No firm estimate of the crowd was available, but it appeared to be one of the largest ever for the annual event. Bolstering the crowd was a delegation of Girl Scouts and their parents from Bedford, Coffee, Moore and Marshall counties. A section and a half of Calsonic Arena were taped off for the scouts.
The symphony, under the direction of resident conductor Albert-George Schram, performed a Broadway-laden program including selections from "West Side Story" and "Les MisÚrables." Violinist Erin Hall and the orchestra received a standing ovation after a medley from "Fiddler on the Roof" which featured a violin solo.
(T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
"Man, you guys are good!" exclaimed Schram about the student musicians.
Another Cascade student, Bernadette Murillo, joined Schram during the symphony's performance of "Hand Jive" from "Grease." Murillo and Schram led the audience in the hand movements which accompany the song, while Schram teased holdouts for not participating.
The concert opened with a performance of the national anthem, as a color guard from Shelbyville Fire Department presented the U.S. and Tennessee flags.
Schram brought his trademark humor to the proceedings, again referring to the arena as "this horsey place" and making jokes about a sponsor sign at the far end of the arena which asked the question "Why Would You Breed Anywhere Else?", which Schram playfully suggested might be a poster slogan for a future concert.
The Motlow State Community College Jazz Band and Chorus, directed by Tom Breece, performed a pre-concert and also entertained during intermission. An art show, featuring everything from professional paintings to elementary school crayon drawings, took place on the arena concourse.
New to the event this year was an "instrument petting zoo," held in the arena conference room, which allowed children to touch and try actual symphonic instruments with the assistance and supervision of Nashville Symphony volunteers.
Marty Martin, southern Middle Tennessee vice president for Regions Bank, welcomed the audience to the concert. Regions Bank is the sponsor of the symphony's community concert series.
The symphony has been appearing in Shelbyville annually, with only one or two exceptions, since 1989. Ticket proceeds from the concert benefit Bedford County Arts Council.
Conductor Albert-George Schram greets the crowd as the Nashville Symphony's annual "Symphony at the Celebration" concert begins in Calsonic Arena on the Celebration grounds. Schram, who holds the title "resident conductor" with the Nashville Symphony, conducts most of the orchestra's pops series concerts.