The melodies of Beethoven, Menken and Tchaikovsky entertained thousands on a cool, rainless night Tuesday when the Nashville Symphony’s Community Concerts Program returned to Historic Rock Castle.

It was the third year in a row the symphony has performed at the state historic site located along Old Hickory Lake. It appeared to draw the event’s largest crowd thus far.

“Seeing the city come out – it’s amazing,” noted Justin Bradford, director of digital media for the Nashville Symphony.

Bradford didn’t attend last year’s event at Rock Castle, but said he heard about it from his symphony colleagues.

“I just heard how beautiful it was, with the lake and how many people attended,” he said. “We looked forward to coming back this year.”

The event was the Nashville Symphony’s fifth community concert of the season and the first that didn’t get rained on, Bradford added.

He said the symphony did have a contingency plan to move the event to Hendersonville High School if needed, but fortunately that wasn’t necessary. Symphony musicians were minus their famous band shell this year.

“We usually set up the band shell, but it’s broken and we’re waiting for a certain part to repair it,” he added.

Gallatin resident Yana Eliseev attended the symphony’s community concert a week earlier in Lebanon and brought her children, ages 5 and 8, to Hendersonville on Tuesday.

“I love the music and I want them to appreciate it too,” she said. “They can be outside and listen and run around. It’s very family-friendly.”

Kris Willis and his wife Tana of Charlotte, N.C., were in Nashville on business when they googled things to do in Nashville.

“I saw Nashville Symphony and went to their website and saw that there was a free symphony here,” said Kris Willis of the couple’s first visit to Hendersonville.

“It’s pretty grounds right here,” he said. “It’s very nice.”

The event has become a favorite family tradition for the Northcutts of Hendersonville.

Daughter Mollie, who is taking summer classes at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, said she made a special trip home for the event.

“I’ve just loved it so much I had to come home for it,” she said.

“This is our big thing,” said her mother Jennie. “We love this - everybody loves this.”

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