Dallas Symphony Gala’s Grand Finale For Maestro Jaap Van Zweden Bloomed With Color Thanks To Boldfacers’ Gowns And Bowties

Holy moly, the 2017 fall//winter season got off to a topsy-turvy start within the first two weeks of September. The TACA Custom Auction Gala got off to a rocky start on Friday, September 8. But a week later things picked up with the Crystal Charity Ball Fashion Show that turned out to be more than a homecoming back to the flagship store with a parade of fashions by designer Zac Posen. It was a true celebration of fashion and faces.

Just a day after the CCB fashion extravaganza, the 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala was to kick off Maestro Jaap van Zweden‘s farewell year, with more-than-god-given-talented YoYo Ma at his cello on stage at the Meyerson. In years past this first blowout gala of the season has had everything from politico bigwigs, belly dancers and British royalty to gargantuan floral displays that served as backdrops for the black-tie set.

Dennis and Laura Moon and Wendy and Boyd Messmann

But perhaps the organizers were keeping costs close to the vest by replacing the breathtaking decorations at the entrance of the past with a huge white board with “DSO Gala 2017” behind plastic flowers dangling on see-through cords from the ceiling. Instead of looking like a shower of flowers, it reminded one of a vinyl shower curtain with flowers. Photographers scrambled to rearrange guests so the beautiful people didn’t appear to have the lilies and leaves sprouting from their coiffed heads. 

Clay Cooley, Margaret McDermott and Lisa Cooley

But, heck, most guests didn’t even notice the welcome display as they headed straight to the reception in the lobby. Interim DSO President/CEO Michelle Miller Burns stationed Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley to greet guests just to the left of the check-in lines. Downstairs in the lower lobby, meantime, the Capital One VIP reception was underway. When DSO Communications Manager Chelsey Norris was asked how they could have a VIP event without Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay, she  suggested that the Cooleys would join the VIPs afterwards. But that opportunity didn’t happen. As soon as the chimes rang to call the black-tie guests to their places, all were table-bound, where the table settings reflected the grand finale season for van Zweden, with cool emerald greens from the table linens to the Elephant ears and malachite.

Kara and Randall Goss

MiChel and Dan Hagood

Betsey Urschel and Ross and Margot Perot

Jody and Sheila Grant

Nancy Nasher’s Pradas

But who needed all the flourish of flowers and out-of-town celebs when the real scene stealers were the local boldfacers and fashions galore? In addition to Lisa and Clay (she was in a raspberry Michael Faircloth, he in Chris Despos, complete with a white feathered bow tie) and Honorary Chair Margaret McDermott, there were Rhonda and Fraser Marcus (Rhonda said her burgundy gown was by “a British designer” and her earrings were by Boucheron); Kay and Brent Franks (she in Catherine Deane, he in a Belvest tux); Anne Davidson in Monique Lhuillier gold; Sheila and Jody Grant (she was in silver-and-white Alexander McQueen, with a Chinese pearl necklace, while Jody said of his tux, “I’m a Tom Ford guy”); Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger (Nancy’s green bejeweled kicks were by Prada); Barbara and Bob Sypult (she was in a Connie Roberson gown); Donna and Herb Weitzman (she was wearing a Christian Lacroix gown with Prada shoes and a Kara Ross handbag); Sara Lee and Stan Gardner (Stan’s tie matched her gold dress); Kara and Randall Goss (her off-the-shoulder gown was by Maticevski, and her gold earrings were from Alighieri, while Randall was in a Zegna tux); MiChel and Dan Hagood (she couldn’t remember her designer, but thanks to Kara Goss’ sneaking a peak, the name on the label was Talbot Runhof); Jolie and Bart Humphrey (her low-cut gown was by Herve Leger, and he was in an Armani tuxedo); Sherwood Wagner (in a Carolina Herrera gown “with a Sherwood twist”); Betsy Crousen (she was in Fendi, with a Judith Lieber bag); and Laura and Dennis Moon (she in Carolina Herrera with Jimmy Choo shoes and bag, he in a tuxedo from Culwell and Sons).

Melissa Lewis

Tiffany Divis

Betsy Crousen

Bart and Jolie Humphrey and Nancy and Mike Bierman

But it wasn’t just the ladies who provided the splashes of brilliance. No, siree. Some of the gents (Clay, Paul Divis, Blaine Nelson and Dan Patterson) showed their true colors thanks to their bow ties. Why, Ford Lacy‘s tiny-cherries-festooned cummerbund and tie were made from an Hermes scarf!

Clay Cooley

Paul Divis

Dan Patterson

Blaine Nelson

Cece Smith and Ford Lacy

Niki and Ryan Anthony

Principle trumpet Ryan Anthony arrived on the scene with his wife Niki Anthony. Was Ryan taking a pass on the night’s concert? Nope, he was going to grab a bite to eat and then head to the stage for the performance.

