A jaunt to Scotland — without leaving Knoxville

A toast with one of the four Scotch whiskies offered for tasting! From left, Karen and Reinhold Mann and John and Linda Haynes.

A packed Scottish pub. Scotch eggs. Four kinds of Scotch whisky. And Scottish music – with a couple of tangos thrown in for good measure.

That’s what the sold-out “Scotch and Strings” fundraiser at Boyd’s Jig and Reel offered participants this past Sunday as a benefit for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. About 90 people — some in kilts — traveled to Knoxville’s Old City (a lot closer than Scotland!) to celebrate and contribute. The $65 price of admission got you tastes of four Scotches plus a bounteous buffet of Scotch-themed edibles. (Thankfully, no haggis!)

A quartet from the KSO performed two sets: Sean Claire, violin; Zofia Glashouser, violin; Joshua Ulrich, viola; and Stacy Nickell, cello.

Boyd’s Jig and Reel is nothing if not authentic. Owner Jenny Boyd, a music lover, wanted a place that would celebrate Scottish, Irish and Appalachian culture. It has one of the largest collections of Scotch whiskies in the world — more than 800. The goal is to represent every distillery — both open and closed!

There’s music almost every night — and some days! — and the friendly and well-informed staff wears tartan plaid. Regulars and guests often show up for “pub night” when folks bring their own instruments and gather round to play and sing. Forgot your instrument? No worries. Just grab one off the wall and join in!

The sponsors of this event helped defray the cost so that most of the admission fees could go straight to the Knoxville Symphony. Sponsors were Boyd’s Jig and Reel, Mardel Fehrenbach, Hickory Construction, Compass Healthcare Consulting, UT Federal Credit Union, David and Ying Ayliffe, Elizabeth Offringa and Empire Distributors of Tennessee, Inc. Thanks, everybody!

From left, Sean Claire, Zofia Glashauser, Stacy Nickell and Joshua Ulrich.

From left, Lyle and Trish Irish and Lisa and J.D. Howard enjoying the event.

Sponsor Mardel Fehrenbach, left, with Trianne Newbrey, the KSO’s director of communications.

Lewis Brewer with Mary Sue Greiner, the KSO’s development director.

“Jenny loves taxidermy,” the Jig and Reel’s manager told me, referring to the owner. “Don’t forget to take a picture of the coyote wearing a dress!” Ha. There she is, bottom right!

The musicians received tastes of the Scotch, too! Here’s Sean Claire with his drink tickets!

Here’s what we tasted. I didn’t think I liked Scotch, but it might be growing on me. Especially the first one. The last one was so smoky that it tasted like drinking ashes! Oh, well, they say it is an acquired taste!

From left, Jay Craig, Larry and Marti Lewis, Robin Smith, Debbie and Mike Emery.

Sande MacMorran and Elizabeth Offringa. She was one of the event’s sponsors; he just retired as the KSO’s principal tuba after 49 years!

Proof that young people DO go to Symphony events! Kristie Lee, left, and Andrea Bessey.

More evidence: Chris and Laura Chapman.

Just a portion of the food offerings. Clockwise from left, Scotch eggs; ham, cheese and Dijon sliders; mini-meatloaves; fries.

KSO Concertmaster William Shaub and his new wife, Clarice.

Laura and Dr. Bill Pippin.

Jon Agazzi and Sheena McCall. She actually IS from Scotland!

Forgot your instrument? Just grab one and join the fun!

Elizabeth Grant, left, with Karen and Kenny Weimann.

Mary Sue Greiner and Charles Daily.

Here’s a snippet of the the quartet playing the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts” from Aaron Copland’s 1944 ballet, “Appalachian Spring:”


And, an even more familiar tune to conclude:



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4 Responses to A jaunt to Scotland — without leaving Knoxville

  1. Ted Smith, on February 28th, 2023 at 2:17 pm said:

    Re: The last one was so smoky that it tasted like drinking ashes!
    I LOVE scotch, but Laphroaig is also not my favorite. I usually describe the taste as drinking a vat of liquid in which someone has soaked their very filthy feet while a very bitter cigar is being filtered through the vat. 😉

    Sounds like a great evening!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on February 28th, 2023 at 3:14 pm said:

    Oh, Ted, that’s hilarious! It makes drinking ashes seem like a compliment!

  3. Sheena McCall, on March 1st, 2023 at 8:15 am said:

    I felt quite at home! I did not think I liked Scotch, but I tried the tastings and enjoyed all but one.
    The music was lovely

  4. Eric Smith, on March 3rd, 2023 at 12:23 pm said:

    Sounds lovely, but shockingly, no Caol Isla? No Lagavulin? You want peaty, those are two to go with.

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