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Symphony season off to fabulous start

Katherine Scoggins • Nov 7, 2019 at 9:00 PM

Last month, the Symphony of the Mountains presented Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the Toy F. Reid Eastman Employee Center. It was truly a magnificent start to the season. Imagine having to travel from Ithaca, New York, to Emory & Henry College, then to Kingsport to the Eastman Employee Center, to perform an extremely difficult four-act opera, plus rehearse. The Ithaca performances were part of a collaboration between Opera Ithaca and Symphony of the Mountains. They were accompanied by the Symphony of the Mountains, Voices of the Mountains, and Children’s Chorus. The voices were gorgeous and the staging and choreography, unbelievable! Kudos to music director Cornelia Laemmli Orth and the “fill-in” stage manager for their ability to manage all the moving parts of an opera like “La Boheme”— so much action!

Brava (and bravo) to all the vocalists and orchestra members for their hard work and wonderful musicality! The season is off to a GREAT start!

Later, on Oct. 26, patrons and children of all ages were invited to “Trick-or-Treat with the Symphony.” The music— John Williams, Offenbach, and Strauss — was fun to hear and it was great to watch lots of children dressed as Harry Potter, T. Rex, butterflies, monsters, and pumpkins parade around the concert hall. The judges certainly had a tough choice trying to choose the winners, but everyone went home with candy and lots of compliments.

We probably witnessed the beginning of a new Halloween tradition last month as well when the Sullivan County (Colonial Heights) Library hosted a pumpkin carving workshop. Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes were painted, bedazzled, “stickered” and adorned with glitter and pens and markers. There was certainly an abundance of artistic talent, as well as laughter and conversation for children, siblings and parents! All in all, there were about 60 children and adults, all having a wonderful time. With the yummy hot apple cider, kettle corn, apple slices and caramel dip, this event is sure to become a family tradition. There will be more “family days” over the next few months, including a visit from some guy in a red suit! Come see what’s new at the library and have some fun! Just call (423) 239-1100 to get your name on the list or ask a question. Next Halloween, carve a pretty or scary pumpkin, enjoy some cider and munchies, and maybe check out a new book or movie.

One of my favorite events of the year takes place in early fall at Waverly Road Presbyterian Church: Kingsport’s Food Insecurity Task Forces’ Annual Meeting. Representatives from area churches, food pantries, feeding pantries, feeding programs and nonprofits come together and share information, grant opportunities and new opportunities for service. We all know the Kingsport is a great place to live, but not everyone has equal resources. This group of individuals has been meeting for years, trying to eradicate the causes of poor nutrition, malnourishment, and the lack of adequate food in our homes and schools. This group has accomplished a lot in a few years, but there is still a long way to go!

Oh, can’t let October slide by without mentioning a very special 81st birthday. What a wonderful treat on a cool evening for friends to open their lovely home to many friends, wonderful food, and great conversation! I had a wonderful visit with Michael and Betty O’Neil — Michael’s family and mine were neighbors “back in the day” and his parents were my “adopted grandparents” as my mother’s parents lived in South Georgia. They are such a great family — and the legacy lives on. Saw some friends from Dobyns-Bennett, John and Gail Campbell (Gail was a friend who also lived in Preston Woods), and met Father Tuttle and his son, Eli. There are always so many new faces and interesting people at this party. Hershell Cave, you wear 80 so well! A very happy birthday to you.

Well, that’s about it for October, but don’t worry… November and December are sure to be filled with wonderful music, books, art, dance and beautiful homes. Don’t forget to check out the Christmas Connection today at the Civic Auditorium. And, remember to take a moment to relax and enjoy the sights!

Until next month…

Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations once a month in Out & About with Katherine. To share information or photos from a community event, email us at [email protected]

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