By Harley Nefe
The beloved Symphony by the Lake returned to Chetola Resort for its 34th annual event on Friday, July 23, and was welcomed with beautiful weather and smiling faces.
“It was an amazing evening, and the weather had a lot to do with that,” said Charles Hardin, President and CEO of Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.
The event, which is produced by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, sold out of tickets three weeks in advance. With COVID-19 considerations in mind, the number of attendees allowed was reduced, so the availability of tickets was limited.
“We reduced the general admission this year by 50%, so there were less people there, but they were able to spread out and socially distance, and people were very happy because of it,” Hardin said. “We are hearing a lot of folks say that they would like the event to stay at reduced capacity, so it worked really well.”
The 2021 Symphony by the Lake showcased the same orchestra attendees have come to enjoy in previous years — Symphony of the Mountains, which is directed by Conductor Cornelia Laemmli Orth. The symphony consists of professional musicians that call many places home including Asheville, Winston-Salem, The Tri-Cities, Tennessee, Virginia and beyond.
Friday evening was the first time the symphony performed in two years.
“They were happy to get their orchestra kick started again,” Hardin said.
The theme for the event this year was called Music from Around the World, and audience members were delighted by musical arrangements inspired by musical traditions from across the globe.
“I heard comments that the music was perfect,” Hardin said. “The music that was played was very uplifting, and I think people were looking for that because we’ve had a difficult year and a half.”
By making a return after not being able to happen last year due to the pandemic, attendees were happy to reunite and see one another again.
“It was a great evening, and we were fortunate that we got to have it under the conditions that we did,” Hardin said.
And the event wouldn’t have turned out the way it did if it weren’t for a great team effort coming from the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.
Hardin said the planning timeline for the symphony usually spreads out over six months, but due to the pandemic, this year’s planning period was compressed to about two months.
“Suzy Barker, Events Director of Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, did a great job,” Hardin said. “The whole team worked really well together, and we also had an intern who is majoring in events management who was an immense help from High Point University.”
Hardin wanted to share his thanks to the sponsors because without them the event wouldn’t be possible.
“Chetola Resort is always a major partner in this by being the host sponsor,” he said.
Other sponsors include The Kennedy-Herterich Foundation, Hendrick Luxury Group, Monkee’s of Blowing Rock, 100 West Union Men’s Store, Our State Magazine, WNC Magazine and Tanger Outlets.
“And I want to thank everyone who came and supported it this year,” Hardin said.
As always, for folks who may have missed the opportunity to attend this year’s performance, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce has already been making preparations for next year’s show. Interested individuals can mark their calendars for Friday, July 22, 2022.
For more information about Symphony by the Lake at Chetola Resort, please visit symphonybythelake.com.