Houston Symphony’s 20th Anniversary Wine Dinner And Collector’s Auction

By Jennifer Roosth     Photography by Wilson Parish

THE SETTING: The 20th Anniversary Symphony Wine Dinner and Collectors Auction, Joie de Vivre: A Celebration of Wine and Music, was held at Houston’s chic and contemporary Astorian, which was completely transformed in blush hues of pink and gold for the lively springtime event. More than 215 guests attended the limited capacity, socially distanced occasion. Upon arriving at the venue, guests’ temperatures were checked to comply with the event’s safety protocols. Attendees then entered the venue, viewed the evening’s silent auction items spread across the room, and enjoyed the champagne reception with Roederer Philippe Starck Brut Nature 2009.

THE STYLE: The décor, created by Taylor DeMartino Design Group, transformed the venue into this year’s blushing theme. As the dinner chimes rang, guests made their way to the tables that displayed delicate floral arrangements consisting of subtle blush pink and champagne-colored roses. The gourmet, multi-course meal prepared by Jackson and Company was paired with wines introduced by Steven McDonald, Master Sommelier of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Selections included Gerbais Extra Brut Grains de Celles Rosé, R de Rieussec Bordeaux Blanc 2017, and Henri Villamont Chassagne Montrachet 1ER Morgeot 2016 for the second course, followed by Jerome Castagnier Chambolle Musigny 2017/Pierre Labet, VV Gevrey Chambertin 2018, and Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2013.

THE PURPOSE: The Joie de Vivre evening raised over $550,00 for The Houston Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement programs. The evening was chaired by Ann and Jonathan Ayre, with honorary chairs Vicki West and Ralph Burch. This year’s auction included rare wines and spirits, luxury experiences, and many other coveted items, including trips to vineyards in California’s wine country, was thanks to Wine Auction Chair Bob Weiner. And the thoughtfully selected wines paired with the dinner was thanks to John and Lindy Rydman and Lisa Rydman of Spec’s Wines, Spirits, and Finer Foods.

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When I was a child actor in community theatre plays and often around mostly adult actors, I looked so forward to being a grown-up. True, I was in a fictionalized cast with fellow actors who were already grown-up, yet I waited in anticipation of being an adult as well. From the hit play near to my heart, Auntie Mame, a breathless expectation of the future, was the cornerstone of the rapid-fire grown-up dialogue. One line still resonates: Light the candles, Get the ice out, Roll the rug up, It’s today!


I have a feeling the rest of the world, like we at Society Texas, is lighting candles, getting the ice out, and rolling up the rug as today–and the tomorrows–all bring a breath of welcome fresh air as we move beyond COVID. With the losses and sacrifices from the pandemic still fresh on our minds, as with any problem-solving technique, we’re looking toward the ripe potential that many tomorrows hold.  Because, even though there is so much to accomplish, the Universe is more expansive than our view of it.


Each and every one of us gets the opportunity to have a new lease on life with this broader view. As Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” So, my question for many at the again now-often dinner parties and social events is: how will you enhance who you are and what you do for the future? What will you do differently, do better, make right, and how will you view the world in perhaps a different light moving forward?


With this in mind, as we are all adults and usually love being one, it’s an exciting time to take steps to reignite and reengage for what’s up ahead in mature ways. Our team is mighty eager to resume what we know and create a bright tomorrow, so what you see in these pages is an unabashedly optimistic look at how much the world and global travel means to all of us. We want it to serve as an inspiration to set sail on new voyages, both literally and metaphorically. Along with our other great stories, profiles, interviews, and insight, we want this summer to be infinitely better than the one before it.


So, suit up and dive into life like never before and we look forward to seeing you all across the state…and the globe, because, as we well know, where there is a Texan, there is fun.


Lance Avery Morgan

Facebook, Instagram


Photo credit by portrait: Photography by Romy Suskin




The Order Of The Alamo Hosts The Court Of Parisian Splendour Coronation


By Jake Gaines         Photography by Katie Clementson

THE SETTING: Because of the pandemic, the original The Order of the Alamo coronation date in 2020 was moved twice to 2021 when the Order hosted a privately-themed event, The Court of Parisian Splendour, that occurred al fresco with a much smaller attendance and COVID protocol in place. The Argyle was the venue for the Coronation of the Queen and her Court, a reception, and dance afterward. 


