Floodwaters strike Schermerhorn Center, Nashville Symphony to seek new locations for concerts

Posted on: May 4, 2010

In Monday’s (5/3) Tennessean (Nashville), Jessica Bliss and Nicole Young report, “The Opryland Hotel, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center [home of the Nashville Symphony], Bridgestone Arena and LP Field are among the Nashville institutions experiencing damage from devastating weekend rainfall that continues to wreak havoc across the area. And, the Cumberland River is still rising. … Officials are saying the water is still rising at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. ‘It’s coming from everywhere,’ said Alan Bostick, senior director of communications [for the Nashville Symphony]. ‘It’s coming up from the ground, through the floor. It’s coming in, basically through any opening at the ground level.’ Adding to the problem, Bostick said was the fact that many other downtown businesses were pumping floodwaters out of their buildings. ‘We can’t even begin to pump ours because the water level outside is still rising,’ Bostick said. ‘There’s nowhere for it to go.’ Officials are beginning to worry about the main concert hall of the symphony center, which sits above the now completely flooded basement level. Bostick said about three and half feet was all that separated the floodwaters from the concert hall.”

On Tuesday morning, Bostick told the League that floodwaters had risen to within six inches of the concert hall floor, ruining two pianos and an organ console on a lower level, as well as electrical systems, but leaving most of the facility intact. The Nashville Symphony anticipates relocating and rescheduling concerts for the rest of this month. President and CEO Alan Valentine also noted that the orchestra is hoping to arrange for a free concert in a park in the coming weeks. The Tennessean has posted video of the interior of Schermerhorn, in which Schermerhorn Vice President of Human Resources Jonathan Norris and maintenance technician Ken Dillehay explain the extent of the damage. “This is a resilient organization,” Valentine said. “This is a horrible thing that’s happened, but I’m confident we will come out on top.”

Posted May 4, 2010