The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild’s long-standing tradition continues in 2017, as Symphony Ball Chairwoman, Patti Thornton, named her Ball advisors for the year and hosted them at an end-of-summer social on Sunday, August 27, 2017. 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. To show appreciation for their service to the Guild, Patti and her Ball Committee hosted the men and their wives at an advisors’ cocktail party at the home of Laura and Darren Malone. Cocktail food provided by Narvell Patton, included an assortment of scrumptious hors d’oeuvres and desserts, such as Lamp lollipops, squash fritters, beef tenderloin with rolls, bacon and cream cheese dip, shrimp, a vegetable tray with dip and miniature tomato sandwiches.
The Symphony Ball will be held on October 28th in the Von Braun Center North hall. It will be the 54th Ball held to benefit our community by supporting the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. 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.
The 2017 Symphony Ball advisors are as follows:
Mr. James Marion Chandler III is the owner of Whitewater Partners. He is married to Valerie Schild Chandler. Jay serves on the following boards: Habitat for Humanity, Hawthorne Music Conservatory, Randolph School – Trustee, Liberty Legacy, US Space and Rocket Center – Commissioner, Broadway Theatre League and Outback America North Alabama. His interests include hunting, fishing and golf.
Mr. Anthony Alan Gann is CEO and President of SouthBridge. He is also a managing Partner of Venti Properties, dedicated to the development of local commercial property. His is married to Pamela Noller Gann. Tony’s civic interests include Central Presbyterian Church, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and Randolph School. Tony is also an avid supporter of local musicians and songwriters. His professional associations include IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering) – Eta Kappa Nu, Delta Chi Fraternity, Council Member of TDK America and Council Member of Toshiba America. His hobbies include playing the guitar and Alabama football.
Dr. William Nathan Mitchell is a physician at Maynor and Mitchell Eye Center. He is married to Ashley Culver Mitchell. Bill’s civic interests and activities include Lincoln Village, Huntsville International League and Southwood Presbyterian Church. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. Bill’s hobbies include golf, running, hiking and flying.
Dr. Rhett Blake Murray is a neurosurgeon and senior partner at the Spine and Neuro Center. He is married to Melanie Hammer Murray. Rhett’s civic interests include First United Methodist Church, University of Alabama School of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board, UA President’s Cabinet and Huntsville Museum of Art. Professional Associations include American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Pro Assurance Claims & Underwriting Committee. Rhett enjoys snow skiing, golf, hunting, Bible study, history and wine collecting.
Mr. William Edward Ragland IV is President of Ragland Bros. Retail Cos., Inc. He is married to Tabatha Cobb Ragland. Ward is a past board member of Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama, Food Bank of North Alabama, Church of Nativity Episcopal Vestry, and Huntsville Hospital Development Board. His professional associations include serving on the Mid South Retail Group Board and Alliance Marketing Group Board. Golf is Ward’s favorite hobby.
Mr. Glenn Robinson Albert Robinson III is Regional Director at Victory Capital Management. He is married to Elizabeth Gilchrist Robinson. Robbie’s civic interests include the First & Ten Foundation. In his spare time, Robbie enjoys Alabama football, painting and duck hunting.
Mr. John Randolph Roper is owner of Randy Roper Interiors. His civic interests include serving as President of the Twickenham Historic Preservation District Association, and he is a past member of Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Board and the Foundation Board of the Huntsville Museum of Art. He is a current member of Downtown Huntsville, Inc. Randy’s honors include Path of Honor Senior Center, Honoree at 1st American Diabetes Association Roast and a recipient of the Nell Oliver Award, Huntsville Museum of Art.
Mr. Steven Curtis Thornton is an Owner & Partner of Smith Thornton Advisors, LLC. He is married to Patricia Bragg Thornton. He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Madison County and serves on the Board of Directors at the Huntsville Sports Commission. Steve’s Professional Associations include the Investment Management Consultants Associations and the National Association of Plan Advisors. He enjoys golf, reading, water and snow sports.
