KSO Board toasts Christmas — and some good news!

Knoxville Symphony Board Chair Rick Fox addresses his Christmas guests while his partner, Ralph Cianelli, documents the occasion!

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Board Chair Rick Fox and his partner, Ralph Cianelli, invited the other members of the board and the KSO staff to their beautiful home in the Middlebrook mansion recently to celebrate the season — and to announce some good news.

A KSO Board initiative — launched only a couple of months ago — has reached its goal of raising $100,000 for the Young Musician Opportunity Fund. This fund is important because it pays for summer enrichment opportunities for promising young musicians.

“This fund will have a meaningful impact on the future of our community’s most talented young musicians,” Fox said.”That could be in the form of support for a student musician to attend a  summer music program; it could pay for them to receive lessons with KSO musicians or other teachers; or it could allow them to participate in smaller workshops held across the country.”

The establishment of the permanent endowment fund, which was the result of the KSO Board members holding a brainstorming session during a regular board meeting, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Comprising six ensembles – five string orchestras and one full orchestra – the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra engages over 300 students each season. Its members are coached by Knoxville Symphony Orchestra musicians, providing technical and musical training during weekly rehearsals. All of the ensembles perform three yearly concerts at the historic Tennessee Theatre.

Now, let’s look at that party! (If you would like to contribute to the Young Musician Opportunity Fund, click here.)

The historic Middlebrook mansion was built in 1845 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fox and Cianelli always celebrate Christmas there in a big way. This is one of their eight Christmas trees!

KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian, left, and CEO Rachel Ford pose with Board member Roy Cockrum in front of another Christmas tree.

Board member Sheena McCall and her boyfriend, Jon Agazzi.

New KSO Board member Dr. Quyn Rahman, center, with her husband, Dr. Ayaz Rahman, and KSO’s Communications Director Trianne Newbrey.

Carolyn Lawrence was dressed for the occasion! Her purse and shoes were show-stoppers!

KSO Board member Suzanne Schriver and her husband, David Rechter.

I love the mural on the dining room wall.

Slade Trammel provided Christmas tunes throughout the evening.

KSO Board member Jarrod Blue, left, with John Law.

Board member Jenny Hines, left, brought her friend Madge Cleveland to the party.

From left, Janet Testerman Crossley, Joey Creswell, Janet Testerman, and Moody Altamimi. Janet Testerman and Moody are on the KSO Board.

From left, Alan Carmichael, Carolyn and Dr. Doug Leahy, who also is on the KSO Board.

Board member Rick Stone with his girlfriend, Angela Howard.

Board members Elizabeth Offringa, left, and Adrian Jay, right, with Knox County Commissioner (and Adrian’s hubby) Larsen Jay.

A decked-out elf.

Board member Carolyn Lawrence, left, and Martha Breazeale.

Appetizers were plentiful. You see those little seafood salads (top left) that look like they are served in wooden spoons? The spoons actually are edible — they are spoon-shaped crackers!

Board member Mark Mamantov, right, with Terry and Rachel Ford.

The mingling was good! (And loud!)

Rick and Ralph travel a lot and collect magnets from places they visit. This is just a small portion of them!

They just returned from Europe where they visited a slew of Christmas markets — and collected mugs from each!

Here’s an ornate ornament from one of them.

Charmaine Mamantov and Alan Carmichael.

Folks listening to Rick’s announcement about the Youth Musician Opportunity Fund.

Board members Cathy Hill, left, and Suzanne Schriver.

These two great friends of Rick and Ralph did a fantastic job of directing folks on where to park! Thanks to David Williamson, left, and Jeff Arbital.

Terry and Rachel Ford, left, with Anne and Ned Smethers. Ned is the KSO’s director of finance.

I’ll close with this photo of me between two Ricks — Fox on the left, and Stone of the right! (A girl could do worse!)

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2 Responses to KSO Board toasts Christmas — and some good news!

  1. Sandra Butler, on December 22nd, 2023 at 3:33 pm said:

    Oh, Cynthia! What the perfect blouse for the KSO friend that you and Alan are!! Love it and you!
    Merry Christmas.

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on December 22nd, 2023 at 6:26 pm said:

    Thanks, Sandra! It seemed like a perfect place to wear it! Look forward to seeing you all again soon!

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