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Symphony Under the Stars

Article Published: Jul. 14, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Symphony Under the Stars

This year's event is scheduled for Friday, July 22. Tickets are $26 for adults and $10 for children. The music begins at 7:30 p.m.

Photo by Jeff Eason

Combine outstanding orchestral music, a picnic by the lake and a massive fireworks display, and you've just about created the most magical evening imaginable.

That's what Chetola Resort and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce create on an annual basis with their Symphony by the Lake event. This year's event is scheduled for Friday, July 22. Tickets are $26 for adults and $10 for children. The music begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available by calling the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.
For the second year in a row, the Symphony of the Mountains, under the direction of conductor Cornelia Laemmli Orth, will be performing next to the gazebo at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock.

The Symphony of the Mountains show at Chetola will be divided into two parts: The first half will feature patriotic tunes and stirring orchestral music, and the second half will be devoted to show tunes.

The first half of the program will include "The Star-Spangled Banner," Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "Hoedown," "America the Beautiful," Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance," Irving Berlin's "Give Me Your Tired/God Bless America," Rossini's "William Tell Overture (Gallop)," Claude Michael Schoenberg's "Miss Saigon" and an armed forces salute.

The second half of the program will feature a Broadway showstoppers medley, a tribute to Marvin Hamlish, "Trumpeter's Lullaby," an Americana medley, a "Grease" medley, and "Stars and Stripes Forever."

Popular blues, pop and rock duo the Harris Brothers will open the show.

The fireworks will begin soon after the concert has concluded.

Also for the second year in a row, the Symphony at Chetola event will feature hot air balloon rides. Concertgoers can purchase five-minute rides on tethered hot air balloons for $15 per person.
Sponsored by Flow Cadillac of Winston-Salem, the balloon rides can take up to four riders on a trip into the air for a unique view of the symphony and the lake. Balloons will be operating from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Many concertgoers make this annual event a reunion with their friends, family and coworkers by purchasing a patron tent. Patron tents can be purchased by businesses, civic and community organizations or individuals. For more information on purchasing a patron tent, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.

Symphony of the Mountains

Founded in 1946 as the Kingsport Civic Orchestra, the Symphony of the Mountains serves the Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia/Northwest North Carolina region. It is a fully professional orchestra of more than 65 musicians, led by conductor Orth.

Orth, a native of Switzerland, joined the Symphony of the Mountains in 2006. She has previously conducted orchestras, choirs and musical productions throughout Europe.

To learn more about the Symphony of the Mountains, visit


While many folks prefer to bring in their own dinner, picnic-style, Chetola's Manor House Restaurant offers two eating options.

An outdoor buffet will be available serving one's choice of grilled angus burgers, grilled veggie burgers, grilled lemon- and thyme-marinated chicken breasts, sage and garlic sausage steaks on hoagie buns with peppers and onions. Fixings include cheddar, Swiss or provolone cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and roasted red peppers.

This is served with a summer salad of baby spinach, local field greens, chilled shrimp, tomatoes, goat cheese, bruschetta, cucumbers and pears with a raspberry vinaigrette.

There is also fresh whole fruit, pasta salad, cookies and iced tea to go with this picnic dinner. The cost is $13 for adults and $8 for children ages 5-12.

The second option is to reserve a seat inside the Manor House for its special buffet dinner. The cold buffet will feature a selection of cold seafood, including shrimp, smoked salmon, smoked trout and crab legs.

Salads include artichoke, tomato and Buffalo mozzarella tiramisu; cheese tortellini with shrimp and pesto dressing; apple, smoked cheddar and prosciutto with honey white balsamic dressing; whipped potato salad, bush hog salad, and mixed seasonal greens with fresh vegetables.

The inside buffet will also feature fresh-sliced fruit, hummus with pita chips, chilled smoked chicken breast with cranberry port sauce and chilled maple leaf duck breast with fig and onion relish.

Hot entrees and side dishes will include carved roast prime rib of beef, coastal crab cakes with lemon tarragon sauce, brandy and peppered pork tenderloin with peach and onion sauce, roasted chicken thighs with jambalaya sauce, grilled salmon with pineapple sake sauce, three cheese ravioli with smoked tomato cream sauce, mashed red skin potatoes and fresh vegetables.

The desserts will include cheesecakes, lemon amaretto cake, chocolate pecan torte, banana pudding and tiramisu.

Reservations are recommended for the Manor House buffet. Seating begins at 5 p.m., and the cost is $48 plus tax and gratuity. To make reservations, call the Manor House Restaurant at (828) 295-5505.

Shuttle Service

The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce provides a free shuttle service from the Food Lion Shopping Center in Blowing Rock to Chetola Resort on the evening of the concert. The shuttle is handicapped-accessible and drops concertgoers off at the lawn with a minimum of walking.

Parking is also available at the Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway. Gates to Chetola Resort open at 5:30 p.m.

Sponsors for this year's Symphony at Chetola include The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, Blue Ridge Mountain Club, Flow Cadillac of Winston-Salem, Our State Magazine and Chetola Resort.

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