Mr. Jay E. Town is a United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama (Presidential Nominee). He is married to Dana Griffin Town. Jay currently sits on the Board of Directors of two national veterans organizations: Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and America’s Warrior Partnership. He is a current or past member of several veteran and wounded warrior non-profit organizations. Jay has leadership roles in the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee and Madison County Republican Executive Committee. Professional Associations include Alabama State Bar, New Jersey State Bar, Indiana State Bar, Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, and Alabama District Attorneys Associations. His hobbies include golf, running, ice hockey, boxing and spending time with his daughter.
Mr. Richard Bland Warren is CEO of TriHaz Solutions and is professionally involved in other Private Equity and Real Estate ventures. He is a former board member and Partner of Big Spring Environmental. Current and past civic interests include serving as Senior and Junior Warden of Church of Nativity Vestry, Church of Nativity Usher, member of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County Class of 1998, Board of Directors Girls & Boy’s Club and Randolph School Athletic Committee. Bland currently serves as co-chairman of The Ledges Junior Golf Committee. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and spending time with his children.
Mr. Jerry Wayne Nutt will serve as announcer and master of ceremonies for the 2017 Symphony Ball. Jerry recently retired from his position as Director of Development for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. He is married to Dorrie Adams Nutt and currently serves as board chairman for the Greater Humane Society and the Ars Nova School of Arts. Jerry’s hobbies include music, singing, woodworking and biking.
Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama held its annual Women of Distinction Awards on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the Jackson Center in Huntsville.
The Women of Distinction Awards program is the premier event for Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama. First celebrated in 1976, each awards program honors local women who have made significant contributions in their professions and communities.
HSOG Members Ivy Albert and Kay Eastin both received Woman of Distinction Awards!
Beth Wise and Susan Anderson just returned from Detroit where they attended the League of American Orchestras Conference. While there Susan presented the Arts and Academics Study Group project, which received a Gold Book Classic Award. The award represents our collaborative effort to improve attendance and add value to the work we do with educators, musicians, and students in the classroom prior to the Young Peoples Concert.
“This special Gold Book Award is not given every year. It recognizes a project that has made a continuous contribution to its orchestra and community for 10 years or more.” – Beth Wise
Debbie McKinney, President of the Volunteer Council with Susan Anderson
Huntsville Country Club provided a scenic setting for photographs of the 42 young women who will make their debut at the 2017 Symphony Ball October 28th. The young women enjoyed their first week of the season with three activities: the Debutante Tea at the home of Mrs. Ernest Wayne Bonner, a special Debutantes and Presenters event at Huntsville Country Club, and two service projects: one for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and the other for Huntsville Hospital. They continue the time-honored Huntsville tradition, which begins anew this summer.
The Symphony Ball, held since 1964, is an annual major fundraising event for the Huntsville’s own professional Symphony Orchestra. It entails many hours of work by the event sponsor, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild. Patti Thornton is chairwoman of the 2017 Ball, and this year will be the 54th Ball.
The 2017 debutantes, having completed their freshman year at college, look forward to an exciting season of social activities with their families and friends. The Symphony Ball season will culminate with their debuts at a gala event on October 28th in the Von Braun Center North Hall.
