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.
These ladies in black are leaders in the Knoxville Symphony League. From left, Jane Venable, Stacy Moody and Becky Paylor.
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.
And large artwork including this painting of Paris donated by Jim Clayton.
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.
Professional ballroom dancers Mireille Tuendemann and Nathan Simler owned the dance floor!
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.
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.
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.
Holly and Russ Watkins
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!)
Another fun table! From left, Rose Moseley, Ralph Cianelli, Willene Chalmers, Rick Fox, Bill Pugh and Genetta Dittrich-Pugh.
George and Julia Shiflett
Dr. Reuben and Barbara Pelot
Toni and Jon Lawler. He’s immediate past president of the Symphony Board.
Tom and Evelyn Shaw
Dessert worth waiting for!
Kreis and Nancy Weigel
Cindi and Pete DeBusk
John Cate and Gail Jarvis
Theresa Stone, left, with Joanne and Dr. Jay Mounger.
Tina and Paul Hatcher
Jo and Sid Blalock.
Maestro Lucas Richman made remarks.
And worked the crowd. Here he is with Scott and Julie Boruff.
Barbara and Jeffrey Crist. (Haha on the photo bomber!)
Becky and Bob Paylor
Alan and Rebecca Williams
Ted and Kathryn Lewis
Then the Al Curtis Orchestra lured everyone onto the dance floor.
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.
Wish I had straightened my bow tie.
Perfect timing Cynthia. I have become much more interested in the culture about the Symphony. I have been watching the new show on Amazon “Mozart of the Jungle” and since I used to live in NYC area I know exactly how hard it is to be in the musical industry. **Note, I was a violinist groupie** However, that being said, I am so glad that you are showing the “other side of the business. Performing is hard, however, what it takes to get to that performance is so much harder. FUNDRAISING! People don’t realize how much resources it takes. The long hours and the sacrifice it takes to put on an amazing performance.
Knoxville, is so lucky to have a champion for the arts and culture like you and Allen. I swear if you ever leave Knoxville this will become a real boring town!
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Thank you, Dan, for the kind remarks. Knoxville is very lucky to have so many great cultural resources including the Knoxville Symphony, Knoxville Museum of Art, Clarence Brown Theatre, Knoxville Opera and countless other great organizations. Fundraising is very hard. But, thanks to the support of many, many generous people, the arts are thriving here. As incoming president of the Knoxville Symphony Board, I am proud to report that we have ended our eighth consecutive year in the black, while many other orchestras across the country are struggling and, sadly, closing. Thanks so much for your support.
You are such an asset to Knoxville arts! I love seeing you at the Jazz concerts as well. Thanks for all you do to promote and keep the arts alive and well!
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