I had a (local) fundraiser scheduled for Sept. 16 that was postponed a week because of the anticipated weather and travel problems. Note: I grew up in Kingsport, where we never let a few inches of snow and ice keep us home from school. And now rain? Of course I realize how dangerous high winds, rain and lightening can be on interstates, backroads and around trees. It just seems different from what I remember.
But, back to Florence... Hopefully things will settle down and people will get home quickly and safely. It was very rewarding to read the stories of businesses helping out those people displaced by the floods. Thanks, Bristol Motor Speedway, area churches, businesses and schools: You are the best!
The Symphony of the Mountains kicked off its season on Sept. 15 with a fabulous collaboration between the Symphony and Barter Theatre. Producing artistic director Rick Rose said it well when he described this partnership between two of the largest arts organizations in the region - and it did not disappoint. Barter actors and singers, backed up by Symphony musicians, was a partnership, especially with a performance as touching as “The Bridges of Madison County.” I admit that I did not know the piece as a musical, only as a book and a play - until I heard the first song. It is an award-winning musical and I had heard the music and remembered how beautiful it was. Hannah Ingram (Francesca) was spot-on with one of the most gorgeous - and strongest - voices I’ve heard outside a Broadway or opera venue. And Rick McVey embodies that old saying “There are no small parts, only small actors” as he delivers his lines with folksy humor. I always look forward to hearing him, and he is wonderful in this character as well.
Spotted at the Saturday night performance were Mr. and Mrs. Fielding Rolston, Dr. and Mrs. John Mullen, Jenny Smith, Nancy Arnold, Richard Rose, Mr. and Mrs. Olan Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Tucker, Jane Scott, Betsy Shrum, Noah Bradley, Hershel and Toni Cave. “The Bridges of Madison County” runs through November 11 at Barter.
As I'm writing this ahead of time... Wednesday, Sept. 19, ushers in one of my favorite events at Eastman, the IDEAcademy. I have attended every conference at the Toy F. Reid Employee Center and am always amazed at the caliber of speakers. They are wonderful, and I always leave with so much new information and different ways of looking at things. Nonprofit directors don’t “get out much,” so this is something we look forward to annually. Thank you, Eastman for this wonderful gift.
Sept. 29-30: Exchange Place Living History Farm will host its annual Fall Folk Arts Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., September 29, and noon to 3 p.m. on September 30. Admission is $5 with those under age of 12 admitted free. Proceeds go towards the care of the farm’s animals and the continued restoration of the site, located at 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sept. 29: The Paramount Chamber Players will present "The Undiscovered," including "Vignettes: Covered Wagon Woman" and music featuring oboe and bassoon, at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 29 at Paramount Center in Bristol. Students are admitted free at all venues. Tickets, available at the door, are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors. Advance tickets at www.paramountbristol.org.
Sept. 30: Cantemus Women’s Choir (featured on the front of today's section) will kick off its fifth anniversary season of performing outstanding, audience pleasing choral music in its fall concert: “Mozart and More,” at 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30, at Waverly Road Presbyterian Church, 1415 Waverly Road in Kingsport. Cantemus is conducted by Kingsport resident Patricia Denmark. You can visit and follow Cantemus on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cantemuswomenschoir or online at www.cantemuswomenschoir.org/.
Sept. 30: Create Appalachia's Create-A-Stir series will feature chef and writer Susan Crowther from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Sept. 30 at the Historic Eureka Inn in Jonesborough. Tickets are $25. A reception featuring hors d'oeuvres inspired by "The No Recipe Cookbook" and a craft cocktail, will follow the program. Tickets can be purchased at the Eureka Inn during regular hours. For more information, visit www.createappalachia.org.
Sept. 30: The Paramount Chamber Players will present "The Undiscovered," including "Vignettes: Covered Wagon Woman" and music featuring oboe and bassoon, at 3 p.m., Sept. 30 at Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church in Abingdon. Students are admitted free at all venues. Tickets, available at the door, are $10, as part of the Spencer-Miller Memorial Concert Series.
Oct. 5: The Dobyns-Bennett Dramahawks will present "The Dead of Night" at 7 p.m., Oct. 5, at the school's Little Theater. A silent auction will be held, and desserts served during the intermission.
Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations twice a month in Out & About with Katherine.