Other guests included Wendy and Boyd Messmann, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Margot and Ross Perot, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Patti and Blaine Nelson, Melissa and Paul Stewart, Myriam and Randall Graham, Diane and Hal Brierley, Nancy and Mike Bierman and Micki and Mike Rawlings (said one guest of the mayor: “He’s probably looking around to see if there are any statues in here he can remove”).

For more photos of fashions, faces and flowers, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala

Clay Cooley, Margaret McDermott and Lisa Cooley

With sweeping gowns and bow ties ranging from feathers to colorful prints, the 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala officially kicked off the mega-gala fundraising season on Saturday, September 16, at the Meyerson. Joining the leadership team of Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley was Honorary Chair Margaret McDermott.  

Kara and Randall Goss

Cece Smith and Ford Lacy

Jody and Sheila Grant

In addition to being a lavish show of swell-egants, it was also the final gala performance by Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Maestro Jaap van Zweden. To add to the special occasion, cellist Yo-Yo Ma joined Jaap and the orchestra on stage following a seated dinner and just before the evening’s after party.

While the post is being prepped, the fashions and boldfaces of the night can be seen at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Dallas Symphony 2017 Gala

Clay and Lisa Cooley (File photo)

According to Dallas Symphony 2017 Gala Co-Chair Lisa Cooley,

My husband, Clay and I, are honored to serve as co-chairs of the Dallas Symphony 2017 Gala on Saturday, September 16th at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Arguably, the world’s greatest living cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform with Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jaap van Zweden to the Farewell Season for the conductor.  We are thrilled to have philanthropist Margaret McDermott to serve as gala honorary chair. 

The black-tie evening, under the wizardry of designer Todd Fiscus, will include cocktails, the concert, seated dinner, After Party and dancing.  The After-Party is chaired by Graeme Ross and Lara and Brian Pryor.  After-Party honorary co-chairs are Wren and Benji Homsey.

Funds from the event will benefit the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s education and community programs that reach more than 250,000 North Texas residents annually, including 30,000 children. Capital One is the gala concert sponsor.

For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please visit Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala.

JUST IN: First-Day Sales Of Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Single Ticket Sales Astounded Even DSO President/CEO Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin (File photo)

Despite Dallas Symphony Orchestra President/CEO Jonathan Martin disappointing many with his recent announcement of leaving North Texas for Cincinnati, he also shared some good news about the upcoming DSO Gala. It seems that the day that the single tickets for the DSO Gala went on sale, they really blew the DSO circuits.

When asked the cause for this DSO history-making situation, Jonathan said that it was three-fold: the amazing leadership (Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley and Honorary Chair Margaret McDermott), featured cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the final gala concert under the direction of DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

Make sure that your reservation is in for the Saturday, September 16, black tie fundraiser at the Meyerson.

JUST IN: Philanthropist Margaret McDermott To Serve As Honorary Chair For Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2017 Gala

The fall season of fundraising is already making news. Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2017 Gala Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley have just announced that North Texas matriarch of philanthropy Margaret McDermott will serve as the honorary chair for the Saturday, September 16, fundraiser at the Meyerson with world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma as the featured musician.

It will be a reunion of sorts. Just five years ago Yo-Yo performed with DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden for the first time. Afterwards the two mega-stars joined Margaret at the post-concert reception.

Yo-Yo Ma, Jaap van Zweden and Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Alas, this performance may well be the final time Yo-Yo and Jaap will make beautiful music in the McDermott Hall, since Jaap is making his farewell tour as music director.

Tickets and sponsorships for the black-tie gala are available here!

In the meantime, why not check out the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Soluna? It’s going on now through Sunday, June 4.

JUST IN: Lisa And Clay Cooley To Chair 2017 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala With Yo-Yo Ma As Featured Musician

The day is already starting with breaking news. This announcement comes from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra about its 2017 DSO Gala on Saturday, September 16. DSO President/CEO Jonathan Martin just revealed that Lisa and Clay Cooley will be co-chairing this year’s black-tie gala at the Meyerson.

Clay and Lisa Cooley (File photo)

According to Jonathan, “We are delighted that Lisa and Clay have agreed to chair this year’s gala. Their philanthropic work in Dallas is strongly recognized in our community, and we know they will lead an event that will be a night to remember.”

Among the Cooleys’ numerous philanthropic involvement are The Crystal Charity Ball, The Cattle Baron’s Ball, The American Cancer Society, The Family Place, New Friends New Life, Family Gateway, American Heart Association, The Dallas Opera, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, St. Mark’s School of Texas, The Hockaday School and Southern Methodist University.

