‘An Emerald Evening’ rakes in the green!

KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian with his wife, Caraline, right, and Elizabeth Offringa, the chair of this year’s Symphony Ball committee.

Congratulations to the Knoxville Symphony League for hosting its most successful Symphony Ball in recent history! Held this past Saturday at Cherokee Country Club with a St. Paddy’s Day theme, “An Emerald Evening” brought in about $150,000. Of that, about $45,000 was donated by a show of hands straight to the Symphony’s Music and Wellness Program, which provides musicians to play in area hospitals and other health care facilities.

“The Symphony Ball was a huge success this year and the League deserves a big thank you for their tireless efforts to make it a reality,” said Rachel Ford, executive director of the Knoxville Symphony. “Events like the ball are essential for their ability to raise, not only badly needed funds, but also awareness of the things the KSO does outside the concert hall, such as our Music and Wellness Program.”

In a break from tradition, the Symphony Ball was moved from the first weekend in December to a Saturday in March. This allowed it to avoid competition from the crush of holiday activities and also from the SEC Football Championship Game, which has been an issue in years past.

Also, with a March date, the musicians of the Knoxville Symphony were able to perform at the Ball. In December, they could not because they always were in rehearsals for the Appalachian Ballet Company’s annual performances of “The Nutcracker.” To me, it just seemed weird to have a Symphony Ball without the Symphony playing.

So, bravo to all for the smart changes. And the big success.

Charleene Edwards is president of the Knoxville Symphony League.

As they made their way to the River Room for cocktails and silent auction, guests were welcomed by members of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Woodwind Quintet. From left: Emily Nixson, Samantha Raymond, Kieran Scruggs, Marcus Lee and Renae Dishman.

Susan French placing a bid.

Terry and Rachel Ford, executive director of the Knoxville Symphony.

Gay Lyons of VIP Knoxville magazine with, from left, John Winemiller, Ralph Cianelli, Rick Fox and R.J. Hinde. Another change: For the first time this year, the attire was “black tie optional” rather than “black tie.” A lot of men, including my husband, appreciated this.

The silent auction contained a lot of interesting items. Like this sculpture by Dale Sumner called, “The French Lady.”

Judy Henry, left, and Rhonda Webster.

Rhonda’s shoes. Ha. (She was probably the most comfortable woman there!)

Cindy Mancebo, left, and Margo Simmons.

Bonita Anderson, left, and Sharon Lamont.

You could bid on painting with a penguin at Zoo Knoxville!

Jay and Joanne Mounger.

Marga and Jay McBride with Ellen Robinson, right.

Danielle and Jim Hemsley.

You could even go shoe shopping!

State Sen. Becky Massey, left, with Cathy Briscoe-Graves.

Tom and Evelyn Shaw with Jane Venable, center.

Theresa Stone and Rose Moseley.

When it was time to enter the ballroom for dinner, Renae Dishman piped us in!

The ballroom lighting was beautiful, with shamrocks on the ceiling. (Photo by Knoxville Symphony)

Brian Bosson and Bette Bryan chatting prior to dinner service.

Jan and Pete Crawford. I loved her dress.

Lewis Brewer and Erma Prather. He’s in the spirit!

Cathy and Mark Hill.

Friends, from left, Sharon Laing, Bette Bryan and Carolyn Lawrence.


The delicious salad featured mixed greens, Bartlett pears, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries and blue cheese tossed in a champagne vinaigrette.

David Williams and Sheena McCall.

Edie Volk and Peter Acly.

KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian welcomed everyone. He was an energetic emcee.

Entree by Chef David Pinckney was outstanding, as usual. It was a duo of beef tenderloin with cabernet truffle glace, grouper with tomato lobster butter, broccolini with lemon butter, braised purple cabbage and smashed new potatoes. (Sorry about the green tint — the shamrocks, you know!)

Susan and Kent Farris.

Hannah Maine and Broderick Moore.

Brooks and Karen Clark.

Tom and Deanene Catani.

Rachel and Whit Addicks.

Linda Royston, right, with Reid and Olga Crumpton.

