Even Mother Nature loves Ijams and the Symphony

In the 32-year history of Symphony in the Park, the fun, fun event where the Knoxville Symphony plays at an outdoor fundraiser for Ijams Nature Center at the nature center, there’s never been a rain plan in place. And, although some years have been close, there’s never been a rain-out.

A beautiful night at Ijams Nature Center listening to the Knoxville Symphony.

But this year, with the unpredictable hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, Ijams had a rain plan for the event last month. But, once again, it was not necessary to use it. Talk about luck!

This is an evening Alan and I never miss. We love the Symphony, we love Ijams Nature Center (in its most civilized iteration — not in its wildest!) and we love the whole gentle atmosphere of the night.

Stephen Lyn Bales of Ijams and his owl friend welcomed guests. (I’ve known Lyn since he and I worked together at The Mountain Press in 1979. He was our first graphic designer when I started Moxley Communications in 1992!)

Dr. Louise Conrad, Ijams’ staff veterinarian, holds an albino turtle.

Pre-concert mingling. Left to right, Melissa White, Mary Lawrence and UT Athletics Director John Currie, and Doug White of Toyota and Lexus of Knoxville.

From left, Alan Carmichael, Frank and Angel Rosamond, and Nathan Rowell. Frank is the new president of the News Sentinel.

Sandra Heinig, left, of Regal Entertainment Group, and Sara Fortune Rose of Bush Brothers.

Tom and Evelyn Shaw of Thermal Label Warehouse.

Martha Kern and John Niceley. They own Strong Stock Farm, one of our favorite places.

Pellissippi State Community College President Anthony Wise and his wife, Lynn.

Jake Hudson and Amber Parker. She’s executive director of Ijams Nature Center.

From left, Gwen McKenzie, Travis Bigwood, Beth Townsend and Knoxville Symphony Music Director Aram Demirjian.

Jan Bechtel, left, and Janice Mitchell.

Julia and Gary Bentley.

Fred and Harriet Hodge.

From left, Cindy Hassil, Beth Townsend and Helen Harb.

Alan Carmichael, left, with Holly and Russ Watkins. Russ is president of the Knoxville Symphony board.

Sherri Lee, left, and Nazzy Hashemian. (Photo by Jack Gress.)

From left, Dulcie, Butch and Meredith Peccolo. (Photo by Jack Gress.)

Sarah and Stuart Cassell with Martha Kern, at right.

Soon, it was time to sit down for dinner and the performance.

Settling in.

Stephen and April Harris are the presenting sponsors of this mellow evening.

Stephanie and City Councilman George Wallace.

Tami and Bruce Hartmann.

Mintha and Jon Roach.

Angel and Frank Rosamond.

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

Nathan Rowell and Gwen McKenzie.

Doug and Carolyn Leahy.

Diane and Daniel Carter.

Doby Noles, left, and Sharon Pryse.

Calli and Bill Taylor.

Angela Howard and Rick Stone. (Get a room! Ha!)

Tasha Blakney and Michael Rogers.

From left, Mark and Laura Heinz with Joan Cronan.

From left, Sharon Bailey, Dick Brower and Bo Harris.

And then, music!

It was a beautiful night.

Maestro Demirjian in action.

Soloist Zoë Nutt.

Concertmaster William Shaub.

After the show, musicians shared a few minutes and a glass of wine with us. From left, Michael Combs, Edward Pulgar and Bob Adamcik.

From left, Steve Benne, Stacy Nickell, Steve Clark, Zoë Nutt and our guest Gwen McKenzie.

Can’t wait until next year!


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5 Responses to Even Mother Nature loves Ijams and the Symphony

  1. Alan Carmichael, on October 2nd, 2017 at 8:30 pm said:

    When you talk about the fun events in Knoxville, this is always a favorite.

  2. Savanna Howie, on October 3rd, 2017 at 10:13 am said:

    Looks like a wonderful evening! Ijams is such a special East Tennessee treasure.

  3. Monique Anderson, on October 3rd, 2017 at 12:31 pm said:

    It does look like a fun event.

  4. Nathan Rowell, on October 4th, 2017 at 11:16 am said:

    Thanks for inviting me! It was a wonderful evening!

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