What a deliciously spoiled black-tie bunch it was that sat down for dinner on the stage of Jones Hall on Friday night. Who wouldn't be spoiled with a 90-minute cocktail hour to be followed by a lavish dinner paired with fine wines?
Such was the divine luck of Houston Symphony patrons. After the cocktail hour perusing wine lots, guest moved to the stage to be seated amid a splenderous Todd Events decor including gloriousa lilies and orchids while staff from Jackson and Co. served one of the best gala meals in recent memory. The fundraiser was titled "An Evening in the Southern Hemisphere," which inspired not only the menu but also the wines which came from Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Chile via Spec's Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods.
Applause, applause for Viviana and David Denechaud and Christie and Billy McCartney who chaired the 15th annual Wine Dinner that enjoyed a record turnout of more than 400 guests and proceeds of more than $550,000. (Previously known as the Maestro's Wine Dinner in honor of wine connoisseur and former maestro Hans Graf, the name was wisely changed with the arrival of chief conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada, who does not consume alcohol.)
The evening benefited the Symphony's education and community programming which this year will reach 65,000 students. While there was no designated honoree, praise was heaped on Cora Sue Mach, who was recognized for her efforts in growing the program. It was a nice touch for family members at the table that included her husband, Harry Mach, and their son Steve Mach, Houston Symphony Society president, and his wife, Joella.
Contributing to Symphony coffers were symphony society chairman Bobby Tudor and wife Phoebe, Houston Symphony League president Betty Tutor and Jesse Tutor, collector's auction chairman Bob Weiner, Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Tara and David Wuthrich, Robert Sakowitz, Franelle Rogers, Courtney and Bill Toomey, Linda and Gene Dewhurst, Elise Glattier-Hollingsworth, and Helen and Jim Shaffer.