Our News & Events

Guild presents check from Silver Tea to Huntsville Youth Orchestra

At our March 11 Guild Meeting, we presented a check to the Huntsville Youth Orchestra (HYO) in the amount of $14,000 for funds raised from the 2015 Silver Tea.

(left to right) Ashley Walker, 2016 Guild HYO liaison; Debbie Washburn, 2015/2016 Guild President; Karen Morris, 2015 Silver Tea Chair; Bruce Zeiger, HYO Board Chairman; Deborah Brown, HYO Executive Director; Joe Lee, HYO Music Director

(left to right) Ashley Walker, 2016 Guild HYO liaison; Debbie Washburn, 2015/2016 Guild President; Karen Morris, 2015 Silver Tea Chair; Bruce Zeiger, HYO Board Chairman; Deborah Brown, HYO Executive Director; Joe Lee, HYO Music Director

The 43rd Annual Crescen-Dough Auction is set for Friday, April 15, 2016!

The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild’s (HSOG) annual Crescen-Dough Auction is Huntsville’s original and best auction and one of the area’s favorite evenings of fun and entertainment. More than 500 items will be yours for the bidding – from the finest of jewels to one-of-a-kind parties, great vacations and incredible deals on items donated by local merchants.

 For more information and to purchase tickets, email info@crescendoughauction.org, visit our Crescen-Dough Auction website at www.crescendoughauction.org or call the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Association business office:  256-539-4818.
The HSOG provides generous financial and volunteer support annually to the Symphony and its educational programs. During the Guild’s 53 years of service to the Orchestra, the Guild has raised over $7 million, of which half has been raised by Crescen-Dough. Also, the Guild has volunteered in excess of 736,000 hours to support the Symphony.

Evening Schedule of Events:

6:00 p.m. Doors Open/Silent

Auction 
6:15 – 8:15 p.m.

Buffet Dinner 
7:30 p.m.

Gift Certificates Close 
8:00 p.m.

Silent Auction Items/ Items of Note Close 
8:05 p.m.

Live Auction Begins 
9:00 p.m. Cashiers Open

Please make plans to join us in making Crescen-Dough Auction 2016 successful!!!

Painted Violins to be auctioned at 2016 Crescen-Dough Auction

These two beautiful violins will be auctioned at the 2016 Crescen-Dough Auction on April 15. They were presented at the 2016 Painted Violin Unveiling on Thursday, February 4, at Servis1st Bank, who hosted the event, sponsored by the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. The violins were painted by artist Sara Beth Fair of Huntsville and musician Béla Fleck of Nashville. To see more about the Auction and to purchase tickets, visit www.crescendoughauction.org  To join the Painted Violin Society and help sponsor the Free Family Concerts, visit hso.org

Violin painted by Huntsville artist Sara Beth Fair. (Inspired by her love of and trips to Paris.)

Violin painted by Huntsville artist Sara Beth Fair. (Inspired by her love of and trips to Paris.)

Violin painted by musician Béla Fleck. The drawings on this particular violin are to convey several things: something about our city (the rocket), the fireflies are representative of our Crescen-Dough Auction theme, and he wanted to add something about himself. The name of his second album is "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo." The drawing at the bottom right is a red hippo, which is representative of his new album "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo." We have added a link to the YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iYgf6PWYK8

Violin painted by musician Béla Fleck. The drawings on this particular violin are to convey several things: The fireflies are representative of our Crescen-Dough Auction theme. The red hippo painting at the bottom right and the rocket are from the cover of his second album “Flight of the Cosmic Hippo.”

The link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iYgf6PWYK8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debbie Washburn (Guild President), Clare Grisham, (Chair 2016 Cresen-Dough Auction), Gregory Vajda (HSO Music Director/Conductor), Valerie Brown (Co-Chair, Auction)

Debbie Washburn (Guild President), Clare Grisham, (Chair 2016 Cresen-Dough Auction), Gregory Vajda (HSO Music Director/Conductor), Valerie Brown (Co-Chair, Auction)

Sallie Ennis, Sara Beth Fair (Painted Violin artist), Belinda Ivy

Sallie Ennis, Sara Beth Fair (Painted Violin artist), Belinda Ivy

Kathy Williford, Susi Mann, Penny Bashore, Paige Prozan, Brenda Milberger

Kathy Williford, Susi Mann, Penny Bashore, Paige Prozan, Brenda Milberger

Jeff Dortch, Charles Hogue, Ariana Arcu

Jeff Dortch, Charles Hogue, Ariana Arcu

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Guild presents check from fundraisers to Huntsville Symphony Orchestra

At our January Guild meeting we presented a check to the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra (HSO) in the amount of $323,617.40 for funds raised from the 2014 Symphony Ball and the 2015 Crescen-Dough Auction.

