2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Razzle-Dazzled With The Finest In Formal Fashions And Fundraising For Beautiful Music

As the near most perfect harvest moon rose like a magnificent balloon over North Texas with nary a cloud in sight, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Denise McGovern’s tootsies were worn out from doing non-rain dance on Friday, September 16. Despite predictions of pop-up and cluster showers sprinkled rain in the territory, none were spilling over the Meyerson.

Here was the scene for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala co-chaired by Marena and Roger Gault. Unlike years past, when AT&T was the presenting sponsor and the honorary chair was a politico, the Gaults decided to shift directions and have a hands-on, fun type be honorary chair. The pick was a hands-down Midland transplant Sherwood Wagner, who had set the mood with a kick-off extravaganza that had been the talk of the spring season.

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Todd Clendening, Sherwood Wagner, Roger and Marena Gault, Gina and Tom Landry

Marena in a Patti Flowers creation was topped by a bigger-than-usual blond hairstyle. Fessing up, Marena said, “Sherwood did it. She said that the higher and bigger the hair, the closer to God.”

Midland transplant Sherwood on the other hand had her mama Lissa Wagner, who had flown in from Midland and was wearing a Fe Zandi gown. Admitting that she couldn’t have pulled off this black-tie extravaganza without her mom — “I called her five times a day!” — Sherwood proudly wore a magnificent diamond necklace with three diamond broaches that Lissa had given her over the weekend.

Marena, Roger and Sherwood joined the VIPs in the Hart Atrium for official photos. Organizers advised that Mayor Mike Rawlings’ not being in formal attire was due to his having to attend another event with the attire being T-shirt. As usual, Mike opted for the safe business-suit look.

Mike Rawlings, Sanjiv Yajnik, Sanford Weill and Jonathan Martin

Mike Rawlings, Sanjiv Yajnik, Sanford Weill and Jonathan Martin

Among those in the VIP reception were Capital One’s Sanjiv Yajnik plus Joan and Sanford Weill in from New York. Their presence was just another of the changes in the DSO Gala format. A “member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the 2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy,” Sanford was being recognized at the Gala for “his unparalleled contributions to arts and education in the United States.”

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger

Nancy Nasher and David Haemisseger

Greg and Kim Hext

Greg and Kim Hext

Nelda Cain and Don Fischer

Nelda Cain and Don Fischer

Kara and Randall Goss

Kara and Randall Goss

Upstairs, the Renaissance Foyer was turning into a showcase of couture designs, jewelry and men in tailored tuxedos. Snapshots of the scene: Nancy Nasher, with hubby David Haemisegger, was in “everything Neiman Marcus from NorthPark,” natch, including a Prada dress and Brian Atwood shoes. (Quipped David: “I make my own clothes.”) … Kim Hext‘s gown was by Burberry, while husband Greg‘s tux was from J. Mendel. … Nelda Cain Pickens opted for Melinda Eng, while date Fr. Don Fischer was in Hugo Boss. … Kara and Randall Goss were a striking duo, as always, she in Rosie Assoulin and he in a tux by Brioni. The latter was a popular choice for the gents, with Blaine Nelson and Jim Keyes also opting for the Italian designer.

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Fraser and Rhonda Marcus and Patti and Blaine Nelson

Sheila and Jody Grant

Sheila and Jody Grant

Jolie and Bart Humphrey

Jolie and Bart Humphrey

Rhonda Marcus was in an Amanda Wakeley, with Louboutin shoes; Sheila Grant chose a classy, pale-blue Oscar de la Renta number; and Jolie Humphrey selected a gown by a “new designer,” Osman, paired with Jimmy Choo shoes (her Bart was in Armani, also the choice of Jeff Byron). … Lynn McBee said she was in a gown by Minika “Ko — that’s an L.A. designer,” and solo, since husband Allan McBee was away for a seminar. … Meanwhile, a pair of foursomes swept in: the first included Lisa and Clay Cooley (she was in Michael Faircloth, with Oscar shoes) with Tracy and Ben Lange (she opted for Michael Faircloth as well, plus Jimmy Choos). The second foursome included Faith and Garrett Smith and Fay and Ken Moraif (she in a Carmen Marc Valvo).

Clay and Lisa Cooley and Tracy and Ben Lange

Clay and Lisa Cooley and Tracy and Ben Lange

Nick and Karen Adamson

Nick and Karen Adamson

Jeremy Lock and D'Andra Simmons Lock

Jeremy Lock and D’Andra Simmons Lock

Ross and Margot Perot

Ross and Margot Perot

Margo and Jim Keyes

Margo and Jim Keyes

Also spotted: Tanya and Pete Foster, Karen and Nick Adamson, D’Andra Simmons Lock (in Oscar) and Jeremy Lock (in a Zegna tux), Doris and Jack Jacobs, Margot and Ross Perot Sr., Erin Von Villas with her sister, Moody’s communications guru Salli Schwartz, and Gina and Tom Landry Jr. Asked for the names of their designers, Tom replied with a smile, “We’re not designer types.”

