2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Decorations Revealed Reflecting Maestro Jaap Van Zweden’s Farewell Celebration Season

Todd Fiscus and Adele Ichilian

Event guru Todd Fiscus had just returned from a break in Mexico. The weeks earlier had had him in Sonoma, Calif., and a ranch in Wyoming and everywhere but Mars. But thanks to NDA (non-disclosure agreements), all he could show for his handiwork was a tan.

Before presenting the sneak preview of the 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala lookey-lookey on Tuesday, August 15, at the Meyerson Symphony Center, he did fess up to Culinaire Catering Director Adele Ichilian about the newest event trend — cellphone check-ins. Seems that folks who are hosting big-time weddings, birthdays, whatevers don’t want to be in the swamp of social media. As Todd put it, social media has become the four horsemen of the apocalypse: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat.

To solve the problem, Todd has created cellphone cubbyholes like yesteryear’s hotel key cubicles. Guests hand over their phones before entering the event, receive a receipt for the phone, and pick it up when leaving the occasion. While the guest is partying, Todd has arranged for the cellphones to be charged up.

Made sense. Example: For wedding photographers trying to capture the “money shot” of the newlyweds having that first kiss, the main aisle has been filled with guests’ arms stretching out with cellphones to also capture the moment.

Jana Etheridge and Clay and Lisa Cooley

Michelle Miller Burns and Randy Wilhoit

But on this night, Todd was laid back in shorts at the Meyerson for the DSO Gala décor presentation for guests including Jana Etheridge, Randall Wilhoit and Katherine and Key Coker.

According to Todd, DSO interim CEO Michelle Miller Burns and  DSO Gala Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley, there were “still a few tables available” for the Saturday, September 16, Gala, which will launch Farewell Celebration Season for departing  DSO Music Director Jaap Van Zweden, who’s decamping to lead the New York Philharmonic.

Therefore the Gala at the Meyerson will have a sort of “grand finale” look and feel, Todd said, with cool emerald greens (from the table linens to the Elephant ears from Brazil!) and malachite reflected throughout.

2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala table setting

Joining Jaap and the DSO musicians will be the world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who is always a North Texas music lover’s favorite.

The concert will be preceded by a cocktail reception and seated dinner in the Renaissance Foyer with Honorary Chair Margaret McDermott.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala After-Party seating

As for the much-anticipated after-party, by contrast, it will be a “fun, sexy version of an after-party,” all aquas and hot pinks with a DJ providing the music.  

Tickets for the season’s first formal gala range from concert-and-after-party tickets to full-blown Gala packages.

 

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!

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

Friday nights in the fall usually have North Texans in bleachers watching high school football games. Ah, but not on Friday, September 16. After an afternoon nappy-poo following the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show at Neiman Marcus Downtown, the beautiful people donned their finery for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala at the Meyerson.

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

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

Scott Cantrell’s review of the concert in The Dallas Morning News only described the fundraising gala patrons of the DSO as “well-dressed Dallas swells.” Ah, shoot! It was a heck of lot more “swell” than the classical music critic wrote.

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott

Mike Rawlings and Joan and Sanford Weill

Mike Rawlings and Joan and Sanford Weill

But let’s leave Scotty to reviewing the audio features of the night. Instead, let’s just focus on the visuals and interaction of the local DSO supporters like Margaret McDermott and out-of-towners like Joan and Sanford Weill. After all, without those “swells,” there might not be any concerts to review.

For a look at some of Scott’s “swells,” check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery while the post is being prepared.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

According 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Co-Chairs Marena and Roger Gault,

“As Chairs of this year’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala, along with Honorary Chair

Sherwood Wagner and Marena and Roger Gault (File photo)

Sherwood Wagner and Marena and Roger Gault (File photo)

Sherwood Wagner, we invite you to play your part on Friday, September 16 by purchasing a gala table or concert and After-Party tickets. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala kicks off the social season, and this year features world-renowned pianist Lang Lang along with our fantastic Dallas Symphony Orchestra and heralded maestro Jaap van Zweden.