(left to right) Patrick Robbins, Chairman HSO Board of Trustees; Dan Halcomb, HSO President and CEO; Pam Gann, 2014 Ball Chair; Beth Wise, 2014/2015 Guild President; Julie Malone, Chair 2015 Crescen-Dough Auction; Cheryl Bence, Co-Chair 2015 Auction

(left to right) Patrick Robbins, Chairman HSO Board of Trustees; Dan Halcomb, HSO President and CEO; Pam Gann, 2014 Ball Chair; Beth Wise, 2014/2015 Guild President; Julie Malone, Chair 2015 Crescen-Dough Auction; Cheryl Bence, Co-Chair 2015 Auction

2015 Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild Silver Tea

 

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Each holiday season, our homes fill with excitement, togetherness and tradition. This holiday season, all of these elements came together once again for the 2015 Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild Silver Tea.

The 50th Anniversary of the Silver Tea, which is a major fundraiser for the Huntsville Youth Orchestra, was held recently, and, as always, the Silver Tea offered a magical and elegant afternoon. Guests enjoyed the ambiance of a beautiful setting and the music of some of the area’s most talented young musicians.

The lovely home of Mr. and Mrs. Michael William Wicks located at 600 Eagles Ridge Place was the site of this year’s tea. The home was decorated throughout and provided each guest with a warm, festive, holiday atmosphere. The elegance of the home offered the perfect environment for the Huntsville Youth Orchestra to perform and friends to reconnect. Catering was provided by Sallie Ennis and Betty Lankford and the presentation of all the delectable treats was stylish and festive.

As guests arrived for the holiday event, Karen Morris, 2015 Silver Tea Chairman, and her committee welcomed them to a very special afternoon of music, delicious tea foods and warm hospitality. Young musicians from the Huntsville Youth Orchestra performed an array of music and entertained guests as they mingled.

Members of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra Board, Deborah Brown and Bruce Zeiger, as well as Guild President Debbie Washburn and Hostess, Christine Wicks also welcomed guests as they arrived,

Other members serving on the committee with Karen were Advisor, Theresa Taylor; Catering Liaison, Amelia Summerville; Cloak Room, Pat Cross; HYO Liaison, Ashley Walker; Invitations, Marie Newberry and Donna Shergy; Data Base, Joyce Griffin and Dana Town; Past President Punch Bowl, Debbie Overcash; Silver Bowl, Linda Akenhead; Volunteers/Hostesses, Karen Higgins and Margaret Anne Crumlish; Transportation/Security, Darla Malueg; Reservations, Elizabeth Herrin; Publicity, Sandy Knowling and Lisa Cole. Also providing time and assistance were Mr. Tim Malueg, The Rev. John Ryberg and Mr. Sanford C.Morris Jr. who kindly took time from their professional careers to greet guests and help them from their cars to the entrance.

Much to everyone’s joy, members of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra presented a mixture of popular holiday tunes and standard classical works. The afternoon performers were scheduled by HYO Executive Director, Deborah Brown and included; Gabriel Abrantes (violin), Jonathan Abrantes (violin), Anna South (cello), Maleah Ghem (viola), Katherine Reardon (bass).

The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild is an organization whose primary purpose is to provide support for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. The organization is celebrating its 55th year of existence and looks forward to helping support the Orchestra and community. The Silver Tea is held annually as a benefit for the Huntsville Youth Orchestra. It has provided significant support for the young musicians throughout the years.

The 2015 Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild's Silver Tea was held at the lovely home of Mr. and Mrs. Michael William Wicks on Eagles Ridge Place.

The 2015 Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild’s Silver Tea was held at the lovely home of Mr. and Mrs. Michael William Wicks on Eagles Ridge Place.

