By Angie Jones
East Tennessee Community Writer
On March 20 Wilma Maples opened her historic Gatlinburg Inn to host a concert featuring The Nashville Suzuki Players under the direction of internationally renowned composer, musician, and teacher Thornton Cline.
To finish up their 2010 Spring Southeast Tour, the Suzuki Players came to Gatlinburg for a concert at the Gatlinburg Inn in honor of Maples.
The group performed exquisitely with director Thornton Cline, Ken Morrell on guitar, and Blue Grass Hall of Fame Haskell McCormick on banjo.
The 19 students performed selections from Suzuki Violin Books 1-5, state songs, and familiar fiddle tunes.
The group received an overwhelming round of applause during their performance of “Rocky Top” which was originally written in Rel and Wilma Maples’ hotel by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant.
After the performance, The Nashville Suzuki Players headed for Dolly Parton's "Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show Theater" In Pigeon Forge where they performed to a sold out crowd in the Carriage House Room.
Attending regular schools and some being home-schooled, all Suzuki students must audition and be judged by professional violinists from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
Student members this year include: Gillian Castro, Jaime Dorsey, Samuel Hollis, Steven Hollis, Charles Hunter, Rachel Morrell, Solomon Golden, Paul Lee, Ragen Perry, Noah Sy, Isaiah Tuck, Lindsey Tucker, Abby Sholar, Cole Ritter, Savannah Ritter, Caeley Murray, Grace Lee, Kayla Trovillion, and Emory Hutchens.
For the first time ever, the group has three sets of siblings. They are Samuel and Steven Hollis, Grace and Paul Lee, and Cole and Savannah Ritter. Director Cline says, "This is highly unusual for the Suzuki Players."
The Nashville Suzuki Players have so many requests to perform all over the United States. They are now back home in the surrounding Nashville area where they are already planning their next big tour.
Inn, Theater Hosts Concert
By Angie Jones