Nashville Symphony to Host ‘Spirits of Summer’ Cocktail Competition

photo by Jim Wood

Spirits of Summer, a widely popular fundraising event supporting the Nashville Symphony, will take place at Schermerhorn Symphony Center Tuesday, June 27 beginning at 6 pm. Blending the experience of a live orchestra performance and a cocktail competition, the curated concert event pairs musical works with creatively crafted cocktails designed by notable Nashville mixologists. The event is presented annually by Crescendo Club, the Nashville Symphony’s young professional organization. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Following the theme “Symphony Royale,” VIP guests kick off the evening in a High Rollers Lounge complete with gaming tables, open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and champagne. In the main event, Principal Pops Conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez leads four musical selections while each mixologist presents how the piece inspired their cocktail. The audience will experience a journey of all the senses, enjoying signature cocktails paired with the music while comparing tasting notes with friends and enjoying delicious bites between each “round.” At the end of the night, the audience votes for their favorite music and cocktail pairing, with the winning mixologist taking home the Symphony’s Spirits of Summer award and a Nashville Symphony prize package. After the concert, the audience is invited to mix and mingle with Nashville Symphony musicians and the mixologists.

This year’s event is chaired by Catherine Grace (Associate Board, Spirits of Summer Chair) and Hank Ingram (Board of Directors, Secretary; Associate Board, Chair Emeritus). Spirits of Summer began in 2017 to raise awareness of and funds for the Symphony among Nashville’s young professional community. “Spirits of Summer is truly a one-of-a-kind experience in our community,” said Catherine Grace. “The event showcases the incredible artistry and creativity of both our city’s world-class Nashville Symphony and craft cocktail scene and embodies the collaborative spirit our city is known for.”

Featured mixologists include Ryan Barrentine (The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club), Bode Craig (Otto’s Bar), Antonio Gutierrez (The Greenhouse), and Jonathan Vereecken (The Optimist), with award presentation by 2022 Spirits of Summer Craft Cocktail Award Winner Rhonda Cammon (Perfectly Cordial). The musical program includes an exciting range of compositions including works by Matt Catingub, George S. Clinton, Sverre Indris Joner, Monty Norman, and John Barry.

“I look forward to Spirits of Summer every year because it is a such a unique musical event in a town full of options,” said Hank Ingram. “Not only is the experience inside the hall special, but so is the opportunity to sample the work of some of the best mixologists working in Nashville today.”

Spirits of Summer is supported by Advanced Financial, Akerman, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nissan, FirstBank, and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Nashville Symphony, whose mission is to inspire and engage a diverse and growing community with extraordinary live orchestral music experiences. Event tickets go on sale May 2 at a starting price of $75.

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