Deborah Brown, Debbie Washburn, Christine Wicks, Karen Morris, Bruce Zeiger

Deborah Brown, Debbie Washburn, Christine Wicks, Karen Morris, Bruce Zeiger

Debbie Washburn, Elizabeth Herrin, Naomi Dubois, Debbie Overcash

Debbie Washburn, Elizabeth Herrin, Naomi Dubois, Debbie Overcash

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2015 Symphony Ball

Front Row: Anna Grace South, Camille Nicole Shockley, Emily Rachel Lapidus, Josephine Ann Tucker, Susan Will Purvis, Mary Scott Pearson Second Row: Lily Margaret Brooks, Lauren Grace Stevens, Mary Morgan Plott, Allyson Elizabeth Nuwayhid, Mallory Frances Castellow, Stephanie Nicole Gilbert, Cameron Ann Seeley Back Row: Sarah Gwin Moore, Katherine Hill Vest, Hughston Elizabeth May, Mary Katherine Russell

Front Row: Anna Grace South, Camille Nicole Shockley, Emily Rachel Lapidus, Josephine Ann Tucker, Susan Will Purvis, Mary Scott Pearson
Second Row: Lily Margaret Brooks, Lauren Grace Stevens, Mary Morgan Plott, Allyson Elizabeth Nuwayhid, Mallory Frances Castellow, Stephanie Nicole Gilbert, Cameron Ann Seeley
Back Row: Sarah Gwin Moore, Katherine Hill Vest, Hughston Elizabeth May, Mary Katherine Russell

Front Row: Lauren Elizabeth Lowe, Sarah Reagan Tepool, Callie Christina Bragg, Abbie Porter Rodgers, Mary Margaret Ragland, Jordan Akin Lee Second Row: Marian Witty Crump, AnnaMarie Marona, Leah Jeane Honkanen, Madeline Jewel Rushing, Lauren Alis Layton, Keeley Malone McMurray, Anna Catherine Brooks Back Row: Mary Gray Lindstrom, Catherine Joseph Rasco, Emily Ann Clemons

Front Row: Lauren Elizabeth Lowe, Sarah Reagan Tepool, Callie Christina Bragg, Abbie Porter Rodgers, Mary Margaret Ragland, Jordan Akin Lee
Second Row: Marian Witty Crump, AnnaMarie Marona, Leah Jeane Honkanen, Madeline Jewel Rushing, Lauren Alis Layton, Keeley Malone McMurray, Anna Catherine Brooks
Back Row: Mary Gray Lindstrom, Catherine Joseph Rasco, Emily Ann Clemons

The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild had the honor of presenting 33 young women on Saturday, October 24, in the Von Braun Center North Hall at the 52nd Symphony Ball. Over 770 patrons, guests, friends and family attended the formal presentation and enjoyed “An Enchanted Southern Evening.” This year’s Ball was chaired by Nancy Colin.

The Von Braun Center North Hall was transformed into a colorful vision of shades of pinks, corals, and greens.  Guests entered the North Hall through curtains of a shimmery coral fabric, adorned with cascading bouquets at the top corner of the swags.  At the entrance, consoles covered in the same fabric were topped with an array of clear glass vases containing monochromatic floral arrangements of different varieties and floating candles in glass pillars.  Inside the North Hall, tables were covered in coral cloths that reflected a subtle golden hue.  Table arrangements were “antiqued” silver compotes containing hydrangeas, varying shades of pink roses, and bells of Ireland; while other tables were highlighted with cylindrical glass bowls containing low arrangements of the same flowers.  The stage was draped in a cloud of white silk taffeta with double-tiered swags above.  A focal point of the hall was a white canopy of taffeta that appeared to float above the entire length of the dance floor.  The room was awash with a blush glow of light.  As they were presented, Debutantes carried bouquets of the debutante rose, Latin Ambiance.  Floral designer was Carl Casiday of Lola’s, Sheffield, Alabama.

An invocation was delivered by Richard Van Valkenburgh, Jr.; and Jerry Nutt, Emeritus Member of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Association Board of Trustees, served as Announcer for the Ball.  The Symphony Orchestra strings and trumpets provided the perfect music during the cocktail hour, followed by the debutante presentation and a waltz with the debutantes and their fathers. The Craig Duncan Orchestra never sounded better as everyone danced the night away.

