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Houston Chamber Choir is wild about Harry at its record-setting gala

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Houston Chamber Choir singing "Wild About Harry" at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Members of the Houston Chamber Choir singing "Wild About Harry." Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir (Lauren Pastorek, center) at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Members of the Houston Chamber Choir, with Lauren Pastorek, center. Photo by © Jeff Grass
Eric Larson, from left, Melissa McCrimmon and Becky and Stephen Tobin at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Eric Larson, from left, Melissa McCrimmon and Becky and Stephen Tobin. Photo by © Jeff Grass
Frank Hood, from left, Jan Barrow and Harry and Diane Webb at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Frank Hood, from left, Jan Barrow and Harry and Diane Webb. Photo by © Jeff Grass
Bob Simpson, from left, Harry Webb and Becky Tobin at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Bob Simpson, from left, Harry Webb and Becky Tobin. Photo by © Jeff Grass
Martha and Marc Cuenod at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Martha and Marc Cuenod. Photo by © Jeff Grass
John and Margot Cater at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
John and Margot Cater. Photo by © Jeff Grass
Diane and Harry Webb at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Diane and Harry Webb. Photo by © Jeff Grass
Bob and Marianna Simpson at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Bob and Marianna Simpson. Photo by © Jeff Grass
Sonja Bruzauskas and Houston Haymon at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Sonja Bruzauskas and Houston Haymon. Photo by © Jeff Grass
Dance soloists Lauren Pastorek, left, and Sonja Bruzauskas at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014 LOW REZ
Dance soloists Lauren Pastorek, left, and Sonja Bruzauskas. Photo by © Jeff Grass
The venue at Rice Hotel's Crystal Ballroom at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
The venue at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala. Photo by © Jeff Grass
Houston Chamber Choir singing "Wild About Harry" at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Houston Chamber Choir (Lauren Pastorek, center) at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Eric Larson, from left, Melissa McCrimmon and Becky and Stephen Tobin at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Frank Hood, from left, Jan Barrow and Harry and Diane Webb at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Bob Simpson, from left, Harry Webb and Becky Tobin at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Martha and Marc Cuenod at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
John and Margot Cater at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Diane and Harry Webb at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Bob and Marianna Simpson at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Sonja Bruzauskas and Houston Haymon at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Dance soloists Lauren Pastorek, left, and Sonja Bruzauskas at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014 LOW REZ
The venue at Rice Hotel's Crystal Ballroom at the Houston Chamber Choir Gala April 2014
Crystal Ballroom at Rice Lofts
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Priceless. That's the best way to describe the look on honoree Harry Webb's face when Houston Chamber Choir singers Sonja Bruzauskas and Lauren Pastorek, in darling 1920s flapper duds plus feather boas and fascinators, tap danced over to his seat in a surprising move to escort him back to center stage.

There he was, sitting on a high stool, beaming as if he were a school boy while these fetching dolls blew him kisses, waved flirtatiously and did the Charleston. Surely you could understand why the 200 some guests roared when he kicked up his heels, borrowed a feather accessory and joined a can-can chorus line to the tune of "I'm Just Wild About Harry," arranged by Houston Chamber Choir artist Ryan Stickney.

 The gala, held in the Crystal Ballroom of the Rice Hotel Sunday, was the most successful in the organization's history.

Those who are acquainted with Webb know that he's the humble quiet type, that he prefers to work behind the scenes. Applause goes to honorary chair Jan Barrow, artistic director Robert Simpson and board president Frances Kittrell for convincing Webb, after declining for three years, to allow the ensemble to properly express thanks to a gent who's volunteered time and donated money for many, many years.

And, of course, more applause to the Houston Chamber Choir for a charming performance that also included lively renditions of Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" and Gershwin's "Fidgety Feet."

The gala, held in the Crystal Ballroom of the Rice Hotel Sunday, was the most successful in the organization's history. With the help of a silent auction that featured art by Kelley Devine and Felipe Lopez plus wine baskets, weekend getaways and staycation packages, the event raised more than $100,000, a number that made executive director Becky Tobin a happy gal, particularly as the choir implements projects such as the "Rise Up Singing!" program at The Rusk School and the soon to-be-recorded album of commissions from Christopher Theofanidis, Jocelyn Hagen and Dominick DiOrio.

Enjoying the glitz and glam of the roaring era were Todd Frazier, Melissa McCrimmon and Eric Larson, Stephen Tobin, Frank Hood, Diane Webb, Margot and John Cater, Martha and Marc Cuenod, Mary and Jerry Caliendo, Houston Haymon, Jacenta Barel and Brent Perekoppi, Nancy and Mark Wozny and David Whorton.

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