Jaap van Zweden*

Jaap van Zweden*

“As one of the largest fundraisers for the Dallas Symphony, the Gala supports the DSO’s three goals: Creating Music, Enriching Lives and Advancing Dallas.

“The DSO regularly makes beautiful music both at the Meyerson Symphony Center and beyond. Every concert spotlights the superb talent of our musicians and entertains audiences each week. The DSO provides patrons with ways to enjoy music including DSO on the GO, which brings the full orchestra to neighborhoods around the Metroplex. ReMix, a casual, intimate concert series at Dallas City Performance Hall which gets audiences up close and personal with the orchestra. Parks Concerts in partnership with the City of Dallas have entertained neighbors and families for decades. This is all in addition to the classical music and terrific pops programs we all know and love. The DSO is committed to breaking down barriers to classical music so everyone can enjoy all it has to offer.

“But the DSO knows that they are more than a performing organization, and has a responsibility to serve its community. The DSO’s education programs brings classical music and music appreciation into schools, and the Young Strings program provides music instrument instruction to children as young as 6, free of charge. New programs such as the My DSO Concert, specially designed for audience members with developmental disabilities, allow the DSO to share music with more members of our community and make a difference in people’s lives.

“Our city is growing at a rapid pace, attracting new businesses and industries that are enhancing all of North Texas, and a strong cultural scene, and especially a strong orchestra, go hand-in-hand with a thriving city. Educated and skilled workforces continue to move to Dallas due to the quality of life that our cultural offerings provide. The Dallas Symphony’s international reputation are part of what attracts people when relocating their corporations. It makes Dallas an exciting place to live and work.

“We hope you will join us at the 2016 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. Table and ticket sales are open, and we’re pacing ahead of schedule, so don’t miss out! With your support, we can make this a record year and provide strong funding and foundation for the DSO to continue its mission to make beautiful music and important strides for future generations.”

* Photo courtesy of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

JUST IN: 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Leadership And Plans Revealed

Plans are already being announced for the fall season. Yahoo! Here is the one that traditionally kicks off the black-tie lineup — the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. Word just arrived that the date will be Saturday, September 26. Yes, it will be at the Meyerson.

Coley and Jennifer Clark

Coley and Jennifer Clark (File photo)

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

Key and Katherine Coker (File photo)

But here is the surprise: it’s not going to be chaired by a couple. Nope. It’s going to two couples! 2012 Gala Co-Chairs Jennifer and Coley Clark are returning to the helm to join Gala Co-Chairs Katherine and Key Coker. These four people exemplify formal galas to the letter. They’re gorgeous, have incredible taste and excel in being gracious. They’re also fun to be with.

As for the onstage talent, it will be Maestro Jaap van Zweden and violin virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman. What a combination they’ll make.

Tickets for the full complement of the evening’s activities (cocktail reception, dinner, concert and after party) start at $1250 per person. If your budget is really tight, then a ticket for just the concert and after party is $99.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Presentation Ball

“Girls in white dresses,” or at least that’s how the song goes in “The Sound of Music.” But evidently Julie Andrews and the Alps have never experienced the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Deb Presentation.

2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Ball presentation

2015 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Debutante Ball presentation

This year’s ultra-formal affair took place on Saturday, February 7, at the Meyerson with all mega fanfare. Once again the DSOL debs outdid the wimpy debs of the world by accomplishing the legendary Texas dip without smearing one touch of lipstick on their skirts.

Arianna Allen

Arianna Allen

Okay, so there were a couple of itty-bitty oops, but the swans in their magnificent gowns with dad and escorts in white ties and tails overcame any question of teenie-weenie improprieties.

And, shoot! The family and friends were darn good looking, too!

Savannah Troutt and Lisa Troutt

Savannah Troutt and Lisa Troutt

Aileen and Jack Pratt

Aileen and Jack Pratt

Emma Allen and Fariba Allen

Emma Allen and Fariba Allen

While the post is being prepared, sit back and take in the glorious gowns and the fabulous fanfare of 40 ladies bowing to their family and friends at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Concert With Itzhak Perlman To Be Simulcast In Klyde Warren Park

Not everybody likes to get all gussied up in long gowns and tuxedos. And not everybody can fit into the Meyerson. And not everybody can afford the price of a ticket. That’s a lot of not’s.