Guests enjoyed a formal dinner of sliced pear salad and mixed greens with pear vinaigrette, filet of beef with roasted red pepper sauce, scalloped potatoes, bacon wrapped grilled asparagus, and Marsala mascarpone mousse with chocolate beignets.

Following are the 2015 Symphony Ball debutantes, their parents, presenters and escorts.

Callie Christina Bragg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Vann Bragg, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Albert Edward Willis III.

Anna Catherine Brooks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Gregory Brooks, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. William Jackson Fite, junior.

Lily Margaret Brooks, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William Timothy Brooks, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. John Reed Miller.

Mallory Frances Castellow, daughter of Mrs. Carl Lowe Castellow and the late Mr. Carl Lowe Castellow, presented by her uncle, Mr. David Kenneth Johnson, and escorted by Mr. Daniel Austin Robertson.

Emily Ann Clemons, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Alan Clemons, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Taylor Vincent Jennings.

Marian Witty Crump, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Bryant Crump, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. John McCurry Monroe.

Stephanie Nicole Gilbert, daughter of Ms. Jodi Louise Rutenberg and Mr. Scott Edward Gilbert, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Jacob Oliver Dean.

Leah Jeane Honkanen, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Frank Andrew Honkanen, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Grant Adcock Johannes.

Emily Rachel Lapidus, daughter of Mrs. Alissa Cohen Lapidus and Mr. Michael Louis Lapidus, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. John Clay Pruett.

Lauren Alis Layton, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Troy Alan Layton, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. John Carey Oliver.

Jordan Akin Lee, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. David Alan Lee, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Gerrit Sander Vanderwerff.

Mary Gray Lindstrom, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Collier Lindstrom, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Miller Smith Jackson.

Lauren Elizabeth Lowe, daughter of Mrs. Huettel Lowe and Mr. Peter Loftis Lowe, junior, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Richard Eugene Markwalter III.

AnnaMarie Marona,  daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wayne Marona, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Christopher Alan Burgoon.

Hughston Elizabeth May, daughter of Mrs. William Sterling May and the late Mr. William Sterling May, presented by her uncle, Mr. Roderick Mark Thornton, and escorted by Mr. Jorge Will Clements.

Keeley Malone McMurray, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bradley David McMurray, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Peyton McDaniel Davis.

Sarah Gwin Moore, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Elmo Moore, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Cole Holland Watt Milberger.

Allyson Elizabeth Nuwayhid, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Ramsay Paul Nuwayhid, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Luke Nathanael Hamm.

Mary Scott Pearson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Calvin Pearson, junior, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Kyle Fulton Yokley.

Mary Morgan Plott, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marion Dwight Plott, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Ryan Robert Jones.

Susan Will Purvis, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Thomas Purvis, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Colin Walker Finnell.

Mary Margaret Ragland, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Rowland Ragland, junior, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Timothy Leo Carruthers.

Catherine Joseph Rasco, daughter of Mrs. Dowdle Rasco and Mr. Mark Alexander Rasco, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Thomas Kurt DeLay, junior.

Abbie Porter Rodgers, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Stanley Rodgers, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Peter Loftis Lowe III.

Madeline Jewel Rushing, daughter of Mrs. Tate Rushing and Dr. David Lee Rushing, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. John Crawford Harper.

Mary Katherine Russell, daughter of Mrs. James Oliver Wright and Mr. Daniel Lewis Russell, junior, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. William Reid Sisk.

Cameron Ann Seeley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Burton Seeley, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Matthew Roger Bell.

Camille Nicole Shockley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Lynn Shockley, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Lucas Maximillian Damian.

Anna Grace South, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher McLeod South, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Alexander Bennett White.

Lauren Grace Stevens, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Richard Stevens, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Dino Srabovic.

Sarah Reagan Tepool, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Alan Tepool, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Austin Gray Hughes.

Josephine Ann Tucker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond McEachern Tucker, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Ryan Douglas Lee.

Katherine Hill Vest, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Lee Vest, presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Charles Gann Nelson.

