Chairs Jane Anne Pilkinton and Jennifer Puryear created “A Midwinter Night’s Dream,” a winter oasis at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, for more than 350 guests at the 29th annual Symphony Ball. Nashville’s preeminent winter social event, the Symphony Ball raises funds to support the Nashville Symphony and assist in bringing great music to the entire Middle Tennessee community through concerts and free education and engagement programs.
“A Midwinter Night’s Dream” was a spectacular evening, with snow-laden blue spruce trees tucked in the corners and a row of winter trees gracing each side of Schermerhorn Symphony Center’s Laura Turner Concert Hall. If one stopped to look closer, a red cardinal could be found hiding in the branches. Strings of lights hung from the ceiling, and massive floral arrangements of white Amaryllis, peonies and phalaenopsis orchids tucked in Manzanita leaves adorned the tables. Utilizing a creativity and resourcefulness that paralleled the Symphony’s mission to serve the community in new and visionary ways, Ball Chairs Pilkinton and Puryear, along with Lynn Civitts, Melissa Mahanes and a large group of volunteers, spent countless hours to make this event a success.
Guests enjoyed signature cocktails and the opportunity to examine the stunning array of jewelry by Kimberly McDonald, whose collection is created with natural agates and geodes complemented by diamonds, raw emeralds and natural pearls. The Nashville Symphony & Chorus performed before the guests enjoyed dinner prepared by Chef Kristen Winston and her talented staff. A special thanks to Robert Lipman for selecting and providing the wine to accompany the dinner.
Each year the Symphony presents the Harmony Award to a person who exemplifies musical excellence, embodies the spirit of community, contributes to Nashville’s vibrant music industry and makes a difference in people’s lives. Former Sen. Bill Frist presented the Harmony Award this year to Brad Paisley, detailing the singer’s journey to Nashville, his dedication to his craft and his commitment to serving others through such initiatives as the Water = Hope Campaign to raise money and awareness for clean water initiatives. Most recently, Paisley has been working with Live Beyond, a Nashville nonprofit providing medical care, clean water, nutritional support and development activities to impoverished communities in Haiti.
After accepting the award, Paisley performed “Southern Comfort Zone” with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Kelly Corcoran, followed by a stripped-down medley of “I’m Gonna Miss Her and “I’m Still a Guy.” Paisley called Nashville home for him and his family, and finished the set with a jazzy rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
Craig Duncan Band played until 1 a.m. for dancing, and guests were provided delectable marshmallows and hot cocoa from Bang Candy Company as the evening concluded.