A toast to Norma!
Here are some photos from the post-concert reception in the balcony lobby for our newly retired piccolo player Norma Rogers, who played in the Nashville Symphony for 40 years. Desserts (including chocolate covered strawberries - yum!) and champagne were served, and cellist Brad Mansell did a wonderful job leading a toast. Brad is standing to Norma’s right in front of the display case (on the right side of the photo) and to Norma’s left is her husband Bruce, who retired one day earlier.
After the toast, Norma gave a short speech - she said that when she started in 1972, the orchestra sometimes rehearsed on Saturday mornings in the Centennial Park band shell, and she was amazed at how we’ve grown since those days. Norma’s legacy will live on not only in the memory of her colleagues and fans, but also in the form of an incredibly generous gift - at the end of the concert’s intermission, general manager Mark Blakeman invited Norma’s son Alex and his wife Alexis out on stage to surprise Norma with the announcement that they will endow the Norma Grobman Rogers Piccolo Chair in perpetuity. FYI Alex, it’s hard enough to play the first page of Beethoven 9 WITHOUT a giant lump in your throat. Thanks a lot! - James Zimmermann, principal clarinet