Jeff Rich and Jan Miller (File photo)

Jeff Rich and Jan Miller (File photo)

Ah, but Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Co-Chairs Jan Miller and Jeff Rich are well known for untangling not’s. To share the wonder and beauty of the DSO performance with maestro Jaap van Zweden conducting and legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, they’ve arranged for a “first-ever, free live concert simulcast” to be held at Klyde Warren Park.

Richard Holt (File photo)

Richard Holt (File photo)

Translation: That means the opportunity to wear cut-offs, sun dresses or baseball caps in the great outdoors to “almost attend” the gala for absolutely nothing. . . nada. . . free.

According to Jan, “It is such a thrill to be able to share the musical excellence and excitement of the Dallas Symphony’s 2014 AT&T Gala with everyone in Dallas. Itzhak Perlman is an icon. Jaap van Zweden is a superstar. Together with our Dallas Symphony they will present a memorable evening of beautiful music, and this simulcast will share that experience with music-lovers beyond the Meyerson.”

Helping the Miller-Rich team pull this little feat off is Bank of America, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust.

“All of us at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust are pleased to be a part of this first ever simulcast concert,”  said Richard Holt, Bank of America Dallas president. “By bringing the concert to Klyde Warren Park and the Dallas Arts District, we are able to expose a much wider audience to excellence of the DSO while providing free access to the arts for all.”

The gala concert will be the finale of a week of 25th anniversary activities celebrating the Meyerson. Was it really September 1989 that the grand lady debuted? My, how times flies.

JUST IN: Perots And Rawlingses To Be Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Honorary Co-Chairs For The Meyerson’s Silver Anniversary

As you probably know Jan Miller and Jeff Rich are chairing the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala on Saturday, September 13. The twosome that just had a mega gathering at their Park Cities home Monday for Rob Lowe haven’t stopped.

Margot and Ross Perot (File photo)

Margot and Ross Perot (File photo)

Today they announced that in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Margot and Ross Perot will be honorary co-chairs. If you’ll recall it was back in 1984 that the Perots provided the $10M gift that “secured the building of the great hall. The following year ground was broken for the Meyerson and the opening took place in September 1989.”

According to Jan, “We are pleased to recognize Margot and Ross Perot at the Gala at this silver anniversary celebration. From dream to construction, the clear-sighted vision, steadfast leadership and unwavering support of Margot and Ross guided the creation of this home for the Dallas Symphony, a landmark achievement for the City of Dallas, the orchestra and a cornerstone of the Dallas Arts District.”

Mike and Micki Rawlings (File photo)

Mike and Micki Rawlings (File photo)

But because this silver anniversary is such a biggie, the Perots will be joined in honorary co-chairing duties by Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Jeff said, “A building is only as strong as its foundation, and the City of Dallas has always been a stalwart partner in the Meyerson Symphony Center, and in its support of the Dallas Symphony and all the Dallas Arts District. We commend Mayor Rawlings for his enthusiastic leadership in articulating the importance and relevance of the arts for all the citizens of Dallas.”

Carole and Scott Murray (File photo)

Carole and Scott Murray (File photo)

But the co-chairing isn’t over. Told ya this was a big deal. The Miller/Rich team has named Carole and Scott Murray as the honorary media co-chairs.

The reason for a honorary media co-chair is explained by Jan: “Scott Murray’s experience across the media landscape will add a new dimension to this year’s DSO AT&T Gala. His enthusiasm and initiative as a member of the Dallas Symphony Board of Governors has brought new and valuable perspectives as we forge the Dallas Symphony into an orchestra for the 21st century.”

Lucy Wrubel (File photo)

Lucy Wrubel (File photo)

Lucy Wrubel will be the honorary DJ Chair. No, just kidding about the honorary DJ chair title, but Lucy will be in charge of the music at the after-party.

