Grand Slam on Grand Stage

Mercury 15th anniversary gala takes the cake with Lynn Wyatt poetry and musical celebration

Mercury Gala takes the cake with Lynn Wyatt poetry and birthday songs

Mercury Gala, April 2016, Danny David, Isabel David, Carolyn Tanner, Garry Tanner
Danny David, Isabel David, Carolyn Tanner, Garry Tanner. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Lynn Wyatt, Antoine Plante
Lynn Wyatt, Antoine Plante. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Karen Mayell, Sally Moon Benz, Diane Lokey Farb
Karen Mayell, Sally Moon Benz, Diane Lokey Farb. Courtesy of Mercury
Mercury Gala April 2016, Elizabeth Abraham Colombowala, Lindley Arnoldy
Elizabeth Abraham Colombowala, Lindley Arnoldy. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Tony Petrello, Cynthia Petrello
Tony Petrello, Cynthia Petrello. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Kristy Bradshaw, Chris Bradshaw
Kristy Bradshaw, Chris Bradshaw. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Hallie Vanderhider, Fady Armanious
Hallie Vanderhider, Fady Armanious. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Kathryn Smith, Jeff Smith
Kathryn Smith, Jeff Smith. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Mercury Gala April 2016, Antoine Plante Christine Kirchner, Ken Stanley, Lili Kirchner
Antoine Plante Christine Kirchner, Ken Stanley, Lili Kirchner. Courtesy of Mercury
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Tory Watson, Natalie Watson
 Tory Watson, Natalie Watson. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Mercury Gala, April 2016. Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl
Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Mercury Gala, April 2016. Vey Spin, Brigid Spin, Linda Sparks, Tom Sparks
Vey Spin, Brigid Spin, Linda Sparks, Tom Sparks. Courtesy of Mercury
Mercury Gala, April 2016, A Fare Extraordinaire events
A Fare Extraordinaire orchestrated the event from chandeliers to dessert. Courtesy of Mercury
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Danny David, Isabel David, Carolyn Tanner, Garry Tanner
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Lynn Wyatt, Antoine Plante
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Karen Mayell, Sally Moon Benz, Diane Lokey Farb
Mercury Gala April 2016, Elizabeth Abraham Colombowala, Lindley Arnoldy
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Tony Petrello, Cynthia Petrello
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Kristy Bradshaw, Chris Bradshaw
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Hallie Vanderhider, Fady Armanious
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Kathryn Smith, Jeff Smith
Mercury Gala April 2016, Antoine Plante Christine Kirchner, Ken Stanley, Lili Kirchner
Mercury Gala, April 2016, Tory Watson, Natalie Watson
Mercury Gala, April 2016. Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl
Mercury Gala, April 2016. Vey Spin, Brigid Spin, Linda Sparks, Tom Sparks
Mercury Gala, April 2016, A Fare Extraordinaire events

Mercury, the Orchestra Redefined, never fails to enchant with its annual gala, held on stage at Wortham Theater Center. Yet, Friday night's musically-infused 15th anniversary gala might have taken the cake — at least the birthday cake.

In a stirring musical nod to the company's decade and a half of making beautiful Baroque music, founder and artistic director Antoine Plante led the orchestra in a half dozen arrangements of "Happy Birthday," including a la Mozart, Beethoven, ragtime and polka.

That was icing on the cake, so to speak, of the evening that included a recitation of Plante's favorite poem by honorary chair Lynn Wyatt, a long-time Mercury supporter. She recited World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon's ode to classical composers as the orchestra mystically rose on the stage behind her. And in her own words, Wyatt added, "Music inspires us when we are flagging, comforts us when we grieve, and speaks the beauty we cannot articulate."

And, of course, Mercury musicians enchanted the 280 guests with an abbreviated concert. There were applause all around including for gala chairs Isabel and Danny David and Carolyn and Garry Tanner.

The seated dinner (orchestrated by A Fare Extraordinaire), the live auction (conducted by Jeff Smith) and dancing (to the sounds of DJ Marv) all took place on the theater stage where crystal chandeliers held prominence overhead.

The party crowd included Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Diane Lokey Farb, Karen and Mike Mayell, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Natalie and Tory Watson, Judy Nyquist, Carrie and Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, and Christine Kirchner.

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