My husband, Alan Carmichael, is allowed by his doctor to have two desserts per month. This caramel brownie cheesecake with Bailey’s Irish Cream Anglaise was one of them!

Others opted for key lime pie with raspberry coulis.

Brian and Nancy Bosson.

Stephen and Andrea Bailey Cox.

Ann and Parks Hicks.

Harvey and Karen White.

Here’s a fun table! From left, Joanne and Jay Mounger, Sid Blalock, Nancy Bosson, Jo Blalock, Brian Bosson, Theresa Stone and Harvey and Karen White.

The GO! Contemporary Dance Works troupe entertained with an Irish theme, of course!

It was so great to have the Knoxville Symphony to accompany them and to play interludes between the eight live auction items.

Joe and Ruth Fielden had a good table. Behind them are, from left, Anna Gray, Brooks and Karen Clark.

Frank and Anna Gray.

Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, left, with Christy and Jeff Lee. Mary is co-owner of the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. She generously donated a five-course dinner in the attraction’s “secret” dining room as part of the live auction.

Auctioneer Bear Stephenson, rear, knows how to work the room. That’s Rick Fox in front of him.

These ladies, all with the KSO staff, were keenly interested in how the auction was going! From left, Rachel Dellinger, Sara Deatherage, Rose Sampley and Mary Sue Greiner.

After the auction and several short Symphony numbers, ballroom dancers Mireille Gineste and Gregory Day took the floor.

Robin Smith, left, and Debbie Emery chatting after dinner and the auction.

The Dennis Dow Trio provided music for dancing.

Becky and Bob Paylor.

This allowed the Symphony musicians to relax with a drink after their work was done. From left, Ted Kartal, Zachary Hughes, Ayca Yayman and Concertmaster William Shaub.

It was fun to mingle with them. From left, Sean Claire, Olga Ovchinnikova, Edward Pulgar, Adrian Jay and Gordon Tsai.

Stacy Nickell and Bob Adamcik.

Jeffrey Whaley, left, and Sean Donovan.

From left, Yan Peng, Ikuko Koizumi and I-pei Lin.

From left, Robyn Quinnett, Jill Bartine, Rachel Loseke and Hannah Hammel.

From left, Alan Carmichael, Michael Combs, Sen. Becky Massey and Concertmaster William Shaub.

Becky and Morton Massey are very generous to provide checkout services for local non-profit auctions.

The Symphony’s development director, Mary Sue Greiner, and Stewart Anderson celebrating the success of the evening!

Would you like to see some beautiful ballroom dancing while the Knoxville Symphony plays? Here you go:

Filed under: Events, Food, Knoxville, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to ‘An Emerald Evening’ rakes in the green!

  1. Gay Lyons, on March 22nd, 2018 at 3:58 pm said:

    It was the best Symphony Ball ever. First rate in every way. Kudos to all who made it happen. Having the Symphony there was wonderful. And I loved the creative matching of songs to live auction items.

  2. Becky Paylor, on March 23rd, 2018 at 10:20 am said:

    So thrilled that the League made the decision to move the Ball to the Spring! It was
    great to walk into Cherokee in daylight and see the beautiful Silent auction items “light up” and be seen. The Orchestra was the star of the show and Aram was a delight to watch in action. Hopefully this is the first of many successful KSL Ball’s to look forward, and many thanks to Ball Chair Elizabeth Offringa and her Advisor Elizabeth Koester. Well done, Good and faithful servants!

  3. Cynthia Moxley, on March 23rd, 2018 at 12:54 pm said:

    Gay and Becky: Certainly agree with all you both said. Hopefully, we are on a roll!

  4. Monique Anderson, on March 23rd, 2018 at 4:28 pm said:

    Looked like a “ball!!!”

  5. Marga McBride, on April 9th, 2018 at 4:32 pm said:

    wonderful evening and wonderful article!

  6. Pingback:EventCheck Knox marks milestone! – EventCheck Knox

  7. Pingback:I’m dreaming … of dates for December – EventCheck Knox

Leave a Reply