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Classical masquerade

Partying Venetian style: Ars Lyrica rings in new year with a costumed classic

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Louis Martinez, Yajaira Castillo, Ana and Chris Klein, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Louis Martinez, left, Yajaira Castillo, and Ana and Chris Klein at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Shanna Norwood, Kate Goldsberry and Shannon Woodard, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Shanna Norwood, left, Kate Goldsberry and Shannon Woodard at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Schubert Huang and Karen Ding, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Schubert Huang and Karen Ding at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Brian Williams and Claudia Autry, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Brian Williams and Claudia Autry at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Yougenious and Blair Doerge, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Yougenious and Blair Doerge at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Megan Stapleton, Carroll and Dorry Shaddock, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Megan Stapleton, left, and Carroll and Dorry Shaddock at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Dennis and Heather Thomas, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013 John Canales and Veronica Garcia, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Dennis and Heather Thomas at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
John Canales and Veronica Garcia, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
John Canales and Veronica Garcia at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Anita Eilmes and Robert Grant, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Sixto Wagan, left, and Matthew Dirst at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Anita Eilmes and Robert Grant, Ars Lyrica NYE
Anita Eilmes and Robert Grant at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Iryna McKenzie and Ilina Tkachova, Ars Lyrica NYE
Iryna McKenzie, left, and Ilina Tkachova at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Conrad Batson and Shobi Davis, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Conrad Batson and Shobi Davis at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Joe Fleming, Lauren Gilmore, Alexis Ettinger, Mandy Yue, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Joe Fleming, left, Lauren Gilmore, Alexis Ettinger and Mandy Yue at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Mark and Nancy Wozny, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Nancy and Mark Wozny at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Dorothy and John Shea, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Dorothy and John Shea at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Kinga Ferguson and David Lake, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Kinga Ferguson and David Lake at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Florence and Eugene McKelvey, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Florence and Dr. Eugene McKelvey at Ars Lyrica NYE party. Photo by Monica Rhodes
Louis Martinez, Yajaira Castillo, Ana and Chris Klein, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Shanna Norwood, Kate Goldsberry and Shannon Woodard, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Schubert Huang and Karen Ding, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Brian Williams and Claudia Autry, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Yougenious and Blair Doerge, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Megan Stapleton, Carroll and Dorry Shaddock, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Dennis and Heather Thomas, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013 John Canales and Veronica Garcia, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
John Canales and Veronica Garcia, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Anita Eilmes and Robert Grant, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Anita Eilmes and Robert Grant, Ars Lyrica NYE
Iryna McKenzie and Ilina Tkachova, Ars Lyrica NYE
Conrad Batson and Shobi Davis, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Joe Fleming, Lauren Gilmore, Alexis Ettinger, Mandy Yue, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Mark and Nancy Wozny, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Dorothy and John Shea, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Kinga Ferguson and David Lake, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013
Florence and Eugene McKelvey, Ars Lyrica NYE 2013

So what if the a capella sing-a-long of "Auld Lang Syne" wasn't in perfect tune? Taking charge of the traditional New Year's Eve song were Ars Lyrica artistic director and local harpsichord rock star Matthew Dirst with the help of sopranos Melissa Givens and Blair Doerge. Together, they cued in a costumed throng of 350 classical music buffs dressed to the nines in Venetian masquerade attire to croon their best wishes for 2014.

What was worthy of two thunderous standing ovations was the Grammy-nominated ensemble's "Venetian Carnival" New Year's Eve concert, a ninth annual tradition at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts that's always followed by a party of superior taste. Champagne?

Hits from masters such as Vivaldi and Monteverdi performed by a talented roster that included Baroque flutist Colin St. Martin and virtuoso guitarist Richard Savino were just the beginning. When guests ascended to the Grand Lobby, they were welcomed by ribbon dancers from Dance of Asian America and more Ars Lyrica musicians who created an ambiance fitting for the City of Masks.

Bubbly flowed and nibbles from Artista Restaurant kept coming out as guests pored over the silent auction. Items such as jewelry, luxury services and vacations tallied more than $10,000 for Ars Lyrica's historically-informed audience.

Seen on the scene were board president Dr. Eugene McKelvey and wife Florence, Robin Angly and Miles Smith, Jeanie Flowers, Eleanor and Richard Viebig, Dorry and Carroll Shaddock, Joyce and David Fox, Nancy and Mark Wozny, Elizabeth Sosa Bailey, Dean Dalton, David Lake, Sixto Wagan, Ellen and Chris Patton, Kathryn and Brendan Godfrey, Dawn and Richard Armstrong, and Jano and John Kelley.

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