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32nd Symphony by the Lake at Chetola Brings Imagination to the High Country July 26

Symphony of the Mountains returns to Symphony by the Lake for the 32nd season with Conductor Cornelia Laemmli Orth.

By Hailey Blevins

Blowing Rock Chamber’s Symphony by the Lake at Chetola Resort is back for another year with plenty of music and fun to go around! The performance is fast approaching, and it’s not one you’ll want to miss. Get your tickets for July 26 asap!

Each year, the symphony features a theme. Last year, the Colors of the Mountains theme brought amazing decorations and costumes to the event. This year’s theme is A Journey of Imagination and will be reflected in the musical selections as well and the tent decorations, “The theme is about imagination, so it can take a bunch of directions in how people use this. It’s a kind of fantastic kind of thing. All the music is themed towards this theme, except, of course, the patriotic songs that are always a part of this.”

Chetola Resort is expecting perfect weather for this year’s Symphony by the Lake, “This is the 32nd year. We’ve only had one year where it did rain. All the weather models right now are pointing to 72-degree weather, clear skies and low humidity! We’re real excited about that.”

The opening performance by The Kincaids, a husband and wife duo, will begin at 5:45 p.m. and last until 7:15. Then, the Symphony of the Mountains will take the stage at 7:30. 

The Symphony of the Mountains returns again with Conductor Cornelia Laemmli Orth. With a theme based around Imagination, the Symphony brings arrangements from fantasy worlds such as The Wizard of Oz, The Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and more for attendees to enjoy. Along with the Symphony of the Mountains, soloist Carla Karst will join the program as a guest during the second half.

Karyn Herterich, of Serves You Right!, won in the 2018 Social category for her tent.

Along with enjoying the wonderful music, be sure to walk around and check out the beautifully and creatively decorated tents that are entered in the tent decorating contest. Last year’s winner for the Colors of the Mountains theme in the Social Category was Karyn Herterich of Serves You Right! The tent had five sub-themes that included the four seasons and fog. Karen and her friends dressed up in amazing costumes to go with the tent. The winner for the Business category was the High Country Breast Cancer TDA.

The night at the lake ends with a 15-minute firework finale that shines spectacularly over the lake while the Symphony plays Stars and Stripes Forever, a sight that the event has become well known for, “We have, I’m told, the best fireworks show on the mountain. Right after the symphony, they’ll play the Stars and Stripes Forever, then the fireworks go off. It’s a beautiful show. They do a great job every year.”

Plenty of tickets are still available for the 2019 Symphony by the Lake. Chetola expects around 4000 people this year. Bring your own chair and join the crowd! You can bring your own food and alcoholic beverages as well, but Chetola does offer a wide selection on their wonderful buffet.

With this many people expected, Chetola has been working to expand their parking options for the event. Of course, parking at the Tanger Outlet is an option, but it’s not one that is recommended. Tanger fills up fast, leaving everyone fighting for a parking spot. The event encourages parking at one of Blowing Rock’s parking decks/areas or taking a shuttle from Tweetsie to the event. Parking at Tweetsie is recommended especially, “My favorite is Tweetsie, especially if you’re coming from Boone. Just avoid all the traffic, park at Tweetsie and ride a nice coach bus all the way into the back gate.”

The event also offers parking for handicapped or mobility challenged attendees at the Food Lion Parking Lot with a handicapped accessible shuttle that will load and unload on the symphony lawn. The event asks that attendees save the Food Lion parking lot for the handicapped and mobility challenged.

Additionally, the resort is now offering parking inside Chetola for $10, “It’s something we’ve been trying out the past two years, and it’s been working really well. We’re opening a whole lot, and we can fit about 400 cars in there.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance until the close of business on Thursday or on the website by midnight for $40 for adults and $15 for children under 12 years of age. There are no fees to purchase tickets on the website. Tickets will also be available on the day of, but adult tickets increase in price to $50. Call the Chamber office at 828-295-7851 or stop by the office at 132 Park Avenue in Blowing Rock to purchase you tickets.

Tickets are also still available for the Audiophile Section, “Our Audiophile Section, these tickets are right down front. They’re reserved seating, and the ticket includes seats and shared side tables, two glasses of wine or beer and a snack box. For those that don’t want to be bothered by all the other people and want to really focus on the music, that’s the place to go.” These tickets are $95, or $105 with the inclusion of a parking pass, and are available online or in person.

For more details and tickets, go to symphonybythelake.com. A full program can be viewed on the website as well. 

Photos from last year’s Blowing Rock Chamber’s Symphony by the Lake at Chetola Resort