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High Level Patronage

Houston Symphony dedicates opening night to $5 million benefactor after receiving largest personal gift in a decade

By Shelby Hodge

The timing could not have been more perfect for Margaret Alkek Williams to make a $5 million commitment to the Houston Symphony. The philanthropist, whose beauty and grace belie her age, turns ...


Symphony Gala Rocks Out

Black-tie crowd goes bonkers over Huey Lewis while raising $1.57 million for Houston Symphony

By Shelby Hodge

With rocking Broadway star Michael Cavanaugh on piano as warm-up act for the still powerful Huey Lewis and the News, the typically sedate Houston Symphony Ball erupted in blast-from-the-past f ...


Dancing With the Stars

World champion ballroom dancers floor dinner guests with hot moves at gala kickoff

By Shelby Hodge

For months, oilman Lester Smith had been promising a spectacular surprise for guests attending the Houston Symphony Ball underwriter dinner. He and his wife, Sue Smith, were hosting the gala e ...


Shelby's Social Diary

The best damn gala dinner ever: Wolfgang Puck has symphony patrons swooning

By Shelby Hodge

For two weeks prior to the Houston Symphony's Wine Dinner & Collector's Auction, famed chef Wolfgang Puck had a team of six chefs in and out of Houston, all working with Jackson and Co. ...


Shelby's Social Diary

Houston's most fashionable, hot models, student design standouts & a TV news star enjoy River Oaks' Passion

By Shelby Hodge

The relevance of the fusion between fashion and philanthropy packed the River Oaks Country Club ballroom with a stylish coterie of ladies and gents who gathered to celebrate Houston Community ...


Party Watch

Broadway star mixes it up with bedazzled Houston crowd at high-rise lounge

By Shelby Hodge

What: Houston Symphony POPS cocktail party with Broadway's lovely Sutton Foster and principal Pops conductor designate Steven Reineke. Where: The Sunset Lounge at the 2727 Kirby condo ...


Symphony Santa

Instrument petting zoo makes for a magical day in swanky River Oaks club — and the kids agree

By Shelby Hodge

What: Houston Symphony Magical Musical Morning. Where: River Oaks Country Club. The 411: More than 400 guests, most of them festively-dressed youngsters, joined the Houston Symphony League ...


Party Watch

Tea time in a River Oaks manse hauls in a tidy profit, helps future musicians

By Shelby Hodge

What: The University of St. Thomas Performing Arts Society membership tea. Where: The River Oaks home of Mary and Tony Gracely. The 411: Part membership tea, part fundraiser, this event dre ...


Shelby's Social Diary

Standing ovations galore: Houston Symphony's new maestro charms a red carpet crowd on opening night

By Shelby Hodge

As if the rounds of standing ovations in Jones Hall were not enough to convince Andrés Orozco-Estrada that the welcome mat was out for the Houston Symphony's new music director, the ...


Concert Celebration

German orchestra plans Houston concert to celebrate 25th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall

By Ellen Goodacre

The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra of Germany has chosen Houston to kick off its U.S. tour to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Former Secretary of State ...


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