Photography: Priscilla Dickson
Event: Live and Virtual Gala
Event Date: September 12, 2020
Location: Performance at Jones Hall
Money Raised: $500,000
Beneficiary: Houston Symphony
Chairpersons: Sippi & Ajay Khurana
Florals and Décor: The Events Company
Both live and virtual attendees brought much-needed funds to the beloved Houston Symphony on Opening Night
The Houston Symphony’s 2020-2021 season kicked off on September 12 with more than sixty guests attending the Opening Night Concert and Gala at Jones Hall, while virtual attendees enjoyed the evening’s performance from the comfort of their homes or as guests in the homes of others patrons. The Symphony’s coffers were over $500,000 richer after the event, thanks to chairpersons Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Symphony supporters, and sponsor ConocoPhillips, underwriter of the gala for the 34th year.
Symphony Executive Director/CEO John Mangum, who holds the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, welcomed guests and served as informative commentator for assembled guests and the live-stream audience, giving vivid narratives of each musical selection. The evening’s program included works by three of today’s pre-eminent women composers, as well as a tribute performance of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins in honor of Sippi Khurana.
Mr. Mangum also interviewed Concertmaster Yoonshin Song and introduced newly installed Symphony Board Chair John Rydman. Jones Hall was especially well dressed with beautiful florals and décor by Richard Flowers and The Events Company. Instead of the traditional seated dinner following the concert, elegantly catered meals and charcuterie trays were delivered to patrons’ homes, with wine selected by John Rydman and his company Specs Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods.
The way Houstonians handle challenges with aplomb is one reason we love our community, and Houston Symphony’s supporters proved that even amid pandemic-imposed adjustments to long-standing event traditions we can still create a memorable occasion in an ambience of joy. Bravo!
Socially and virtually present: Margaret Alkek Williams, Robin Angly & Miles Smith, Susan & Fayez Sarofim, Stephanie & Frank Tsuru, Bill Bullock, Barbara Burger, Janet Clark, Fran Fawcett Peterson, Carolyn & Dr. Mike Mann, Betty & Jess Tutor, Bob & Gayle Eury, Tammie Nguyen, Joelle & Steve Mach, Janice Barrow, Mary Lynn & Steve Marks, Barbara & Pat McCelvey, Judy & Rodney Margolis, Michelle & Alan Smith, plus many more.