In addition to the holiday season, the Knoxville Symphony Society’s board of directors had much to celebrate last night when members gathered at the Historic Middlebrook mansion for a little conviviality.
Hosts Rick Fox, a KSO board member, and Ralph Cianelli put out a sumptuous cocktail spread and wine for every taste as board members listened to Mike Benjamin perform Christmas carols on the piano while they admired Fox and Cianelli’s 10 over-the-top decorated Christmas trees. And that’s just counting the trees that were inside the historic estate!
KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian and his wife, Caraline, rushed into the party straight from the final of four performances of the popular Clayton Holiday Concert at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. This was the 32nd year for the seasonal favorite.
Other reasons for the KSO Board to be joyous:
- The board was able this year to negotiate a three-year extension of Demirjian’s contract to conduct the orchestra, a real win for the KSO and the community, which has embraced the young maestro.
- While some other orchestras across the country have struggled, the KSO was able to end its season in the black for the 12th year in a row when the fiscal year concluded in May.
- The Knoxville Symphony was one of four American orchestras to be invited to perform at the prestigious SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras during its 2019-2020 season. Sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts, the 2020 festival will begin on March 23 and last until March 29.
- The Knoxville Symphony was included in a national radio broadcast on the show “Performance Today” in April of this year.
- The Knoxville Symphony Ball was a record-breaker, hauling in $144,000. Reasons for the big success: moving the date from early December to March and arranging for the members of the Knoxville Symphony to actually perform at the ball.
- The Knoxville Symphony League had a successful ShowHouse earlier this year, the first one to be located in downtown Knoxville.
All this provides a great reason to celebrate. Plus, it’s the holidays! Cheers!