THE STYLE: An entire stage was built that allowed the court to make a full entry, bow, and then ascend the main stairs of the Argyle. Mistress of the Robes Kate Coiner Park, and the event’s artistic directors, Amy Stieren and Wendy Stieren, began working on the court’s 26 Queen, Princess, and Duchess’ dresses and robes long before the ceremony. The Parisian theme of the gowns was based on extensive research and design to represent the various icons, monuments, and culture from Paris. Then the dresses were draped over the railings of the second and third story verandas. The main “house” of the Argyle served as the evening’s set, while the families and their guests looked on. The intimate setting, and master of ceremonies, Albert Steves, as the Lord High Chamberlain, made it an exceptional event for all who participated.    


At the beginning of the show, the Order honored the 2020 The Order of the Alamo President Elliott G. Hayne, accompanied by his three daughters. Representing Napoleon I, Albert Steves V was introduced as the Lord High Chamberlain. After the 24 Duchesses and their Dukes were presented, including six from the Visiting Court and eighteen from the Royal Household, the current 2021 Order President Andrew B. Price and his son, Nelson, arrived to preside at the Coronation of the Queen. The Princess, Hannah Elizabeth Bakke, was presented, after which all rose for the Queen, Elizabeth “Liza” Grace Huey, crowned by 2021 Order President Andrew B. Price.


After the coronation, the Duchesses came down to the stage from their seats on the verandas. Their trains remained on the Argyle verandas, and they exited down the main ramp, waving to their friends and family.  Albert Steves’ last words to the audience were “Until the City of Lights beckons again…remember, that Paris…is always a good idea”. 



In this topsy-turvy world, we can always count on intuition and common sense to help us stay the course as we round the bend with the pandemic, according to our infallibly sensible Etiquette Guy, Jay Remer.

Dear Etiquette Guy, 

Can you please help me take the guesswork out of dressing for a summer black-tie dinner party? 

Curiously Dressing Up 

Dear Dressing Up,  

Whenever dressing for any formal occasion, my best advice is to be comfortable, which begins with ensuring your ensemble and shoes fit correctly. Women are fortunate that they have far more flexibility and can wear colorful dresses–short or long, depending on the occasion. This traditionalist advises resisting wearing slacks or skirts for black-tie affairs, as they are too informal. It’s wonderful to enjoy all the flair you wish. Being colorful, chic, and bejeweled is always a winning combination. 


For men, I recommend wearing a basic black tuxedo. In the summer, a white dinner jacket is appropriate and preferred, especially in warmer climates like Texas. A crisp white shirt sets off a black suit beautifully, but soft colors can work nicely with a white jacket, especially if the color highlights your best features. A hand-tied black silk bow tie is traditional–and for a good reason–it’s always perfect. Black silk or cotton socks match your patent leather or polished black shoes. If you feel the need to add some flair to your sartorial look, limit it to one item only–a colorful tie with or without matching bright cummerbund, etc. Keeping things simple eliminates the guesswork and achieves a smashing look.



Dear Etiquette Guy, 

Now that COVID-19 has rounded the corner, what is the appropriate attire at summer weddings, daytime, and evening events? 

  Wedding Wonder 

 Dear Wonderful Wedding Goer, 

As we emerge from the confines of this cruel pandemic, weddings are once again possible. Daytime celebrations are usually less formal than evening affairs. Women have more latitude at afternoon weddings with extravagant hats and flowing chiffon dresses, setting a high style. Slacks and skirts are also appropriate. Remember that comfort is key. Wearing sensible shoes is, well, sensible. Avoid wearing serious jewelry during the day, but please do bring out the bling at night. Sparkle, dazzle and shine as much as you wish. In the afternoon, men may wear casual suits or a snazzy trouser/blazer combo. Traditionally, neckties are standard, but as a more relaxed, comfortable style evolves, ties are becoming optional. For an evening event, ties still create a formal tone, especially if black-tie is not requested.