Over in the dining area, Margaret McDermott decided to bypass the VIP reception and headed her wheelchair straight to her table.

Dallas symphony Orchestra Gala dining room

Dallas symphony Orchestra Gala dining room

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott

While the reception was indeed dressed to the hilt, one guest noticed a Dallas Fire and Rescue Team including Mark Breidenbach set up near the check-in. Their presence was just a fortunate precaution. Seems one guest was feeling under the weather and decided to take advantage of the team’s services and their stretcher.

Pretty soon the guests took their places for a meal and adjourned to the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, where Sanford thanked the organizers for the recognition. He was followed by a performance by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jaap van Zweden and highlighted by pianist Lang Lang.

Following the last note, Gala guests headed to the After-Party chaired by de Boulle first son/race car enthusiast Nick Boulle and Honorary Chair/DSO First Daughter Anna-Sophia van Zweden. MIA was DJ Lucy Wrubel, who traditionally has been in charge of the music at the late night festivities. The reason had to do with a class reunion.

An added touch for the feet that felt the punishment of stilettos dancing the night away on the Meyerson’s marble floors were foot massages provided by the Ritz-Carlton spa. Hopefully, Denise took advantage of the services following her successful non-rain dances of the day.

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery!

Round Robin April 23: Thrift Studio Preview, Anna-Sophia Van Zweden Reception And Chick Lit And Genesis Annual Luncheon Patron Parties

People were literally bumping into each other trying to hit all the fundraisers on Thursday, April 23. As one vet put it, “I just keep telling myself that June is up ahead.” But until then, here’s just a smidgen of the fundraising hit-and-runs that were taking place on April 23. While patrons of the Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy’s Day at the Races prepped for the Kentucky Derby, others headed to:

Thrift Studio Preview

2015 Thrift Studio vignette

2015 Thrift Studio vignette

Before the sneak preview of the Dwell With Dignity pop-up Thrift Studio even officially opened the doors in the Design District, a lineup of people were spilling into the parking lot waiting to get in. Luckily, the mobile photo trailer was a fun distraction.

The reason for the plethora of folks was the goodies provided by area interior designer types. Surrounded by his “faithful gals” Valerie Cain and Lauren Thomasson and looking as pleased as a peacock, Thrift Studio Honorary Chair John Phifer Marrs proclaimed that the vignettes and furnishings were “Great!”

Lauren Thomasson, John Phifer Marrs and Valerie Cain

Lauren Thomasson, John Phifer Marrs and Valerie Cain

When asked why the Dwell With Dignity team had decided to reduce the Thrift Studio from two-a-year to once-a-year, John looked a bit amazed at the question. His answer was a question, “Do you know how much work goes into this event?”

He then admitted that the good resulting from the funds raised was amazing. As the crowds poured into, John recalled a boy who didn’t have friends to his home because he was ashamed. That changed once Dwell With Dignity stepped in and created a home that he was proud to show off to his friends.

2015 Thrift Studio vignette

2015 Thrift Studio vignette

As for this Thrift Studio, it will continue through Saturday, May 23. As items are purchased, new merchandise will be brought in. In other words, it’s an ever-changing cornucopia of marvels.

Chick Lit Patron Party

Carol Seay

Carol Seay

Wendy Messmann

Wendy Messmann

Over at Highland Park Village it was beautiful clothes and loads of gals including Chick Lit Luncheon Chair Wendy Messmann and Honorary Chair Carol Seay.

Paige McDaniel and Stacey Ballis

Paige McDaniel and Stacey Ballis

Over on the couch at the back of the salon was author Stacey Ballis, who was observing the crowd including Lynn McBee and Jolie Humphrey.

Before long she was meeting and greeting folks like a veteran politician the night before an election with Community Partners of Dallas Paige McDaniel making the intros.

Genesis Annual Luncheon Patron Party

Kathy Helm

Kathy Helm

Emilynn Wilson and Larry Helm

Emilynn Wilson and Larry Helm

Just south of Highland Park Village, Kathy and Larry Helm created a traffic jam with valets running non-stop. The draw besides the Helms’ home, with their lanai, terrace and pergola with fire pit, was the Genesis Annual Luncheon patron party.

Suzy and Tom Rhodes and Jan Langbein

Suzy and Tom Rhodes and Jan Langbein

As Larry and Genesis CEO Jan Langbein greeted guests like Gail Turner, Underwriting Chair Robin Bagwell, Angela Nash, Donna ChereckEmilynn and Claude Wilson, Eve Wiley, Brenda and Bob White, Michal Powell and Suzy and Tom Rhodes.

Bianca Jackson, Robin Bagwell and Angela Nash

Bianca Jackson, Robin Bagwell and Angela Nash

According to reports, tickets were flying for the May 5 luncheon featuring Maria Shriver.

This year it’s taking place in the Anatole’s Trinity Ballroom. Leave it to the Genesis crowd. They’re planning on dressing up the huge room for the fundraiser.