Following is a list of the 2017 debutantes, their parents, their high schools, and colleges:
Peyton Leigh Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Todd Brown, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Callie McGinn Campbell, daughter of Ms. Jenifer Campbell and Dr. Allen Campbell, Huntsville High school, Auburn University
Catherine Mae Cape, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Lee Cape, Whitesburg Christian Academy, Mississippi College
Hannah Page Clayton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Wesley Clayton, Randolph School, Furman University
Sydney Grace Cole, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy John Cole, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Sarah Grace Copeland, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Graham Copeland, Randolph School, University of Alabama
Molly Kathryn Cornelius, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stephen Cornelius, Huntsville High School, Birmingham Southern College
Lillian Grace Couvillon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hanson Lawrence Couvillon, junior, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Hayley Cynthia Dent, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Vaden Dent, junior, Covenant Christian Academy, University of Alabama, Huntsville
Melissa Meaghan Dillard, daughter of Mrs. David Wade Skidmore and Mr. William Hale Dillard, Randolph School, Samford University
Victoria Prescott Fennell, daughter of Dr. Angela Saint Fennell and Mr. Raymond Prescott Fennell, Randolph School, Southern Methodist University
Polly Elizabeth Gartrell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Conant Gartrell, junior, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Elizabeth Montague Gold, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Joseph Gold, Randolph School, Villanova University
Carol Frances Graffeo, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Anthony Graffeo, Huntsville High School, Samford University
Jordan Patricia Hanks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William James Hanks, Huntsville High School, Auburn University
Mary Grace Hash, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Lee Hash II, Randolph School, Wake Forest University
Windham Elizabeth Hunter, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Vernon Ross Hunter, junior, Randolph School, Vanderbilt University
Alexa Anne Janssen, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Eric Wilfred Janssen, Randolph School, University of Alabama
Emory Brennis Johnson, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. John Dee Johnson, junior, Randolph School, Pepperdine University
Macey Ann Johnson, daughter of Ms. Mary Margaret Batson Johnson and Mr. Harold Gregory Johnson, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Caroline Olivia Jones, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Gresham Jones, Randolph School, University of Alabama
Megan Cecelia Kesting, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lawrence Kesting, Huntsville High School, Auburn University
Bonnie Nichole Lioce, daughter of Dr. Lori Lioce and Mr. Nick Lioce, Randolph School, Birmingham Southern College
Anne Dillon Loflin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Phifer Loflin, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Jordan Elizabeth Loftin, daughter of Ms. Roney Loftin and Mr. Gordon Bartley Loftin III, Randolph School, Birmingham Southern College
Claudia Grace Lynn, daughter of Dr. Susanne Lynn and Mr. Jeffrey Leonard Lynn, Randolph School, Auburn University
Lillian Grace Markwalter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Eugene Markwalter, junior, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Sarah Alexandra Miner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy James Miner, Independence High School, University of Alabama
Lauren Elle Noller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Christ Noller, junior, Randolph School, Mississippi State University
Elizabeth Chason Norris, daughter of Mrs. Van Valkenburgh Norris and Mr. John Edward Norris, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Megan Danielle Pollard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Kirk Pollard, Huntsville High School, Auburn University
Emily Anne Reiney, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Keenan Reiney, senior, Randolph School, American University
Hannah Elizabeth Schrimsher, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jason Lee Schrimsher, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Alysa Trotter Sexton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Britt Sexton, Randolph School, University of Alabama
RileyAnne Harrington Sharpe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Bruce Sharpe, Huntsville High School, Centre College
Sally Frances Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Franklin Smith, Huntsville High School, University of Alabama
Evelyn Claire Sutton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Stanley Sutton, Huntsville High School, University of North Alabama
Sally Louise Swing, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Scott Anthony Swing, Huntsville High School, Auburn University
Allison Frances Taylor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brent Leigh Taylor, Huntsville High School, Samford University
Emily Allison Tucker, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Gregory Scott Tucker, Huntsville High School, Washington and Lee
Meredith Jane Walker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Winston Clay Walker, Randolph School, Auburn University
Taylor Grace Willis, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Albert Edward Willis II, Huntsville High school, Auburn University
Forty-two young women will make their debut at the Huntsville Symphony
Orchestra Guild 54th Symphony Ball on October 28, 2017. The young women enjoyed their first week of the season with the Debutante Tea at the home of Mrs. Earnest Wayne Bonner, a “Debutantes and Presenters” event at the Huntsville Country Club, and two service projects. They continue the time-honored Huntsville tradition, which begins anew this summer.
2017 Symphony Ball debutantes and their mothers enjoyed a lovely afternoon Tea, Wednesday, May 17th at the beautiful home of Guild member, Charlie Bonner. The previous year’s Ball Chairman hosts the annual event and this year, Linda Akenhead continued the tradition. The Debutante Tea marks the official start of the Debutante social season.