Headlining the entertainment in addition to Maestro Jaap van Zweden will be Itzhak Perlman.

Tickets for the entire black tie evening (reception, dinner, concert and after-party) start at $1,250. If that’s  awee bit too steep for you, you can attend the concert and after-party for $156.

Jan Miller And Jeff Rich To Chair Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

Jeff Rich and Jan Miller (File photo)

Jeff Rich and Jan Miller (File photo)

Last night Jan Miller let the cat out of the bag. She and husband Jeff Rich along with their beagle Schumacher were hosting the Equest Triple Crown Gala patron party. (More about the party later.) With mic in hand, Jan decided to also promote the duo’s other future projects like Something involving Rob Lowe in May and Best Buddies in November.

But then she revealed that she and Jeff will be chairing the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala with violinist Itzhak Perlman as the headliner and Maestro Jaap van Zweden conducting.

Later Jeff with a dazzling smile and twinkle in his eye said they had plans. . . wonderful plans in store, especially since the black-tie event will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Meyerson.

Following tradition, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra fundraiser will be the first formal gala of the season.

The good folks at the DSO just confirmed the plans and added that for the 14th year in a row, AT&T will be the presenting sponsor. As soon as the honorary chair(s) is/are revealed, we’ll let you know ASAP.

So, get your formal wear tailored for the Saturday, September 13th dinner, concert and after-party at the Meyerson.

JUST IN: Itzhak Perlman To Headline 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

Itzhak Perlman*

Itzhak Perlman*

The chairs for the 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra gala haven’t been revealed, but the evening’s headliner has just been announced — world-famous violinist Itzhak Perlman.

He will perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden for the Saturday, September 13th DSO fundraiser at the Meyerson.

According to Maestro van Zweden, “It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Itzhak Perlman back to the Dallas Symphony on the occasion of the 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala. We have an unforgettable musical evening planned, and I can promise a surprise or two. The concert will be an ideal opening to our 2014/15 Texas Instruments Classical Series season and the silver anniversary of our wonderful concert hall.”

This year’s gala will mark the 25th anniversary of the renowned Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

Sponsors already on board are title sponsor AT&T, Park Place Motorcars, The Ritz-Carlton Dallas and Eiseman Jewels.

* Photo credit: Lisa Marie Mazzucco

 

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Guests Make A Splashy Entrance With Fabulous Frocks And Faces

Some situations require stretching that extra inch . . . or foot. So, the September 28th Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala was such a situation. Dallas was in a 7-day cycle of weather. It had rained the previous Saturday and it was going to rain on the fundraiser’s Saturday night.

Luckily, it stopped in time for folks to arrive in their best bib-and-tucker. Still there were sizable puddles between the valet parking and the Meyerson’s front door. So, the ladies lifted the skirts of their elegant gowns and puddle-hopped through the itty-bitty ponds.

Dinner table

Dinner table

It was well worth the wade. Inside, production designer Todd Fiscus had fulfilled the goal of Gala Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill — blending art and music. Tables were adorned with deep red and black table clothes and centerpieces of the richest and most colorful fall flowers since Rembrandt picked up a paint brush. Some tables boasted elegant chairs with settings of fine China with crystal; others in the shadow of towering floral arrangements had banquet seating heading up rectangular tables.

But all this fine artistry was overshadowed by the fashions and chit-chat of the hundreds of guests.

Let’s cut to the chase.

Jessie and Charles Price

Jessie and Charles Price

Pat Smith

Pat Smith

Nicole Miller never looked as good as worn by Katherine Coker. . . Jan Rich looked as if she were preparing for an elegant Texas-OU weekend in an oranger-than-orange Tom and Lynda Platt. Husband Jeff Rich admitted that he appreciated the occasions when she wore the outfit because it was easy to spot in a crowd. . . Barbara Daseke blended the designers with a simple black top topped off with a Balenciaga necklace with magenta crystals and a magenta skirt by Armani. Husband Don shunned the black tie look and opted for a purple silk embossed Zegna tie to match Barbara’s killer look. . . Speaking of husband/wife teams, Shirley McIntyre was in a Ralph Rucci grey cape over an Alexander McQueen outfit. Husband Bill shrugged the OMG designer situation and described his tuxedo, “Mine is by JC Penney!” . . . Nicole Kiriaski was wearing a Free People gown. . . Cynthia Timms was in a Monique Lhuillier. . . Jessie and Charles Price were in Japanese designer Issey Miyake. Her gown, his tie. . . Glamorama Pat Smith’s dress started out as a Teri Jon. Then a local “faircloth” designer added some embellishments. Ah, but when you’re working with Pat, are embellishments required?

