Event Date: September 11, 2021
Location: Concert at Jones Hall; Gala at The Corinthian
Event: Concert and Gala
No. of Attendees: 400 at Gala; 1,200 at concert
Money Raised: $600,000+
Beneficiary: Houston Symphony
Chairpersons: Robin Angly and Miles Smith
Décor, Florals and Linens: The Events Company
Entertainment: Richard Brown Music
Photography: Wilson Parish and Priscilla Parish Dickson
Houston Symphony and Renée Fleming Create an Evening of Splendor and Elegance for the Opening Night Concert and Gala
Our glorious Houston Symphony … The Angelic Soprano Renée Fleming … The newly renovated Jones Hall … Combine these forces for one incredible performance, and the only thing left to do is “Drop the Mic!” Enough said!
Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert and Gala—“An Evening with Renée Fleming was an evening of pure joy. Chairpersons Robin Angly and Miles Smith, along with support from concert sponsor ConocoPhillips (their 35th year of invaluable sponsor support), underwriters, donors and ticket holders, helped Houston Symphony raise more than $600,000 for their Education and Community Programming.
VIP guests were treated to champagne and hors d’oeuvres before settling into their seats for the hour-long concert performance. With 9/11 on everyone’s mind, the Symphony, conducted by Steven Reineke, began with the National Anthem being played to a standing crowd. The rendition was one of the most moving tributes one could witness. Guests remained standing for almost 5 minutes of non-stop ovation. The next piece was just as moving. It was reminiscent of John Williams or Aaron Copland, but the big surprise was that it was a Steven Reineke composition called “Celebration Fanfare.” Superstar soprano Renée Fleming then took center stage and showcased her virtuosity in a program of opera arias and songs from composers such as Handel, Corigliano, Leoncavallo and Cilea, as well as musical theater songs and classic Broadway overtures from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel and The King and I and Kander and Ebb’s The Visit as well as “The Diva,” a brand new song written expressly for her and ending with Puccini’s O mio babbino caro, resulting in several more minutes of standing applause.
Immediately following the concert, guests were transported seamlessly in luxury buses to a destination a few minutes away to continue the festivities at the Corinthian Houston and were greeted by the sounds of the Richard Brown Orchestra. The décor, linens and florals, created by Richard Flowers of The Events Company, transformed the venue into a place of beauty and elegance. A multi-course gourmet dinner was served with accompanying select wine pairings by Lindy & John Rydman and Lisa Rydman of Spec’s Wines, Spirits, & Finer Food.
As always, the team behind the scenes deserve huge kudos for a job well done. The enormous attention to detail did not go unnoticed. Hats off to the development team of Houston Symphony including Nancy Giles, Stacey Swift and their staff, as well as the wonderfully talented musicians! This was an evening not soon forgotten!
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Lynn Wyatt, Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel, Betty and Jess Tutor, Janet Clark, Nick and Cari Olds, Anne and Albert Chao, Lilly and Thurmon Andress, Mary Lynn and Steve Marks, Beth Wolff, Cheryl Byington, Jim and Whitney Crane; Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Mady and Ken Kades, Vicki West and Ralph Burch, Leslie Siller, Janet Gurwitch and Ron Franklin, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Jacquie Baly Craig and James Craig, Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah, Derrick Mitchell and Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell, and Barbara Burger