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.

 

JUST IN: Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Jonathan Martin Is Headed to Cincinnati

Jonathan Martin (File photo)

Our buddy Mike Granberry at The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Dallas Symphony Orchestra CEO/President  Jonathan Martin announced this morning that he’ll be joining the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in September.

Taking over his duties immediately will be Michelle Miller Burns. Jonathan will serve as an advisor to the board chair and Michelle until he leaves at the end of August.

MySweetWishList: Symphony Of Toys

According to Dallas Symphony Orchestra VP of Development Michelle Miller Burns,

Michelle Miller Burns (File photo)

“Our wish this holiday season is that no child go without a gift under their Christmas tree. How can you help? Bring a new, unwrapped toy* when you come to the Meyerson Symphony Center for a DSO Christmas concert.

“This season, the DSO is continuing Symphony of Toys, the annual holiday concert tradition begun by Dallas Symphony Orchestra violinist Arkady Fomin and New Conservatory of Dallas.

“Arkady was a violinist in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1975 until 2014, and in 1978 founded and directed what would become New Conservatory of Dallas. He also taught at University of Texas at Dallas, and performed in the Clavier Trio. Born in Riga, Latvia,  Fomin was awarded Latvia’s Cross of Recognition in 2012 on behalf of his contributions to music and music education in Latvia and the United States. Fomin died on May 5, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. New Conservatory of Dallas ceased operations on September 31, 2014, after approximately 21 years.

“Symphony of Toys benefits WFAA’s Santa’s Helpers, which is celebrating its 46th year of collecting holiday toys for children throughout the DFW area. The 2015 Santa’s Helpers Toy Drive provided holiday toys to more than 50,000 needy children throughout the four-county Dallas/Fort Worth area.

“If you can’t make it to any of our wonderful concerts this holiday season, please consider contributing to our Annual Fund. All new and increased gifts made before the end of the year will be matched by a challenge gift from the Elsa von Seggern Foundation. Please click here for more information and to donate.”

-By Michelle Miller Burns, Dallas Symphony Orchestra VP of development

* Editor’s note: Toys may be dropped off at the Meyerson through Sunday, December 18.