Shelby's Social Diary

Paris comes to Houston: A Tony star, a UH piano and a glittering Eiffel Tower give this gala real French power

Paris comes to Houston: A Tony star, a UH piano and an Eiffel Tower

2 Roger and Shelley Cooper, from left, and Nancy and Hans Strohmer at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Roger and Shelley Cooper, left, with gala chair Nancy Strohmer and Hans Strohmer. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
4 Martin Fein and Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Martin Fein and gala chair Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
News, Shelby, Moores School gala, March 2015, Beth Madison, Audra McDonald
UH regent Beth Madison, left, with six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald. Photo by Kim Coffman
16 Alan Austin, left, and David Ashley White at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Alan Austin, left, and honoree David Ashley White, Moores School of Music director,1999-2014. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
17 Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Honorary chair Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
8 Phyllis and Cornell Williams at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Auction chair Phyllis Williams and Cornel Williams. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
18 Marie and Alain LeNotre, left, with Marie Bosarge at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Marie and Alain LeNotre, left, with Marie Bosarge. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
7 Ernie Manouse, left, and Jackson Hearn at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Emcee Ernie Manouse, left, and Jackson Hearn. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
14 Diane Lokey Farb, left, with Harry and Cora Sue Mach at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Diane Lokey Farb, left, with Harry and Cora Sue Mach, host committee chairs. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
11 Carol Sawyer, left, and Franelle Rogers at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Carol Sawyer, left, and Franelle Rogers. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
10 Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, from left, and Wezy and Bobby Dees at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, left, with Weezy and Bobby Dees. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
13 Mark and Katherine Yzaguirre, left, with Perryn Leech at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Mark and Katherine Yzaguirre, left, with Perryn Leech. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
6 Joann and Bill Crassas at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Joann and Bill Crassas. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
12 Nancy Schissler, from left, Sharon Lietzow and Helen Schaeffer at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Nancy Schissler, from left, Sharon Lietzow and Helen Schaeffer. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
9 Joyce and John Frassanito, left, with Fran Fawcett Peterson at the Moores School Gala March 2015
Joyce and John Frassanito, left, with Fran Fawcett Peterson. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
2 Roger and Shelley Cooper, from left, and Nancy and Hans Strohmer at the Moores School Gala March 2015
4 Martin Fein and Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein at the Moores School Gala March 2015
News, Shelby, Moores School gala, March 2015, Beth Madison, Audra McDonald
16 Alan Austin, left, and David Ashley White at the Moores School Gala March 2015
17 Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel at the Moores School Gala March 2015
8 Phyllis and Cornell Williams at the Moores School Gala March 2015
18 Marie and Alain LeNotre, left, with Marie Bosarge at the Moores School Gala March 2015
7 Ernie Manouse, left, and Jackson Hearn at the Moores School Gala March 2015
14 Diane Lokey Farb, left, with Harry and Cora Sue Mach at the Moores School Gala March 2015
11 Carol Sawyer, left, and Franelle Rogers at the Moores School Gala March 2015
10 Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, from left, and Wezy and Bobby Dees at the Moores School Gala March 2015
13 Mark and Katherine Yzaguirre, left, with Perryn Leech at the Moores School Gala March 2015
6 Joann and Bill Crassas at the Moores School Gala March 2015
12 Nancy Schissler, from left, Sharon Lietzow and Helen Schaeffer at the Moores School Gala March 2015
9 Joyce and John Frassanito, left, with Fran Fawcett Peterson at the Moores School Gala March 2015

Both upstairs and downstairs — in the Grand Foyer and in the Brown Theater — music filled Wortham Theater Center during the University of Houston Moores School of Music Society annual concert and gala.

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald started the party on a high note with a contemporary American repertoire in the theater, her talent earning cheers and a standing ovation. She closed her hour-long presentation with "Ten Thousand Four Hundred Thirty-two Sheep," her pianist/music director Andy Einhorn joined by the University of Houston Jazz Orchestra for the finale.

McDonald's performance was part of the Moores School Madison Artist Series, sponsored by UH grad and UH System regent Beth Madison.

 The Gallic ambience of "An American in Paris" evening was bolstered by the French flag and the towering and sparkling Eiffel Tower (20 feet tall). 

With that, gala chairs Kelli Cohen Fein, on the arm of Marty Fein, and Nancy Strohmer, escorted by Hans Strohmer, led the black-tie contingent of 200 to the Grand Foyer for a French flavored dinner and a musical program presented by Moores School students.

The Gallic ambience of "An American in Paris" evening was bolstered by the French flag and the towering and sparkling Eiffel Tower (20 feet tall) that rose from the stage. Amid the glam glitter, la belle soirée raised $245,000.

Taking bows as honoree recipient of the 2015 John Moores Award was David Ashley White, Moores School director, 1999-2014.

In keeping with UH loyalty, Moores pianist Henry Darragh performed on a Steinway, the underside of the lid painted UH red. Steinway has a special relationship with the Moores School, which eventually will have only Steinways in its collection of 175 pianos. Representing the piano company on this night were Steinway America president Ron Losby and director of institutional relations Sally Coveleskie, both in from New York, and Danny Saliba and Bryan Elmore of Steinway Houston-Dallas.

Among those applauding the spectacular evening were honorary chair Margaret Alkek Williams, Moores School director Andrew Davis, emcee Ernie Manouse, Moores Society president Beverly Kaufman, auction chair Phyllis Williams and host committee chairs Cora Sue and Harry Mach.