FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2013
For more information,
Contact: Amanda Shell
The East Tennessee Historical Society recently awarded Dr. Bill Snyder with the Award of Excellence for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of his work that was instrumental in preserving one of Knoxville’s greatest landmarks, the Tennessee Theatre, as a source of regional pride for many generations to come.
At the historical society’s 33rd annual membership meeting and award ceremony, Dr. Snyder was praised for his selfless dedication demonstrated in his many roles at the theatre, including former development director, resident historian, house organist and community ambassador.
“The East Tennessee Historical Society honored Bill with this award because of his passion for preserving one of our East Tennessee jewels, the historic Tennessee Theatre,” said Cherel Henderson, director of the East Tennessee Historical Society. “Throughout his life-time, Bill has dedicated countless hours towards preserving one of Knoxville’s most iconic and significant buildings. This award is well-deserved.”
Snyder was instrumental in the restoration of the Tennessee Theatre in 2003. As fundraising chair, he led the charge in helping the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation (HTTF) board secure $28 million in funding to completely restore the historic Tennessee Theatre to its original 1928 glory. The theatre reopened as a performing arts venue for East Tennessee in 2005. The Tennessee Theatre is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
“I am forever grateful for Bill’s wonderful service to the Tennessee Theatre,” said Tom Cervone, executive director of the Tennessee Theatre. “The theatre would truly not be standing in all its beauty today without his hard work and dedication to the restoration project.”
As house organist and host of “Mighty Musical Mondays” monthly free organ concert, Snyder is the face of the theatre for many, welcoming visitors and providing pre-show organ music during his 34-year tenure. He has led countless tours, sharing the theatre’s heritage and history with thousands of tourists and East Tennesseans for decades.
The Awards of Excellence were established in 1984 to recognize individuals and organizations that make worthwhile contributions to the preservation and understanding of the region’s history.
Other honorees from the evening include:
- Ramsey Award for Lifetime Achievement – Maxwell D. Ramsey
- Teaching Excellence – Joan Markel, Frank H. McClung Museum
- History in the Media and Community History Award – Ray Smith, Oak Ridge
- History in the Media Awards – Grainger Today, Kingsport Time-News, Newport Plain Talk and Michael Williams
Community History Awards:
- Elaine Scott Cantrell, Washington County
- The City of Blaine, Grainger County
- Coal Creek Watershed Foundation, Knox/Anderson County
- Ron Goode, Overton County
- Ron and Debbie Moore, Bradley County
- Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, Anderson/Blount County
- Dr. Gail Palmer, Blount County
- Marian Presswood, Polk County
Awards of Distinction:
- Adam Alfrey, Knox County
- Ronnie Edmondson, Loudon County
- Friends of the Washington County Archives, Washington County
- Jefferson County Historical Society, Jefferson County
- Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, Monroe County
- Will Moore, Bradley County
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and U.S. District Court Historical Society, regional
About the Tennessee Theatre
Located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, the Tennessee Theatre opened in 1928 as a movie palace. The Tennessee Theatre is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Tennessee Theatre is the region’s leading performing arts center with advanced technology, staging and lighting that draws top entertainment to the Knoxville area.
In 2013, the Tennessee Theatre celebrates its 85th anniversary by launching a Sustainability Campaign with the goal of raising $4 million dollars towards preserving and maintaining the theatre without additional annual fundraising.