You knew it was going to be a “standing ovation” kind of night Saturday as soon as you walked into the ballroom at the CT Convention Center in Hartford. Dimmed lights, inviting flower-and-linen tablescapes and the HSO tuning-up to provide some noteworthy entertainment set an impeccable pseudo-stage for the HSO’s annual “Bravo” gala celebration.
“I still remember the first time I saw a symphony orchestra,” recalled HSO board chairman Jim Remis as he welcomed guests to the gala that benefits the symphony’s education program. “It was La Traviotta in Chicago,” he reminisced. “I was five-years-old.”Remis, who steps down from the chairmanship in October, wasn’t the only one remembering his first exposure to the symphony. So was his successor, Jeff Verney.
“St. Alban’s in Simsbury was the first time I was introduced to serious music, church music,” said UnitedHealthCare’s Verney. “And the first time I saw and heard the symphony I was in junior high school and it was at the Bushnell.”
The evening may have been to raise money for music, but for some, it was also a reason to get dressed up, really dressed up for the black tie event.
“It is our first time coming to this,” explained Denis Davis who attended with her husband Abraham Davis. “But I love my dress,” she said, elegantly outfitted in a gold and ivory ballgown.
Speaking of gowns, Bushnell/HSO president/CEO David Fay has given his fiancée, Peggy Beley, a reason to go shopping yet again for formal wear. The two will be at the upcoming Tony Awards and will be at what is expected to be the winningest table in the place.
The Bushnell you see, owns a piece of the musical, “An American in Paris,” nominated in 12 Tony categories. And Fay and Beley will be with the most likely to be often-shown-on-tv principals from the production at the awards ceremony which will be held on June 7 in New York City.
“It’s deep purple,” said Beley describing her gown for the big night.
And speaking of award-worthy dresses, HSO maestra Carolyn Kuan was not only making sure there was good music at the gala, but looked stunning as she orchestrated it all.
“I really don’t know that much about it,” apologized Kuan when asked about her vintage-inspired, ivory faille strapless cocktail dress worn with elbow length evening gloves.
“The getting dressed up is wonderful and it’s a fun night,” added Marilyn Moore, an Avon resident and fan of HSO and its programs. “But it’s also a night to raise money for music, the kind every child should be able to hear and enjoy.”
(Welcoming guests at Saturday’s HSO “Bravo” gala were Bushnell/HSO president/CEO David Fay, left, his fiancee, Peggy Belee, outgoing HSO board chair Jim Remis, incoming board chairJeff Verney and his wife, Pam Verney.)
(With HSO maestra Carolyn Kuan, center, at Saturday’s “Bravo” gala were Joyce Hodgson and Peter Polomski.)