Serving as marshals were Robert Joseph Darden, William Andrew Glenn, Richard Anderson Hamm, junior; Nathan Hayes Ludwig, William Self Propst III, Jeffrey Ross Suwarow, John Connor Suwarow, and John Wildsmith Thornton.

The 2015 Ball Advisors were Andrew Jeffrey Albert, Ernest Wellwood Colin, junior; Dr. John D. Johnson, junior; Ronald Elwyn Reed, Patrick Adair Robbins, John Randolph Roper, Dr. John Edwin Rush, George Autry Smith II, Steven Curtis Thornton, and Richard Powell Van Valkenburgh, junior.

Committee members included Pamela Gann, Advisor and 2014 Ball Chairman; Debbie Washburn, Guild President; Betsy Lowe, Debutante Presentation; Amelia Summerville and Theresa Taylor, Arrangements; Ivy Albert, Ball Secretary; Donna Rush, Sallie Ennis, and Cara Greco, Debutante Tables; Patti Thornton, Lee Anne Bostick, and Anne Compton Burke, Decorations; Beth Wise, Finance; Donna Shergy, Linda Akenhead, and Karen Kiss, Food and Beverage; Daphne Reed, Honorarium; Ann Rivard, Cathy Scholl, and Kim Johnson, Invitations; Brenda Milberger and Debbie Overcash, Marshals and Escorts; Lee Anne Smith and April Russell, Photography; Nancy Richardson and Suzanne O’Connor, Programs; Pennie Keene, Julie Malone, and Wendy Tucker, Properties and Take Down; Sharon Gartrell and Janet Skidmore, Publicity; Susan Todd and Paige Prozan, Reservations; Cynthia Masucci, Scrapbook; Lori Gregory, Bobsy Ingram, Karen Kimbrough, and Elaine Pollard, Debutante Project; Josie Craig, Debutantes and Presenters Event.

The Symphony Guild sponsors the debutante program annually as a fundraiser for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.

Young women invited to debut at the Symphony Ball are college sophomores with a history of community involvement.

Since its inception, the event has raised more than $2.7 million to support orchestral music for the community.

Front row: Andrew Jeffrey Albert, Ed Rush, Nancy Colin (Ball Chair), Richard Van Valkenburgh, Randy Roper, Patrick Robbins Back row: Steve Thornton, George Smith, John Johnson, Skipper Colin

Front row: Andrew Jeffrey Albert, Ed Rush, Nancy Colin (Ball Chair), Richard Van Valkenburgh, Randy Roper, Patrick Robbins
Back row: Steve Thornton, George Smith, John Johnson, Skipper Colin

Front row (left to right): Betsy Lowe, Ivy Albert, Amelia Summerville, Pam Gann, Nancy Colin (Ball Chair), Debbie Washburn, Suzanne O’Connor, Donna Shergy Second row (left to right): Sharon Gartrell, Donna Rush, Linda Akenhead, Debbie Overcash, Karen Kiss, Daphne Reed, Josie Craig, Anne Compton Burke, Patti Thornton, Lee Anne Smith, Janet Skidmore Third row (left to right): Kim Johnson, Beth Wise, Brenda Milberger, Lee Anne Bostick Fourth row (left to right): Theresa Taylor, Pennie Keene, Paige Prozan, Susan Todd, Lori Gregory

Front row (left to right): Betsy Lowe, Ivy Albert, Amelia Summerville, Pam Gann, Nancy Colin (Ball Chair), Debbie Washburn, Suzanne O’Connor, Donna Shergy
Second row (left to right): Sharon Gartrell, Donna Rush, Linda Akenhead, Debbie Overcash, Karen Kiss, Daphne Reed, Josie Craig, Anne Compton Burke, Patti Thornton, Lee Anne Smith, Janet Skidmore
Third row (left to right): Kim Johnson, Beth Wise, Brenda Milberger, Lee Anne Bostick
Fourth row (left to right): Theresa Taylor, Pennie Keene, Paige Prozan, Susan Todd, Lori Gregory

Debutantes honored at pre-Ball party

Symphony Ball debutantes and cousins, Hughston Elizabeth May and Catherine Joseph Rasco, were honored by their grandmother, Joan Dowdle, with a festive party on October 23rd, the night before they were presented at the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild’s 52nd  Debutante Ball.  Hughston is the daughter of Joanna and the late Bill May, and Cate is the daughter of Mark and Jeanne Rasco.  Helping with the event was Hughston and Cate’s aunt, Jan Thornton of Auburn, Alabama.  The Huntsville Symphony Guild Ball was a family affair this year for Joan.  In addition to two debutante granddaughters, Joan’s eldest grandson, John served as a Marshal.  John is the son of Jan and Mark Thornton.