The gala event is considered the fall season opener for black-tie fundraising with photographers hustling to snap the elegant crowd during the reception preceding the seated dinner in the Meyerson lobby and the concert in the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall.

But there’s still more news from Jonathan! Internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will be the guest musician performing the Dvořák Cello Concerto with DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the DSO. 

Japp van Zweden and Yo-Yo Ma (File photo)

Jonathan said, “There is no bigger soloist in classical music than Yo-Yo Ma. He is revered for his musicianship as well as his commitment to education. We are so pleased that he will be the Gala guest artist to kick off and celebrate the 10th and Farewell Celebration Season of Music Director Jaap van Zweden.”

Yo-Yo is a perfect pick. In addition to being over-the-top brilliant with a bow, he’s incredibly fun and, like the Cooleys, has a killer smile.

There are three opportunities to join the fun:

  • For full blown gala tickets, table purchases and gala sponsorships, contact Tab Boyles at 214.871.4045.
  • If you’re a season subscriber or were thinking about it, you can purchase concert/after-party tickets starting Saturday, February 11.
  • Single tickets for non-subscribers will go on sale Wednesday, April 12.

For a complete read of all the deets, follow the jump for the full release. Then get your reservations in and go shopping for that pretty new frock. [Read more…]

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Makes Beautiful Music With Yo-Yo And Dallas’s OMG Dressed Up Set

While some will swear on their trust fund that Crystal Charity Ball and the deb balls are the showcases for Dallas’ mostest in formal attires, this year’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala set a standard for the upcoming soirées.

Jaap van Zweden and Yo-Yo Ma

That standard was set on Saturday, September 8, far in advance by Co-chairs Jennifer and Coley Clark. Not only had they arranged for cellist to the gods Yo-Yo Ma to perform with the DSO (a first coming together for Yo-Yo and DSO star child Jaap van Zweden), but they had managed a sell-out for the dinner/concert plus 600+ for the after-party hosted by Anna-Sophia van Zweden and Katherine and Eric Reeves.

Coley and Jennifer Clark

Oh, that Jennifer. In addition to getting her husband Coley to look pretty darn fabulous in white tie and tails, the brunette with hair pulled back in a bun wore a stop-traffic-yellow Michael Faircloth gown with pockets that seemed to be oblivious to wrinkles throughout the entire night. Thank heaven, her arms were just meant for the sleeves look.

And, no, it was not a coincidence for the color matchup between Jennifer’s look and the French-themed decorations by Todd Fiscus, who revealed the evening’s look of a French café: black and white striped awnings, reminiscent of the 1920s, with a pop of yellow. Another model was the Viceroy Hotel in Palm Springs, which does a modern take on art deco—awning stripes/greyhound dogs were popular in the deco era. But Todd didn’t have time to dawdle. He was off to Palm Springs the next day, then back at work on a Cabo wedding, an April wedding for “Elaine” and a lot of other special occasions including the Wednesday night gala for the Klyde.

Dinnertime at the Meyerson

But this evening, Todd’s handiwork provided the perfect backdrop for Dallas’s most gorgeously dressed music lovers including Pat McEvoy‘s black lace Elie Saab and Judith Leiber bag, Kara Petersen‘s hot red J Mendel on the arm of Randall Goss, Tiffany Divis in a dazzling green Michael Faircloth with red hair swept up, Stephanie Fisher in an ivory and crystal Badgley Mischka, Diane Klein in a one-shoulder midnight blue David Meister, Anne Stodghill with red hair in curls in an Alexander McQueen, Linda Ivy in a Chris Cole low-cut gown with Judith Leiber bag and marabou boa from Trina Turk (husband Steve claimed the feathers actually came from Big Bird), Nelda Cain Pickens in a black lace by Oscar de la Renta, Nancy Carlson in Chanel, Margo Keyes in Armani picked out by husband Jim, Nancy Cain Marcus in beige and brown Mary McFadden, Christi Urschel in a swirling delight by Angel Sanchez with a Judith Leiber bag, Sarah Perot in a short Monique Lhuillier, Shelle Sills in a moss green Vera Wang and Brooke Shelby in another Vera Wang but dark blue with a low cut back.

As a matter of fact, low cut was the game of the night. Who could get the lowest? For front deep down there was a tie between Jacqueline Anderson and Leilani Baker. Thank heaven for those well-placed threads that crisscrossed the gowns keeping the gals PG-rated.

Jacqueline Anderson and Anna-Sophia van Zweden

Regarding the lowdown on the skin revealing on the back, it couldn’t have gotten much lower than Anna Sophia van Zweden‘s skintight tomato-red Khanh gown. As one person observed, “She spent more money on her makeup than her lingerie.”