Attending the event were the 42 young women who will make their debut at the 54th Symphony Ball, October 28, together with their mothers, and the members of the 2017 Ball Committee, past Guild Presidents and officers, past Ball Chairmen, and the wives of the Ball advisors.
Guests were greeted by Charlie, along with 2017 Ball Chairman, Patti Thornton, and Symphony Guild President, Pam Gann. A silver wine cooler filled with beautiful spring flowers graced the entryway as guests arrived. The silver container was given in 1993 by past Ball Chairman, in memory of Robin Lanier Stewart, 1988 Ball Chairman. It has been used every year at the Debutante Tea since 1993.
The young women enjoyed catching up after their freshman year of college as they enjoyed the delicious tea menu selected by Linda. The Tea was catered by Carlton’s Catering and included a variety of delicacies including country ham and biscuits, chicken salad in pastry shells, cheese ring with fresh fruit, tomato and cucumber sandwiches, and variety of sweets that included strawberry and chocolate bites and iced lemon shortbread cookies. The centerpiece, as well as the flowers in the foyer, was towering arrangements by In Bloom Floral Design Studio, with beautiful spring flowers of white and pink roses, pink peonies, snapdragons, lilies and orchids. Punch and sparkling grape juice were served by past Ball Chairmen and past Presidents Marie Newberry, Suzanne O’Conner, Betty Tomlin, Rosalie Smith, Nancy Colin and Margaret Vann.
The Symphony Ball, sponsored by the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild since 1964, is an annual fundraiser benefiting the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.
The May meeting was a very busy, albeit productive, session!
It was with bittersweet emotion when we watched our 2014/2015 president, Beth Wise, turn the gavel over to Debbie Washburn. We’ll miss Beth’s exceptional leadership, but we also look forward to a productive year under the guidance of Debbie Washburn. The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild accomplished a tremendous amount under Beth’s direction, and we very much appreciate her commitment, hard work and graciousness.
In addition to installing a new president, we:
~ installed new officers,
~ honored our 25 year members, and
~ welcomed our newest members
A Sampling of 2014/2015 Accomplishments
– establishing an Arts and Academics Study Group which has far-reaching support from the education community
– providing financial support to the following:
- To the HSO
- To the HYO
- To 14 worthy scholarship recipients
- Symphony School 3rd Grade Violin Program
- A one-time purchase of Abby Booklets for the Symphony School
- Past Presidents’ Fund Scholarships
- Tennessee Valley Music Festival
We also continued time-honored traditions, including:
~ holding a FREE family concert and Young People’s Concerts for area 4th graders
~ sharing our instrument collection not just at Panoply, but before the Free Family Concert and during the VBC’s Anniversary Celebration, and
~ providing warm hospitality for our orchestra, including a special “Georgia Bottoms” evening.
Installation of Officers
Penny Bashore installed the 2015/2016 officers. Our outgoing officers unquestionably enabled us to continue our long-established tradition of promoting and spreading the love of music, and we look forward to another dynamic year with our incoming officers!
The 2015/2016 Officers:
President: Debbie Washburn
First Vice President: Ivy Albert
Second Vice President: Nancy Richardson
Recording Secretary: Naomi DuBois
Corresponding Secretary: Susan Fredrickson
Treasurer: Kim Wright
Honoring 25+ Year Members
The symphony guild has an unbelievable number of longstanding, dedicated members whose contributions have been invaluable. The impact they’ve had on music education and appreciation in our community is unmatched by any other symphony guild; their pioneering ideas for supporting the orchestra and bringing music to people of all ages and backgrounds have led to many awards. For that, we honor you. Below are our 25+ year members. As you can see, we had to take two photographs since we couldn’t fit everyone into one frame! Again, we extend our sincere thanks to each and every one of you for the countless hours, creative contributions and funding you’ve provided over the years!