PaperCity Magazine

May 2015 - Houston

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Page 28 of 85

ANNE LEE PHILLIPS TUNES IN. PHOTOGRAPHY PRISCILLA DICKSON, KIM COFFMAN, WILSON PARISH. HIGH NOTES A TRIFECTA OF NIGHT MUSIC THREE GLAMOROUS GALAS SUPPORTING THREE CLASSIC INSTITUTIONS: SOCIETY FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON'S MOORES SCHOOL OF MUSIC, AND HOUSTON GRAND OPERA. OPERA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION It was a diamond jubilee for Houston Grand Opera, which celebrated 60 years of producing world-class opera in Houston, with a concert and gala at the Wortham Theater Center. Seven hundred guests were serenaded by renowned mezzo-soprano/HGO alum Joyce DiDonato, along with the HGO Orchestra, director Patrick Summers and HGO artists. Chair Terrylin Neale hosted a champagne reception for underwriters before the concert; afterwards, 200 guests settled down to a seated dinner from Jackson Hicks' Jackson and Company on the stage of the Brown Theater, where Miz DiDonato reprised a few classics ("My Funny Valentine") with Summers on the piano. The grand evening raised more than $620,000 for the Opera's endowment. Ensuring another 60 years: HGO managing director Perryn Leech; Tenenbaum & Co.'s Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black; Margaret Williams; Joan and Stanford Alexander; Jana and Scott Arnoldy; Franci Neely; and Sybil Roos. MAY | PAGE 23 | 2015 MOORES SOCIETY CONCERT AND GALA Broadway star Audra McDonald left nary a dry eye in the house with her performance in the UH Moores School of Music Madison Artist series, where she emotionally belted out classics such as "Sing Happy" and shared anecdotes. Guests then moved from the Cullen Theater to the French-ified Wortham Center Grand Foyer for the Moores Society's An American in Paris gala, benefitting student scholarships and programs at Moores. Student pianist Phuong Nguyen performed on a crimson Steinway & Sons piano; the school has committed to becoming a Steinway-only facility. In the live auction, a trip to NYC to visit the famed piano maker went to chair Kelli Cohen Fein and husband Martin, who plan to take their musically inclined children. Making music: chair Nancy Strohmer and husband Hans; honorary chair Margaret Williams; honoree David Ashley White; school director Andrew Davis and wife Corey; Society prez Beverly Kaufman; Steinway prez Ron Losby; Phyllis Williams; Cora Sue and Harry Mach; Sybil Roos; and Diane and Harry Gendel. SPA GALA Green and rainbow-hued dresses ruled at the Society for the Performing Arts Gala, a fitting complement to the Emerald City scene crafted by Bergner & Johnson for the Somewhere Over the Rainbow fête. Tables were set with green centerpieces and a ruby slipper — red to match the Cartier stationery goodies waiting on chairs. Chairmen Linda and Willie Chiang and honorary chairs Elizabeth and Tim Vail arranged for singer Hilary Kole to perform a moving tribute to Judy Garland. Stephen Chazen, CEO of the evening's honoree, Occidental Petroleum (which recently moved HQ to Houston from California and supports SPA), won over the crowd when he joked, "Houston has bad weather and good people, whereas L.A. has…" With perfect comedic timing, he trailed off as laughter filled the Wortham Center Grand Foyer. Jackson and Company served a colorful dinner followed by rainbow cake slices and yellow bricks of lemon mousse. The sold-out crowd of more than 500 bid heavily on the auction items, ensuring SPA can continue to bring the world's best to Houston. Visiting Oz: SPA prez June Christensen; SPA supporters Melanie Gray, Katherine and Paul Murphy, Kathryn and Jeff Smith, and Maryam Afshari and James Khreibani. Andrew Davis at Moores Honorary chair Margaret Williams Jim Daniel at Moores Jonathan Homeyer at SPA Amy Homeyer Stephanie Shanks Timothy Jones at Moores Allyson Chiang Chris Banket at SPA Melanie Gray at SPA Patrick Summers Margaret Williams Joyce DiDonato Perryn Leech at Opera Candace Thomas at SPA Stan Neeley at SPA Robyn Vermeil Brian Thomas Martin Fein at Moores Corey Davis Beth Madison at Moores Audra McDonald Kirby Shanks at SPA Honoree David Ashley White Hans Strohmer at Moores Chair Nancy Strohmer Chair Kelli Cohen Fein Bruce Ross Chair Willie Chiang at SPA Chair Linda Chiang Katherine Murphy Paul Murphy Tom Glanville at SPA Liz Glanville Honorary chair Tim Vail at SPA Honorary chair Elizabeth Vail Barbie Ross at SPA June Christensen Alex Odell at Opera Phyllis Williams at Moores Anthony Petrello at Opera Countess of Carnarvon at Opera Lynn Wyatt Ken Barrow at Opera Ursula Balagura Saul Balagura at Opera Catherine Martin Chair Terrylin Neale Dick Dalton at Opera Cynthia Petrello

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