But don’t go thinking that everyone shelled out wads of cash for designer dreams and Judith Leiber. Lucy Wrubel got her black-and-white shortie from a resale shop, Claire Emanuelson recycled a dress she bought for Neiman’s 100th anniversary (that was five years ago) and Nancy Fisher simply bought “antique fabric and had it made” into a dress.

But it wasn’t all about clothes on this night. There was a lot of chatting up about the past summer. Best story belonged to Katherine and Key Coker, who were vacationing in a rented home at an old fishing village called Siasconset near Nantucket. With rose bushes all over the place, they were taking photos one morning when a couple of bicyclists came by. The Cokers asked if the man would take their picture. Sure! Then Katherine and Key noticed that the female of the twosome looked oh-so familiar. Surely, they knew her or had seen her before. It was Katie Couric in a white t-shirt. Got pix. They were there for Katie’s emceeing the Nantucket hospital fundraiser.

On the business front, Jim Keyes reported that he’s acquired the Wild Oats name, and by the end of the first quarter, products bearing the name will be seen under a new venture. Think healthy.

Another reason for the evening being special was the official debut of the DSO’s new CEO/President Jonathan Martin and his wife Amy. The Atlanta-born Jonathan said he’s been a “Texas boy for seven days and two hours,” and that he’s thrilled to be here. Having traveled to Dallas over the past 20 years, he’s impressed by the growth of the city and what Jaap has done here. His goal is creating a sustainable funding platform for the orchestra. In other words, he wants to match what Jaap has done with the orchestra.

Dan and Stacey Branch, Coley and Jennifer Clark, Jonathan and Amy Martin, Brad Beaird, Holly Reed and Blaine and Patti Nelson

After catching up, everyone took their places for a two-course dinner including salad (blended quinoa salad with dried cherries and toasted pine nuts and citrus port dressing) with 14 Hands, “Hot to Trot,” white blend, Washington state (2012) and dinner (slow braised boneless short rib with natural pan burgundy sauce along with golden chive whipped potato, honey glazed baby carrots and haircot vert) with first press, cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley (2009).  A darling couple hunks of chocolate sat at each place only hinting of the dessert feast to follow the concert.

When the Meyerson bells chimed calling the elegant masses to the hall for the concert, the hosts and DSO management personalities headed backstage. While waiting to welcome the audience, Amy Martin recalled a concert in Ohio where Yo-Yo slipped in and settled in with the rest of the strings section for a concert. He was just one of the musicians and was happy as a SMU co-ed boulevarding on the Quad.

As for the concert, let Scott Cantrell and FrontRow review it, but from backstage, Yo-Yo and Jaap were observed to have worked together as well as Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Those in the audience might just have witnessed classical music’s titans having a heck of a great time with the DSO.

Afterwards the masses scurried (okay, so this group doesn’t scurry; they stroll) to the after-party, but a small VVIP group gathered in the east loge. Talk about a feast! No, food was not the piece de resistance. It was the faces and the power behind those faces. In one part of the loge the Arts District hotties Jacqueline Anderson and Anna-Sophia van Zweden chatted. It was a coming together of super novas. They’re oh-so scary magnificent when put together. Just imagine Barbies on steroids. Quietly to the side was newlywed Jessica Olsson Nowitzki sans Dallas Mavericks hubby Dirk and buds Joyce Goss and Barbara Buzzell. However, Jacqueline and Anna-Sophia spotted the real woman of the region in their presence — philanthropist Margaret McDermott seated nearby glowing in white in her wheelchair.

Yo-Yo Ma, Jaap van Zweden and Margaret McDermott

As the top rollers waited their turn to have two seconds of bonding with Yo-Yo and/or Jaap, someone wisely wheeled Margaret to that area of the loge. Like eager freshmen vying for the attention of the homecoming queen, Yo-Yo and Jaap left the photo lineup to kneel at Lady Margaret’s chair. She graciously smiled and accepted their attention. Then a handler commandeered her chair, someone else handed her a glass of white wine and she was gone.

Malcolm and Laura Ferguson and Hannah and Searcy Ferguson

While all of this was going on upstairs for the VVIP’s, the gala attendees and post-party revelers were cramming into Opus for hearty partying. With Lucy in charge without last year’s tot trampoline, she managed the crowd on the dance floor led by Linda and Steve Ivy, Lynn and Peter Dauterman, Hannah and Searcy Ferguson and Laura and Malcolm Ferguson. On the sidelines were Lisa Ogle, Kristi Hoyl, JB Hayes and Sally and Tom Dunning.

It was a great launch of the fundraising season. What lies ahead? Can’t wait to see, hear and witness.

For additional photos of the evening, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.