Lunch with the maestro

Published 9:20 pm Thursday, November 26, 2009

Golden leaves drifted down as my car nosed toward Greystone Golf and Country Club’s massive stone building. This headquarters for several PGA tournaments sits atop a hill overlooking golf greens. Oak Mountain provides a lovely backdrop.

On Nov. 16, the Club hosted a Maestro Luncheon, the kick-off effort to bring the Alabama Symphony Orchestra to the community next year. Committee Chair Mindy Boggs greeted me at the door, where 60 or so guests streamed into the expansive foyer.

Champagne corks popped, and bubbly poured. I browsed auction items, stopping to chat with Ginger Jefferson of Saks Fifth Avenue.

“Saks is happy to be a supporter of ASO, and the community,” Jefferson said.

At noon, bidding closed and guests were seated. Lunch was served, and violinist Julia Sakharova entertained guests with a piece written by Bach in the 1720s. Sakharova, a native Russian, is the ASO assistant concertmaster.

Boggs explained the purpose of the event.

“This is the first of many to raise funds for an ASO ‘Symphony on the Green at Greystone’ June 19, 2010,” Boggs said.

Maestro Justin Brown is music director and principal conductor in his fourth season with ASO.

“Coming from England, I’ve been given a warm Southern welcome. ASO is a professional orchestra, exclusively state-funded, paid for by the people. Our goal is to connect people with live music,” Brown said.

Supporters can help make “Symphony on the Green at Greystone” a reality.

Donations are tax deductible. For more information call 218-4303, 995-1094 or e-mail Mindy Boggs at

Gladys Hodge Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at