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.