Steve and Anne Stodghill

Steve and Anne Stodghill

So, what about the Gala Co-Chairs? Anne and Steve had their ducks in a row for this evening regardless of the weather outside. Flaming red-haired wife Anne was wearing a Rubin Singer design. Dang if those red-haired-crowned gals have to be careful about their outfits. But this one was dramatically grand. If Rubin is new to your vocabulary, he’s a third-generation Russian couturier and has earned a reputation from his creations for Beyonce. Evidently dear Annie made quite an impression. Seems soprano Renée Fleming asked who the designer was backstage. . .  Attorney Steve was splendiferous in white-tie-and-tails from Huntsman on Savile Row. Just a couple of days before, the twosome had returned from a whirlwind tour of Europe. Steve’s review? “Istanbul is one of my Top 5 cities. It’s really cool.”

Greg Abbott, Coley and Jennifer Clark and Ross Perot

Greg Abbott, Coley and Jennifer Clark and Ross Perot

Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott

As for the wheelchair brigade, it was top notch and totally surrounded by the likes of Ross Perot. While Texas Attorney General/Honorary Chair Greg Abbott checked in with Jennifer and Coley Clark, Dan Lewis recalled how wife Marilea had campaigned as a district judge with Abbott in the past. . . Across the way, arts doyenne Margaret McDermott was the belle of the ball as usual with everyone courting her.

Then the Meyerson chimes rang and guests headed to their tables for dinner, the DSO concert with Renée and the after-party with Lucy Wrubel at the helm.

More fashions and faces can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala

_MG_8241 Jennifer Coley _MG_8247 _MG_8257 _MG_8259While music pros, like the Dallas Morning News’s Scott Cantrell, have reported on soprano Renee Fleming‘s performance for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala, the fashions and fab faces in the audience were simply breathtaking. Yes, despite the rain puddles that had ladies lifting their hems, the day’s rain didn’t dampen the glamour of the season’s first formal gala at the Meyerson on Saturday, September 28, chaired by Anne and Steve Stodghill.

Check out the two pages of pictures on MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

September 28th Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Promises To Be A Feast For Gourmets As Well As Music Lovers

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Co-Chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill just revealed all types of insider information about the evening’s plans.

First, the menu for the dinner. Start fasting now, because you want to make room for the feast. The evening will start off with the cocktail reception with roasted cardamom seared duck breast with huckleberry syrup, fire cracker salmon bites with fried basil and sesame seeds, blackened ahi tuna with melon slaw on wonton crisp, tender tips of asparagus with mission fig and brie in filo purse and baked beef wellington with chive mousseline.

Then, once guests are seated in the lobby decorated by Todd Fiscus, the antipasto plate will include thin sliced prosciutto and sopressata, provolone cheese and grilled tomato gratin, robust cannellini bean salad, fire roasted peppers, olives, capers, artichokes and anchovies, crisp romaine and yellow pepper dip with parmesan breadstick

The evening’s entrée will include osso buco alla Milanese, natural pan jus and citrus gremolata, cheesy fried risotto crisp, baby carrots and fine green beans and pearl onions

After this feast, the Meyerson chimes will call the guests to the McDermott Concert Hall for an evening of musical magic with Dallas Symphony Orchestra Maestro Jaap Van Zweden conducting the DSO and world-famous soprano Renêe Fleming. Selections will include: the overture to La Gazza Ladra, Chants d’Auvergne’s “Malurous qu’o uno fenno” and “Baïlèro,” Les Filles de Cadix’, intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana, Adriana Lecouvreur’s “Lo Son L’umile Ancella,” Gianni Schicchi’s “O Mio Babbino Caro,” I Verpri Sciliani’s “Bolero,” Candide’s overture, South Pacific’s “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy, The Sound of Music’s “The Hills are Alive,” West Side Story’s “Somewhere” and “I Feel Pretty” and Boléro.

