A little George Gershwin, a bit of Cole Porter and a touch of Duke Ellington — the Moores School of Music Symphony Orchestra proved its musical mettle Friday night at the school's annual black-tie gala. Even though the crowd grew testy anticipating the post-concert dinner, guests generously applauded the talented musicians.
The 45-minute program in the Hyatt Regency ballroom embraced the "I Got Rhythm" theme of the night, designed to echo the glamour of the old Shamrock Hilton days and to salute Shamrock founder Glenn McCarthy. The performance, under direction of Franz Anton Krager, spotlighted University of Houston graduate Richard Dowling on piano in an inspiring arrangement of "I Got Rhythm."
The students played their hearts out even without realizing that the UH grad John J. Moores, who put up close to $25 million in 1991 for the state-of-the-art music school, was in the audience. In fact, Moores , who has moved back to Houston after more than a decade in California, was high bidder on the Smart Car that he then donated back to the school for use by a student.
Eleanor Connan, director of the Chanel boutique in the Galleria, chaired the Moores School of Music Society gala that honored Margaret Alkek Williams. Moores School patron Beth Madison served as honorary chair. Key players in the benefit soirée included UH president Renu Khator, Moores School director David Ashley White, Moores Society president Cathy McNamara and the songbird emcee Deborah Duncan.
Among the pretty people attending were Cynthia and Tony Petrello, Pat Breen, Joanne King Herring, Randa and Charles Williams, Jim Daniel, Ginni and Richard Mithoff, Mary Ann and David McKeithan, Mary Lynn and Steve Marks, Phyllis and Cornell Williams, Diane and Harry Gendel, Cynthia and Mickey Mills and Rachel and Daryl Bristow.