Silver Anniversary for Symphony by the Lake

Article Published: Jul. 19, 2012 | Modified: Jul. 28, 2012
Silver Anniversary for Symphony by the Lake

Photo by Jeff Eason

For the Symphony of the Mountains, based in Kingsport, Tenn., the annual trip to Blowing Rock to perform at Chetola Resort is one of the farthest that they make.

It is also one of the most fun trips they make.

“We’re excited to return to Blowing Rock,” said Cornelia Laemmli, conductor of the Symphony of the Mountains for the past five years. “Everyone who played at the show last year asked to be part of it again this year.”

2012 marks the third straight year that the Symphony of the Mountains has been the guest orchestra to perform next to Chetola Lake. This year is also the 25th anniversary of the Symphony at the Lake event, sponsored by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.

The event is scheduled for Friday evening on July 27.

“We have designed a special musical program just to celebrate all of these anniversaries that are happening this year,” Laemmli said. “We’ll have some music from ‘Swan Lake’ to honor Chetola, something from ‘Les Miserables’ to celebrate its 25th anniversary, music from ‘Titanic’ to mark its centennial, and, to honor the Olympic Games in London, we’ll have an Olympic fanfare and theme.”

Laemmli also stated that the program will include a world premiere of a piece written by a local composer, some Carolina beach music and a salute to the big band era.

This year, the orchestra will be joined by vocalist Randall Outland of Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music for a number of tunes.

“We have never performed with Randall before, but I was a guest conductor at ASU this year, and I just fell in love with his voice while I was there,” Laemmli said.

The Symphony at Chetola event also features food for sale, booths sponsored by local businesses, organizations and families, tethered hot air balloon rides, and closes with a giant fireworks display.
Tickets are available at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and are $30 for adults and $12 for children 12 and younger.

Gates to Chetola open at 5:30 p.m., the Harris Brothers will perform an opening set of popular songs beginning at 6 p.m., and the Symphony of the Mountains will perform at 7:30 p.m. Around 9:30 p.m., the fireworks will begin.

The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and Chetola will be offering shuttle bus service to Chetola Resort from the parking deck at BRAHM, the parking deck at the Blowing Rock American Legion Hall and from the Food Lion parking lot. Shuttle service is highly suggested, as most of Chetola’s parking is reserved for VIPs and the handicapped.

The Symphony by the Lake at Chetola is presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Wells Fargo, Our State Magazine, Chetola Resort and Flow Cadillac.

For more information, or to order tickets, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.

Symphony of the Mountains

Symphony of the Mountains began when a small group of musicians dreamed of having a civic orchestra in 1946. At the time, it was known as Kingsport Symphony Orchestra. Twenty-seven musicians attended the first rehearsal, and the number quickly grew to more than 40. The first concert was free to the public, and neither the conductor nor any of the musicians were paid.

In 2003, Kingsport Symphony was renamed Symphony of the Mountains. Today, the orchestra consists of more than 70 professional musicians.

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