Before the major galas get rocking and rolling, early January is the time for kickoff parties and none have been better attended of late than the University of Houston Moores School of Music Society gala launch. The River Oaks home of Cora Sue and Harry Mach was packed with cocktail-attired supporters eager to party.
Gala chairs Nancy and Hans Strohmer and honorary chairs Shirley and Don Rose joined society president Kathi Rovere and husband Bill Rovere in touting the 26th annual dinner concert set for April 4 at Wortham Theater Center.
The black-tie evening will honor Monzer Hourani, Carol Lee, Ken Robertson, Phillip Winston, Downey Bridgwater and Sybil Roos.
Early supporters of the spring event included Joann and Bill Crassas, Omana and Sam Abraham, Diane and Harry Gendel, Phyllis Williams, Betty and John Hrncir, Sallymoon Benz and Barbara and Ulyesse LeGrange.
A change of venue
Houston Symphony gala chairs Phoebe and Bobby Tudor have something fresh in store for their black-tie patrons when the curtain goes up on the symphony ball on March 8. Rather than taking over a hotel ballroom, the 2013 gala will take place in a party tent on the Rice University campus.
This will be the Houston gala debut for Dallas-based Todd Fiscus, partner of celebrity stylist Ceron, and that is creating quite a buzz.
The reasoning? Rice is receiving the symphony's Community Partner Award.
This will be the Houston gala debut for Dallas-based Todd Fiscus, partner of celebrity stylist Ceron, and that is creating quite a buzz in the non-profit community. All are interested to see how Fiscus interprets the gala theme: "Russian Rhapsody: A White Night Salute to Hans and Margarita Graf."
The evening begins with a champagne reception and a short musical tribute in the Shepherd School of Music. Then it's party time in the tent where New Orleans jazz trumpeter Jeremy Davenport will perform. For the after-party, music will be provided by a hot DJ from New York.
International honors for Joanne King Herring
Our city's most illustrious grande dame adds another feather to her well-stocked cap with announcement that she is recipient of the Samaritan Medal for Peace of the Ancient Israelite Samaritan Community, presented by the Samaritan Medal Foundation. The board unanimously voted to award Herring the honor following her nomination by Ralph Benko of Forbes Magazine.
In his remarks, Benko cited Herring as "an important civic leader, honorary consul for Pakistan and Morocco, and freedom fighter since the early 1950s . . . an acknowledged prime mover in bringing a just end to the Cold War . . . Joanne Herring has played a critical role for peace in world history rivaled by few, man or woman."
On news of the award, Herring emailed "This cause is close to my heart. To have understanding between Jews, Muslims and Christians has been one of my life long goals."
Amobi Okoye, Chicago Bears defensive tackle and former Houston Texan, and buddies watching Sunday's NFL playoff game while chowing down in the Owner's Box at the Houston Texans Grille where he ordered the Fresh Catch (salmon) and the Bigger Than the Great State of Texas Nachos . . .
John and Becca Cason Thrash dining at Etoile Cuisine et Bar in Uptown Park one night and a satisfied John Thrash returning the next day for lunch . . .
Melissa and Michael Mithoff and Debbie and Rudy Festari, Alyce Alston and Phyllis Cole dining at Brasserie 19 . . .
Sharon Adams, Cathy Brock and Terrie Turner among the busy crowd lunching at La Griglia.