While celebrating at the beautiful and historic Cedarhurst mansion, guests were treated to delicious food provided by Huntsville’s latest culinary sensation, Chef Brandon Crosby of Chuppertime Catering.  Brandon and his wife, Casey, prepared a wonderful assortment of food including pork sliders, Pepito Cheese Cornbread Bites, Mafia Meatballs, Bacon-wrapped Dates and Elvis Bread Pudding Bites –  a delicious blend of banana, honey and peanut butter.  While visiting with family and longtime friends, the debs and their escorts, Jorge Clements and Kurt Delay enjoyed listening to music provided by Huntsville’s Looking Back Band which featured musicians, Scott Ratliff and Tim Good.  Among Cate’s special guests was her escort’s family including Kurt’s mother, Shelley Delay, and his grandparents, Woody and Mackie Bethay.  Hughston’s special guests included her aunt, Terry Canterbury of Tuscaloosa, and longtime friends, Celia Gannaway and Taylor Brownfield.

Cate Rasco, Joan Dowdle, Hughston May

Cate Rasco, Joan Dowdle, Hughston May

2015 Symphony Ball Advisors hosted at party

Front row (left to right): Patrick Robbins, Ed Rush, Nancy Colin (2015 Ball Chair), George Smith, Steve Thornton Back row (left to right):  John Johnson, Richard Van Valkenburgh, Ronald Reed, Skipper Colin Not pictured:  Randy Roper, Andrew Jeffrey Albert

Front row (left to right): Patrick Robbins, Ed Rush, Nancy Colin (2015 Ball Chair), George Smith, Steve Thornton
Back row (left to right): John Johnson, Richard Van Valkenburgh, Ronald Reed, Skipper Colin
Not pictured: Randy Roper, Andrew Jeffrey Albert

A long-standing tradition of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild continues in 2015 as Symphony Ball Chairwoman, Nancy Colin, named her Ball advisors for the year and hosted them at an end of summer social.

A select group of the community’s distinguished men in positions of civic leadership are chosen annually to provide business and financial advice to the Ball Chair and support the event.

The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild established the Symphony Ball as a major fundraiser for the orchestra in 1964, and since the earliest balls, advisors have stepped up to the plate, figuratively and literally.  To show appreciation for their service to the Guild, Nancy and her Ball Committee hosted the men and their wives at an Advisors’ Cocktail Party, held at the home of Jay and Dana Town.

A large silver stand filled with whole fresh fruits, including pineapple; watermelon; and grapes, decorated the center of the dining room table.  Cocktail food, provided by Ina Rosa of Chef on Call, included an assortment of scrumptious hors d’oeuvres and desserts, such as southwestern dip in mini tortilla cups, Cajun shrimp on skewers, beef teres major on crostini, chicken wrapped in bacon with apricot sauce, Caesar salad en croustade, pecan squares, lemon and key lime tarts, and chocolate ganache cakes.

The 2015 Symphony Ball advisors are as follows:

Andrew Jeffrey Albert is President and CEO of AJA, Inc.  His spouse is Ivy Downs Albert.  His civic interests include the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra; the Huntsville Museum of Art; Boy Scouts of America, past Board of Directors (Alabama); veteran’s organizations; and animal welfare charities.  His professional associations include Association of the U.S. Army, National Defense Industrial Association, and Project Management Institute.  He has earned numerous military honors.  His hobbies include golf, computing technologies, and cars.

Ernest Wellwood Colin, Jr. is retired after 32 years with Teledyne Brown Engineering in a variety of engineering disciplines and management positions.  He completed his career serving with the United Nations as Chief Weapons Inspector in Iraq.  His spouse is Nancy George Colin.  His past civic interests include volunteering with Meals on Wheels, United Way of Madison County, Honduras medical missions, and Church of the Nativity and the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.  He has served as the Restoration Project Manager at Church of the Nativity (National Historic Landmark), where the project received 2 international awards and a local historic award.  He has also received a variety of other awards during his career. His hobbies include genealogy, travel, gardening, reading, music, sports fan, collecting art, and showing his classic automobile.

