Houston Symphony Ball

Houston Symphony stirs it up at Vegas-style gala with a high-flying Sin City theme

Houston Symphony stirs it up at Vegas-style gala with Sin City theme

Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, aerialist
A violin-playing aerialist played classical tunes as well as hit songs by English rock band Led Zeppelin.  Photo by Anthony Rathbun
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Christina Hanson, Mark Hanson
Christina Hanson, Mark Hanson. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Stefanie Elias, Manolo Elias
Stefanie Elias, Manolo Elias. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Brian McCullough, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl
Brian McCullough, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Kate Boatright, Claudia Kreisle
Kate Boatright, Claudia Kreisle. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Chris Brown, Divya Brown
Chris Brown, Divya Brown. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, decor
Decor by The Events Company featured eye-catching painted murals of Las Vegas hotels, and a sea of vibrant flowers.  Photo by Marcy de Luna
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Fady Armanious, Hallie Vanderhider
Fady Armanious, Hallie Vanderhider. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Brian Thomas, Candace Thomas
Brian Thomas, Candace Thomas.  Photo by Annie Mulligan
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Sheridan Williams, Richard Flowers
Sheridan Williams, Richard Flowers. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, after party
The dance floor stayed packed throughout the evening.  Photo by Anthony Rathbun
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017,  Vivek Subbiah, Ishwaria Subbiah
Vivek Subbiah, Ishwaria Subbiah. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Steve Mach, Joella Mach
Steve Mach, Joella Mach. Photo by Wilson Parish
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Sherry and Jim Smith
Sherry Smith, Jim Smith. Photo by Anthony Rathbun
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Frankie Moreno
Frankie Moreno performs at the Houston Symphony Ball. Photo by Anthony Rathbun
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, aerialist
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Christina Hanson, Mark Hanson
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Stefanie Elias, Manolo Elias
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Brian McCullough, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Kate Boatright, Claudia Kreisle
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Chris Brown, Divya Brown
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, decor
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Fady Armanious, Hallie Vanderhider
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Brian Thomas, Candace Thomas
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Sheridan Williams, Richard Flowers
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, after party
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017,  Vivek Subbiah, Ishwaria Subbiah
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Steve Mach, Joella Mach
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Sherry and Jim Smith
Houston, Houston Symphony Ball, May 2017, Frankie Moreno

What happened at the “Stir it Up in Vegas”-themed Houston Symphony Ball at downtown’s Marriott Marquis Houston is definitely not staying there.

As they arrived, the more than 630 guests at the glam black-tie gala, chaired by Christina and Mark Hanson, the symphony's executive director, along with honorary chair Marie Taylor Bosarge, were instantly abuzz over the dazzling Sin City decor created by The Events Company's Richard Flowers, who was one of the evening's honorees.

Just outside the ballroom doors, guests were greeted by the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, the perfect selfie spot. Once inside, they marveled over the eye-popping decor, including several floor-to-ceiling painted murals of well-known Las Vegas hotels and a sea of vibrant red and pink flowers, with more than 3,700 peonies and 30 rose balls containing 150 roses each.

Keeping partygoers enthralled was an electrifying performance by a violin-playing aerialist whose repertoire ranged from classical tunes to rock numbers like the hit song, “Kashmir," in a nod to the symphony's recent performance of The Music of Led Zeppelin at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. A quintet of Houston Symphony brass musicians also provided early evening entertainment.

When dinner chimes rang, guests were ushered to their tables for a seated three-course dinner featuring a peach salad, chicken with potato hash, rainbow cauliflower and baby carrots, and flourless chocolate cake, prepared by the Marriott catering team. Afterwards, Symphony supporters Jane and Robert Cizik, Janice H. Barrow, Barbara and Pat McCelvey, Barbara J. Burger, Muffy and Alexander McLanahan, and Margaret Alkek Williams, in addition to Flowers, were honored for their dedication to the Houston orchestra.

A high-energy performance by Las Vegas showman Frankie Moreno followed as attendees packed the floor dancing to his original vintage funk-inspired sounds and high-energy current cover songs.

As though the evening wasn’t already a win, it concluded with a blowout after-party, chaired by Candace and Brian Thomas, with music by The Jordan Kahn Orchestra and an abundance of late-night snacks (think chicken and waffles, crepes, and donuts).

Proceeds from silent auction items, including a two-night stay at The Golden Nugget Las Vegas and a trip to Paris to visit the Van Cleef & Arpels workshop and classroom of L’Ecole, added to the grand total of more than $1.6 million raised for the Houston Symphony’s education and community programming.

In the crowd were Houston Symphony music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada and wife Julia, Jane and Robert Cizik, Lori and Scott Wulfe, Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Sheridan Williams, Joella and Steve Mach, Cora Sue and Harry Mach, Dr. Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Betty and Jesse Tutor, Courtney and Bill Toomey, Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Cynthia and Bucky Allshouse, Jo and Jim Furr, Amanda Fox, Zane and Brady Carruth, and Jessica Rossman and Gordon Bethune. 

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