Following the concert, dessert will be served in addition to the After-Party chaired by Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Honorary After-Party Chair Capera Ryan. At this point in the evening, Lucy Wrubel will be in charge of the music.

BTW, if you read The Dallas Morning News‘s Scott Cantrell‘s Sunday interview with DSO President/CEO  Jonathan Martin, you might have been a bit confused. According to the article,

“Jaap van Zweden, the orchestra’s high-intensity music director, will conduct the season-opening concerts Thursday through Sunday. The program comprises Hector Berlioz’s orchestral song cycle Les nuits d’étè (“Summer Nights”), with soprano Annalisa Stroppa, and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. He’ll also conduct classical programs Sept. 26-29, including the gala on the 27th, featuring superstar soprano Renée Fleming.”

According to DSO Communications Director Denise McGovern, the official gala is still on the 28th.  Just didn’t want you and Renée showing up on the wrong date.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Plans Revealed At Anne And Steve Stodghills’

While the Scissor-tails and Cocktails were toasting feathered critters at Trinity River Audubon Center and Lisa Blue Baron was hosting the 13th Annual Women’s Advocacy Awards at her home, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala plans were being officially revealed at Anne and Steve Stodghill‘s Preston Hollow home-sweet-home on May 9.

While the Stodghills have hardly gotten settled into their new digs, it’s already giving philanthropist Faye Briggs’ estate and Jan Miller’s/Jeff Rich’s mansion a run for the finish line for graciousness.

Paul and Tiffany Divis and Jennifer and Coley Clark

Paul and Tiffany Divis and Jennifer and Coley Clark

Alas, not everyone could stay for the announcements. Some, like last year’s DSO Co-chairs Jennifer and Coley Clark and Tiffany and Paul Divis, had to duck out for FightNight at the Hilton Anatole.

Here’s what they missed.

As everyone knows. . . okay, so not everyone. . . the DSO gala is the black-tie launch for the fall fundraising season.

Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin

DSO President/CEO Jonathan Miller took his place on the Stodghills’ winding staircase to review the established plans. The entry hall filled with guests like Randall Goss, Kara Peterson, Mary and Bob Black, Barbara Sypult, Holly Reed, Brad Beaird, Lynn McBee, Keith Laycock, Marena and Roger Gault and Carole and Scott Murray.

Yes, the Stodgies would be chairing the September 28 fundraiser at the Meyerson. And, yes, soprano Renée Fleming would headline the show.

But still to be announced was the theme. Anne, who was so sworn to secrecy, admitted the theme was still in the final stages of agreement.

Steve and Anne Stodghill and Holly Reed

Steve and Anne Stodghill and Holly Reed

But let’s face it. Folks were preoccupied by the Stodghills’ collection of goodies. Steve showed off a dazzling cane that with a slight move of the wrist displayed a dagger that would have made a Benihana chef swoon.

Jonathan went upstairs to check out the Castro Theater-styled media room and the ballroom with the Stodghills’ newest acquisition — a graphic of Mick Jagger.

Downstairs Anne was proudly and quietly checking the newest addition to the household — a family of owls. Thanks to an owl-house that had been given to the Stodghills as a housewarming gift, a mother hooter had set up housekeeping there. One early evening after mom had set out to get food for her brood, the red-haired socialite admitted that she dragged a ladder to the tree and peered into the nest. There she spotted five owlets and one egg.

Upon hearing of the owl household at the Stodghills’, Myrna and Bob Schlegel laughed that they were going to have to consider having owl houses on their estate. However, until daughters Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Kari Schlegel Kloewer have their babies delivered in the coming weeks, the elder Schlegels were putting baby owls on hold.