Dr. John Dee Johnson, Jr. is a neurosurgeon with Sports Med.  His spouse is Kim Floyd Johnson.  Their children are Emory Brennis Johnson, Elizabeth Marie Johnson, and John Dee Johnson, III.  His civic interests include Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees, 2005-2015; Auburn University College of Science and Mathematics Advisory Board, 2005-Present; Leadership Huntsville/Madison Class 15; and Huntsville Committee of 100, 2004-2010.  His professional associations include Huntsville Hospital Chairman of Surgery, 2012-2014; American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 1998-Present; Southern Neurosurgical Society; and Medical Association of the State of Alabama.  His hobbies include travel and photography.

Ronald Elwyn Reed is a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual.  His spouse is Daphne Thompson Reed.  Their children are Ronald Douglas Reed, David Elwyn Reed and Sarah Catherine Reed.  His civic interests include past board member of Von Braun Center Board of Control, past president of Huntsville Council of PTAs, past trustee of Blue Ridge School for Boys in Charlottesville, Virginia.  His professional associations include the Million Dollar Roundtable, Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, and Huntsville Rotary Club.  Hobbies include family, golf, and working in the yard.

Patrick Adair Robbins is the Director of Professional Services Revenue Cycle Management at Huntsville Hospital.  His spouse is John Christopher Wesley.  His civic interests include Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees, Church of the Nativity, and Thrive Alabama (AIDS Action Coalition).  His honors include Chairman of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees.  His hobbies include singing, pottery, reading and current events.

John Randolph Roper is the owner of Randy Roper Interiors.  He is president of Twickenham Historic District Association, member of the Weeden House Committee, past member of the Foundation Board of Huntsville Museum of Art, past member of Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees, and past member of the Board of School of Interior Design at Auburn University.  Honors include Senior Center Path of Honor and Honoree for the first American Diabetes Association Roast.

Dr. John Edwin Rush is a retired physicist.   His spouse is Donna Lee Rush.  Their children are Michael Edwin Rush, John Robert Rush, and Victoria Lee Shirey Rush Hinton.  His civic interests include Friends of the Library, supporter of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and supporter to local brass bands.  Honors include Alumnus of the Year, Snead Junior College, 1972; Outstanding Young Men of America, 1972; NASA Summer Faculty Fellow, 1978, 1979, 1981.  His hobbies include music and reading.

George Autry Smith, II is a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP.  His spouse is Lee Anne Parker Smith.  Their children are Julia Bickley Johnson and Morris Malone Johnson, III.  His civic activities include member of Huntsville Rotary Club (Board of Directors 2013-present), member and Board of Directors of The Arc of Madison County, and member and Board of Directors of First Commercial Bank of Huntsville.  Professional Associations include member of the Huntsville/Madison County Bar Association and member of the Alabama Law Institute.  His hobbies are reading, running, and CrossFit training.

Steven Curtis Thornton is a founding partner of Smith Thornton Advisors, LLC.  His spouse is Patricia Bragg Thornton.  Their child is Abigail Claire Thornton.  His civic activities include current Commissioner of Huntsville Sports Commission; and Secretary, Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity of Madison County. Past activities include 2000 graduate of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County; Board of Directors, United Way of Madison County; President, Huntsville High School Soccer Boosters Club; and Board of Directors, Mayfair Park.  His professional associations include Investment Management Consultants Association and National Association of Plan Advisors.  His hobbies include golf, reading, water, and snow sports.

