Symphony supporters call for change at annual fashion show

Symphony supporters call for change at annual fashion show (Image 1)

The 2013 Symphony Spring Fashion Show brought out fans of fashion and music to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Tuesday night.

This year's event featured the fall collection for designer Monique Lhuillier, as well as music from model Karen Elson and the band LEAGUES.

Proceeds benefited educational and artistic programs of the Nashville Symphony.

“So much of what they do is about sharing music in the community,” said event co-chair Elizabeth Dennis.

“There's so many other things they do besides play music,” added Colleen Conway-Welch. “I'm delighted to see the crowd here tonight.”

The event was a bright spot in an otherwise dark time for a symphony facing financial trouble.

The Nashville Symphony hit the heights in the fall of 2006 when the Schermerhorn opened, only to falter to flood in the spring of 2010.

Now debts are mounting to a reported $82 million and possible foreclosure.

In a statement to Nashville's News 2, symphony spokesperson Laurie Davis stated, “Negotiations are continuing with the banks. We are still in a holding pattern. The symphony has not been advised of a pending foreclosure.”

News 2 reached out to Bank of America, the symphony's lending institution. Spokesperson Shirley Norton said she could not disclose any specific information, only to say, “We continue to be in discussions with the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.”

The statements have not calmed the fears of symphony supporters who were very vocal Tuesday night about a need for more support and the need for change in relation to the symphony.

“Hopefully the program will be able to continue so others will be able to enjoy it too,” said Vanessa McCullough.

“I hope to see a belt-tightening, and stay with the course,” Ted Welch said.

It is not clear if the symphony has a deadline for debt negotiations.

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