‘Bach at the Botanicals’ beguiles in brand new way

Violinist Rachel Loseke introduces a piece to be performed in The Secret Garden, which was the third stop of our evening.

“Bach at the Botanicals” was a new endeavor by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra this year, but it was such a success that you can expect to see it again.

Held at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum on a beautiful, clear Thursday evening, it offered guests the option to bring their own chairs and experience small ensembles performing in seven different locations in the garden. It was free of charge.

“This was the first time we’d performed at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and it was a really fun, new way for the  KSO to engage with the community,” KSO Executive Director Rachel Ford said. “The multiple settings were varied and gorgeous. The highlight of the evening was the moon over the Dogwood Center while the KSO played. Just stunning!”

The excellent feedback from patrons is what makes it almost certain to be a recurring event, Ford said. Our group thought it was fun to try to make it to all seven stops during the hour-and-a-half time frame.

Luckily, as you will see, we had a very serious time-keeper to keep us on track.

First stop was the Visitor Center where some eager visitors had settled in.

Trianne Newbrey, the KSO’s director of communicaitons, welcomed everyone and said Music Director Aram Demirjian was on the way to get things started.

And, sure enough . . .

Zofia Glashauser, Jennifer Bloch and Adam Ayers performed a J.S. Bach piece to get things rolling!

Folks made themselves comfortable.

It was nice to see families enjoying the gardens and the music.

But we couldn’t stay too long, because we needed to move to our next stop.

Approaching stop number two: the Martha Ashe Garden.

Performers at this location: Sean Claire, Ikuko Koizumi, I-Pei Lin, Eunsoon Lee-Corliss and Sarah Miller.

Violinist Sean Claire introducing a piece.

Appreciative guests. From left, Rick Fox, R.J. Hinde, John Winemiller and Ralph Cianelli. John is the current chair of the KSO board. Rick is the chair-elect.

Soon, we headed out to the next garden: The Secret Garden.

One the way, we ran into these fine folks! From left, Ralph Cianelli, Elizabeth Grant, Rick Fox and Janie and Bill Dempster. (Ralph and Rick were part of our group.)

I think I see the next musicians through this rustic doorway!

Yep! Rachel Loseke, Audrey Pride, Stacy Nickell and Bill Pierce.

Stacy Nickell giving us some more Bach.

Ralph was our timekeeper. And he said it was time to move on!

So, we headed out and caught this lovely vista.

We paused at this sweet tribute to our late friend Andie Ray, famous for her many hats.

I loved this cute fox.

My hubs, Alan Carmichael, took the opportunity for a short break.

Wow. The sky.

Approaching the Stone Greenhouse. We heard some Bach wafting our way!

That’s Jim Richards in the center. He’s executive director of the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum. In addition to being chair-elect of the Symphony board, Rick, left, is the current board chair of the Botanical Garden and Arboretum, by the way.

Let’s go in!

Gordon Tsai, Edward Pulgar, Kathryn Gawne, Steve Benne and Andy Bryenton.

Andy Bryenton.

Outside, we ran into Mary Sue Greiner. As the KSO’s director of development, she raises the money that makes free events like this possible!

We also passed Mark Tucker, the KSO’s librarian and personnel manager, and Rachel Ford, executive director.

Next stop: the Stone Terraces.

Performers were Gary Sperl on clarinet, Devan Jaquez on flute, Justin Cummings on bassoon, Jeffery Whaley on French horn and Claire Chenette on oboe.

Sun starting to set.

But we are on the move again!

We said hello to former Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill, who was wearing a very appropriate musically-themed hat!

In the Gazebo, we found Music Director Aram Demirjian playing cello. He was accompanied by Concertmaster William Shaub and Kyle Venlet, both on violin.

The last stop was the Dogwood Center.

Some folks wanted to watch from outside.

These included Katharine Pearson Criss, seated, and Neil and Maureen Dunn McBride.

We opted to go inside. From left, Alan Carmichael, Rick Fox, Ralph Cianelli and David Williamson.

More Bach and Tchaikovsky were on the program.

Concertmaster William Shaub, left, and Associate Concertmaster Gordon Tsai.

A view from outside.

After the show, Music Director Aram Demirjian came over to say hello to Alan.

We ran into Sheena McCall and Jon Agazzi when the concert ended. With their special guest.

There’s that moon!

Here’s a sample of the beautiful music. Can’t wait until next year to do it again!



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9 Responses to ‘Bach at the Botanicals’ beguiles in brand new way

  1. Allyn Purvis Schwartz, on October 15th, 2021 at 11:50 am said:

    What a beautiful evening at the gorgeous Gardens!! I will keep my eyes open for the event next year!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on October 15th, 2021 at 1:00 pm said:

    Allyn: It was really a lovely time! I think you would totally enjoy it!

  3. Georgiana Vines, on October 15th, 2021 at 3:01 pm said:

    I wish I had gone. I hope the symphony will also perform at the UT Gardens as well as the Knoxville Botanical Gardens. Each is special!

  4. Sara Pinnell, on October 15th, 2021 at 3:35 pm said:

    Beautiful!! We hope to make it next year!!!

  5. Cynthia Moxley, on October 15th, 2021 at 10:27 pm said:

    Sara: I think you would love it!

  6. Alan Carmichael, on October 15th, 2021 at 10:32 pm said:

    Really, really nice. Ralph was an efficient timekeeper.

  7. Maureen Dunn McBride, on October 16th, 2021 at 10:06 am said:

    Beautiful evening! Thank you for showing off so much of the garden with your beautiful pictures.

  8. carolyn jensen, on October 17th, 2021 at 12:45 pm said:

    Loved this setting and idea. I wish I had been there. Sure hope to see and hear it next year. Love the way you cover so many events. Almost like being there, but not really as good as being there in person. Thanks for all you attention to details. Carolyn Jensen

  9. Cynthia Moxley, on October 17th, 2021 at 1:06 pm said:

    Alan: Yes, he was! If it had not been for him, I don’t think we would have made it to all the stops!

    Maureen: It was great seeing you all!

    Carolyn: It was such a good time. Alan and I look forward to seeing you there next year for sure!

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