Richard Powell Van Valkenburgh, Jr. is President of Van Valkenburgh & Wilkinson Properties, Inc.  His wife is Nancy Wilkinson Van Valkenburgh.  Their children are Victoria Van Valkenburgh Norris, Julie Van Valkenburgh Lockwood (Mrs. Robert Carter Lockwood), and Sarah Lauren Van Valkenburgh Kattos (Mrs. Andrew Nicholas Kattos), each a Symphony Ball Debutante.  His civic interests include longtime member and past president (3rd generation) of Huntsville Kiwanis Club; member and past chairman of Historic Huntsville Foundation (HHF); past Chairman of HHF’s Harrison Brothers’ Management Committee; lifelong member of First United Methodist Church, member of Sanctuary Choir, and Trustee; member of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce CEO groups; and 2015 Huntsville-Madison County Masters’ Leadership Class.  His professional associations include holding all officer positions of the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS (HAAR), including President in 2004; served as State Director and in all executive officer positions of the Alabama Association of REALTORS, serving as President in 2013; served as Director of the National Association of REALTORS and on the NAR Communications Committee; member of the Council of Residential Brokerage Managers (CRB), including President of the Alabama Chapter.  Honors he has received include 2005 REALTOR of the Year for the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS and the Alabama Association of REALTORS, and 2010 recipient of the Robert Jemison Award for distinguished service to the Alabama Association of REALTORS.  In joint resolutions, the Alabama legislature commended Richard for his service to the Alabama Association of REALTORS, to his community, and to both he and Nancy on their golden wedding anniversary.  His hobbies include music (an accomplished guitarist), singing, and spending time with his 6 grandchildren.

   Jerry W. Nutt is the announcer and master of ceremonies for the 2015 Symphony Ball.  He is the Director of Development for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.  His wife is Dorrie Adams Nutt. Their children are Michael Scott Nutt and David Alon Nutt.  He is a past chairman of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board, Huntsville Community Chorus Board, and is Vice Chairman of the Board of the Greater Huntsville Humane Society.  His hobbies include singing with Ars Nova Opera, Huntsville Community Chorus, and the Nativity choir.

The Symphony Ball will be held October 24  in the Von Braun Center North Hall.  It will be the 52nd  Ball held to benefit to our community by supporting the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.

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Huntsville Symphony Ball debutantes participate in two service projects

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Each year the Symphony Ball debutantes participate in a community service project as part of the beginning of the debutante season.  Proceeds from the Symphony Ball benefit the Symphony Orchestra.  To highlight music and community service, this year the event joined efforts with two local organizations for their service projects:  Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and Huntsville Hospital Foundation.  The Service Project, which was held Friday,  the 22nd of May,  2015, started with the debutantes gathering at the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra office wearing coordinating T-shirts.

Julie Noles, immediate-past Education Director of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, led the debutantes in their first service project of the day, as they cleaned the violins for the Huntsville Symphony School’s third grade violin program.  Ms. Noles provided a history lesson to the group on the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony School and provided an impromptu violin lesson. While the debutantes were busy cleaning violins, they were entertained by the music of five young members of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra.

The young ladies then boarded the 1920’s vintage-inspired downtown Huntsville trolley for a ride to the campus of Huntsville Hospital.  They were first served lunch, catered by former debutante LeeLee Wiginton from Lyn’s Gracious Goodness, at the Huntsville Hospital Plaza Resource Center.  Candy Burnett, President of Huntsville Hospital Foundation, shared “tips for success,” concerning resumes, interviews, first impressions, integrity, etc.  They then walked across the street to the Hospital, where they divided into two groups.  One group served refreshments to families in the Surgery Waiting Room and in the ICU Waiting Area.  Huntsville Symphony Orchestra’s harpist, Katherine Newman, serenaded everyone in the ICU Waiting Area.  The second group put together packages containing crayons and coloring books that were illustrated by the late Bill May, father of Debutante Hughston May.  The two groups then switched projects, and each group performed the other task. The coloring books will be given to Huntsville Hospital patients visiting the Pediatric Emergency Room and those in both the Pediatric Unit and the Pediatric ICU.

Huntsville Hospital Foundation employee Jordan McMullan, who coordinated the hospital visit, is also a former debutante.  Debutante Service Project coordinators from the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild were Lori Gregory, Bobsy Ingram, Elaine Pollard, and Karen Kimbrough.  The young ladies will formally be introduced to the community during the 52nd Symphony Ball on October 24.

The debutantes thoroughly enjoyed their busy day.  The Billy Joel quote on the T-shirt summoned up the event:  “I think music in itself is healing…it’s something we are all touched by.  No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”

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Julie Noles

Julie Noles

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