Dear Etiquette Guy,

As pandemic protocol loosens up a bit, can you lend some insight on summer travel etiquette when it comes to interacting with resort staff? 

Off To The Islands 

Dear Island Hopper, 

Traveling this summer will be different than pre-COVID times. Frankly, I’d be less concerned with the staff than with other guests. All hotels, resorts, or other tourism venues should have strict protocols in place. The staff must follow these to the letter. Guests, unfortunately, can be less attentive. In any case, I advise keeping a safe distance, wash your hands appropriately, and wear a mask in close quarters. Avoid physical contact with anyone as a precaution. Use common sense because our safety is everyone’s safety.


Dear Etiquette Guy

With school starting back in August, any advice for parents on encouraging our children into a routine again? 

Passionate Parent

Dear Parental Guidance Suggested, 

Raising children during COVID has been the most difficult challenge parents have ever faced in generations. Children thrive on routine and reassurance. They also can understand the reasons why there have been changes and that everyone is struggling–some even suffering. My best advice is for parents to set the pace for establishing their own routine first. Children will naturally follow your lead, especially with encouragement, which is not to be confused with commandments.


Above all, have consideration for your children when they are out of sorts and confused. Also, remember to have self-compassion. These times are not easy for any of us, and we must realize that no matter what, we are doing our best. We all deserve grace from time to time. Of course, with any situations that are beyond our ability to handle, professional guidance is available.



The DoSeum Hosts Sixth Annual Birthday Bash

By Jake Gaines                        Photography by Jenna Beth Lyde

THE SETTING:  With the air humming with vibrant energy, cocktails flowing, a curated menu and interactive activities, you would never guess The DoSeum’s Sixth Annual Birthday Bash gala wasn’t an actual gala. Opting to forgo a formal virtual event program, The DoSeum created an exclusive fete to be held at home, complete with in-person delivery of ‘tables’–the museum’s signature Fiesta Boxes packed with local eats and treats, libations, and perfectly portioned meals. With over 30 tables sold, 15 of which transformed into festive dinner parties, this decidedly non-event was the event to attend.

THE STYLE: Tables sold for over $2,500 received a meal for ten and five Fiesta Boxes. The delectable Fiesta Boxes were filled with Cinco de Mayo amenities like Dulce Vida tequila, Shiner Beer, Rico’s chips and queso, and more. Because of the generous contributors, thousands of children and their caregivers across San Antonio will continue to enjoy access to The DoSeum, the only children’s museum in San Antonio.

THE PURPOSE: Katie Fravell, Amy Feik Garcia, and Anna Ziegler were the co-chairs for the sold-out evening that raised over $200,000. The museum is  dedicated to providing access to fun, hands-on learning experiences, and informal educational experiences, which are more valuable now than ever during this digital age.

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The best plays, musical performances, and exhibits in Texas are enjoyed by record number crowds, according to our cultural adventurer Leanne Raesener, who shares our favorite recommendations for what to enjoy this summer across the state.


AUS Courtesy of The Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas Austin, Hollywood, The Prodigal Son


Zachary Scott Theatre’s Summer Under the Stars: Summer Series brings to you Come Together: Beatles Redux featuring the timeless music of the legendary Beatles. ZACH greats perform iconic hits like Yesterday, Hey Jude, Let it Be, and more. July 8—25. At


ON IMAGE: Michael Valentine performs. Courtesy of Zachery Scott Theatre.

AUS Torbjørn Rødland, Eggs, 2019. Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper. Artwork © Torbjørn Rødland.Courtesy the artist and NILS STÆRK, Copenhagen


The Blanton Museum’s new exhibition, Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, highlights his work in the late ’50s through ’60s. Brathwaite, a key figure of the second Harlem Renaissance, and his older brother, Elombe Brath, founded the African Jazz-Arts Society & Studios (AJASS) and Grandassa Models. June 27—September 19. At 

ON IMAGE: Kwame Brathwaite, Sikolo Brathwaite wearing a headpiece designed by Carolee Prince, African Jazz-Art Society&Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1968; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019).