Departure

Up north at NorthPark, Dallas Symphony Orchetra First Daughter Anna-Sophia van Zweden was being toasted at Mont Blanc for her masterminding the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Soluna International Music and Arts Festival, Dallas’ three-week festival of music and art.

Laree Hulshoff, Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Barbara Daseke

Laree Hulshoff, Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Barbara Daseke

This mega three-week visual art and music festival runs from May 4 through May 24, capping off with a free concert on Sunday, May 24, conducted by Dallas Symphony Orchestra Maestro Jaap van Zweden at Klyde Warren Park honoring members of the armed forces and “showcasing” work by Monte Laster.

The project includes artists from around the world, as well as local talent, to provide a feast of visual and orchestral delights.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

Jan Miller and Jeff Rich

Jan Miller and Jeff Rich

Jan Miller and Jeff Rich promised a big hoop-la for the 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. Margot and Ross Perot and Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings were the honorary co-chairs; Carole and Scott Murray were the honorary media co-chairs; violinist Itzhak Perlman was the headliner with Maestro Jaap van Zweden and DSO musicians on stage; and a “surprise guest” arrived on the scene, in addition to I.M. Pei‘s son Sandi.

Mary McDermott Cook, Margaret McDermott, Jonathan Martin and Sandi Pei

Mary McDermott Cook, Margaret McDermott, Jonathan Martin and Sandi Pei

And you just know that the black-tie hundreds of guests succeeded in living up to Dallas’ reputation for dressing to the nines. A Dutch film crew was busy recording the scene.

Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Jaap vanZweden

Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Jaap van Zweden being interviewed

Check out the loads of pics on the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery. Stay tuned. The writeup is due tomorrow.

DSO AT&T Gala Powers Barbara And Don Daseke And Anna-Sophia Know How To Warm Up For September 17

You’ve got to hand it to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala crowd. They know how to prepare for the Saturday, September 17th gala. Since they have Todd Fiscus and his merry staff putting all the magic together to transform the Meyerson for the big night, they’re in other parts of the world getting in shape.

DSO Gala chairs Barbara and Don Daseke have been hiking around Peru. According to Barbara,”We have hiked 7 of our 9 days in Peru. Very remote. No access to anything whatsoever. Hardest thing we’ve ever done. Today came DOWN 4000 ft to Machu Picchu. Made it to 17,000 but with tough hiking, I could barely breathe. Even the many mule trains who passed us on a narrow trail were gasping!!!”

On the other side of the world, After-Party chair and DSO first daughter Anna-Sophia van Zweden was Miss Popularity with the bluest blooded bold faces.

Joshua Bell

Ah, where to start? How about the royal concert attended by newlyweds Prince Albert and Princess Charlene? Anna-Sophia ran into DSO Gala featured artist Joshua Bell, aka People Magazine‘s “50 Most Beautiful.” No, Joshua was not just another party guest. He was performing with the Orchestre Philhamonique de Monte-Carlo for the royal celebration. And whom do you think was conducting the orchestra? Ah, we just knew that you would know. You’re absolutely right. Anna-Sophia’s always talented papa, Jaap van Zweden.

Alas, the beautiful Anna-Sophia in her Dolce & Gabana outfit admitted to tearing up, “Joshua Bell made me cry. . . so beautiful!”

And her review of Monaco’s new princess? She reminded Anna-Sophia of Princess Grace.

Isle de Marguerite

As if that wasn’t enough to send our girl to a spa for recovery, she attended a birthday party for a Dutch multi-millionaire. Can’t name him because he’s too darn shy. No, it wasn’t one of those Dom Perignon dinners in a quaint little restaurant in Paris.  Oh, no, not at all! The birthday gent rented the entire Isle de Marguerite near Cannes. The dress code was white and glamorous.

Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Our Anna-Sophia was a knockout as usual. Dressed in white Grecian-style, she highlighted her look with gold accessories including Yves Saint Laurent jewelry that she had bought in Monaco a few days earlier.  Around 200 guests from the Netherlands, Russia and U.S. — including Nicky and Paris Hilton — were picked up by speedboat at Cannes and taken to the Carlton hotel on the island.  The party was catered by Bruno, a restaurant famous for its truffles in the  Cote d’Azur. DJ Jacky of the famous nightclub Les Caves in the Byblos hotel played before Sheryl Cole sang “Happy Birthday” to the birthday boy Marilyn Monroe-style. When dinner was over, the crowd moved to the dance floor where the Black Eyed Peas (without Fergie) played all night long! Everyone at the party was dancing like there was no tomorrow

Nicky Hilton, Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Paris Hilton

Now, you know what to talk about with Barbara, Don, Anna-Sophia and Jaap when you see them at the gala. Better get your tickets now. Got a feeling that thanks to Todd’s decorations, Joshua’s performance with Jaap and the DSO, Anna-Sophia’s after-party and some other surprises, the DSO fundraiser is going to compare very nicely to the mysterious Dutch millionaire’s birthday party.

Joshua Bell photo provided by Dallas Symphony Orchestra