nathan Simler owned the dance floor!

Professional ballroom dancers Mireille Tuendemann and Nathan Simler owned the dance floor!

You are not going to go wrong with the food at Cherokee. Chef David Pinckney is top notch.

You are not going to go wrong with the food at Cherokee Country Club. Chef David Pinckney is top notch.

To shake things up a little, auctioneer Bear Stephenson started the live auction prior to dessert being served. (A clever way to be sure folks stayed a while into the auction. No one wanted to miss dessert!)

To shake things up a little, auctioneer Bear Stephenson started the live auction prior to dessert being served. (A clever way to be sure folks stayed a while into the auction. No one wanted to miss dessert!)

Terry and Rachel Ford. She's executive director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

Terry and Rachel Ford. She’s executive director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

Some fun loving folks, from left, Al Yanno, Kim Davis and Dr. Ted Tsaltas.

Some fun loving folks, from left, Al Yanno, Kim Davis and Dr. Ted Tsaltas.

Elizabeth and Rudy Koester. She was chair of the Symphony Ball this year.

Elizabeth and Rudy Koester. She was chair of the Symphony Ball this year.

 

Meanwhile, our table mates were getting romantic! That's Peter Acly and his wife, Ellen Robinson.

Meanwhile, our tablemates were getting romantic! That’s Peter Acly and his wife, Ellen Robinson.

We had a lively table. Here are Mark and Cathy Hill. He was wearing a blue velvet dinner jacket designed by Alexander McQueen, ordered specifically for this event.

We had a lively table. Here are Mark and Cathy Hill. He was wearing a blue velvet dinner jacket designed by Alexander McQueen, ordered specifically for this event.

Holly and Russ Watkins

Holly and Russ Watkins

Harvey and Karen White

Harvey and Karen White

Gil and Edie Volk. She is the Christian martyr who volunteered to be in charge of seating at the Ball, a big challenge, to say the least. (Thanks for all your help, Edie!)

Gil and Edie Volk. She is the Christian martyr who volunteered to be in charge of seating at the Ball, a big challenge, to say the least. (Thanks for all your help, Edie!)

Another fun table! From left, Rose Moseley, Ralph Cianelli, Willene Chalmers, Rick Fox, Bill Pugh and Genetta Dittrich-Pugh.

Another fun table! From left, Rose Moseley, Ralph Cianelli, Willene Chalmers, Rick Fox, Bill Pugh and Genetta Dittrich-Pugh.

George and Julia Shiflett

George and Julia Shiflett

Dr. Reuben and Barbara Pelot

Dr. Reuben and Barbara Pelot

Toni and Jon Lawler. He's immediate past president of the Symphony Board.

Toni and Jon Lawler. He’s immediate past president of the Symphony Board.

Tom and Evelyn Shaw

Tom and Evelyn Shaw

Dessert worth waiting for!

Dessert worth waiting for!

Kreis and Nancy Weigel

Kreis and Nancy Weigel

Cindi and Pete DeBusk

Cindi and Pete DeBusk

John  Cate and Gail Jarvis

John Cate and Gail Jarvis

Theresa Stone, left, with Joanne and Dr. Jay Mounger.

Theresa Stone, left, with Joanne and Dr. Jay Mounger.

Tina and Paul Hatcher

Tina and Paul Hatcher

Jo and Sid Blalock.

Jo and Sid Blalock.

Maestro Lucas Richman made remarks.

Maestro Lucas Richman made remarks.

And worked the crowd. Here he is with Scott and Julie Boruff.

And worked the crowd. Here he is with Scott and Julie Boruff.

Barbara and Jeffrey Christ

Barbara and Jeffrey Crist. (Haha on the photo bomber!)

Becky and Bob Paylor

Becky and Bob Paylor

Alan and Rebecca Williams

Alan and Rebecca Williams

Ted and Kathryn Lewis

Ted and Kathryn Lewis

Then the Al Curtis Orchestra lured everyone onto the dance floor.

Then the Al Curtis Orchestra lured everyone onto the dance floor.

Quite successfully!

Quite successfully!

Meanwhile, some folks had to work. Like Morton Massey, who helped check auction winners out.

Meanwhile, some folks had to work. Like Morton Massey, who helped check auction winners out.

And these great ladies of the KSO staff. From left, Morgan Fleming, Tiffani Mensch and Mary Sue Greiner.

And these great ladies of the KSO staff. From left, Morgan Fleming, Tiffani Mensch and Mary Sue Greiner.

 

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