Texas Gold Changed the World


ISHIDA Dance Company presents Faraway, so close, an evening of thought-provoking world premieres in contemporary dance: new works based on original poetic narratives that invite existential questions by Brett Ishida, a new work by former Batsheva dancer and USC Professor Bret Easterling, and a new creation by award-winning European choreographer Kristian Lever. In Austin August 13–14 at Dell Fine Arts Center at St. Andrew’s and in Houston August 19–21 at MATCH Midtown Arts & Theater Center. At

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of ISIDA Dance Company


DAL Anna, Paris 2017, Photo by Paolo Roversi_Courtesy of the Dallas Contemporary.


Tokyo-based artist Tomoo Gokita’s first North American museum exhibition, Get Down, presented by The Dallas Contemporary, features Gokita’s large-scale paintings and never-before-seen pieces. These creations were all done during the pandemic. Through August 22. At

ON IMAGE: Tomoo Gokita. Remarriage, 2021.© Tomoo Gokita

DAL Photography is Art exhibition, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum_ Alfred Stieglitz, A Wet Day on the Boulevard, Paris, Photogravure, 2013


The Kimbell Museum’s new exhibit, Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society, presents nearly 70 of the finest examples of Asian art in the United States. It highlights pieces collected by the couple between the ’40s and ’70s. Through September 5. At

ON IMAGE: Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Shiva Nataraja). India, Tamil Nadu. Chola period, about 970. Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.20. Photograph by Synthescape

DAL Photo by Andy Nguyen. Courtesy of Galleria Dallas


The Fort Worth Modern’s new exhibit, Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas, features the artist’s most significant works and examines his contribution to the development of abstraction over nearly five decades. Through October 10. At

ON IMAGE: Sean Scully, Pale Fire, 1988, Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth,
Museum purchase, Sid W. Richardson Foundation Endowment Fund©Sean Scully


HOUS Moooi Works, manufactured by Moooi, Mega Chandelier, 2018, mixed media and bulbs. © Moooi, New York


Three Centuries of American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston highlights more than 200 works from the private collection of Fayez S. Sarofim. The Houston-based collector has assembled an extraordinary representation of painting in America. His devotion to 19th and 20th century painting is at the center of his collection and this exhibition. Through September 6. At


ON IMAGE: John Singer Sargent, Madame Ramón Subercaseaux, c. 1880–81 Fayez S. Sarofim Collection

HOUS David Novros, Detail of right wall from Untitled, 1973–75. The Menil Collection, Houston jpg


These rallying cries echo throughout Los Angeles-based artist Cauleen Smith’s works, which remind us to nurture each other and the planet that sustains us. Her exhibition, Cauleen Smith: We Already Have What We Need,  at The Contemporary Art Museum emphasizes acts of caring as antidotes to the injustices and inequities that shape our past and present, envisioning a better world. July 15—October 3. At

ON IMAGE: Cauleen Smith, Light Up Your Life (For Sandra Bland), 2019. Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin. Commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio. Purchase through the generosity of an anonymous donor, 2020.

HOUS Signature Works, Courtesy of Ars Lyrica Houston


Color Factory is a collaborative and multisensory exhibit featuring participatory installations of colors and hues. A collection of artists, creatives, and designers have teamed up to tell their unique color stories inspired by the city and space, with NASA also being a collaborator. Through September 6. At


ON IMAGE: Photo courtesy of Color Factory


SA Brenda Rae, Metropolitan Opera, Courtesy of Opera San Antonio


In 1998, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art, a 30,000 square-foot wing, opened to display Latin American art from ancient to contemporary. On Permanent View—Latin America Galleries. At


ON IMAGE: Roberto de la Selva (Nicaraguan, 1895-1957), At the Fair (En la Fería), 1934, Museum purchase, 59.19.5, Photograph by Peggy Tenison, Courtesy of San Antonio Museum of Art.

SA Martine Gutierrez, Still from Clubbing, 2012. HD video. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, © Martine Gutierrez.


Enjoy an evening of theatre as The Public presents Something Rotten. Brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom set out to write the first musical in the 1590s after a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing, and acting simultaneously. Fridays through Sundays, July 9—July 18. At

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Something Rotten national tour

SA Gladys Roldan-De-Moras Memories From My Home, oil on linen


Joanna Keane Lopez, a New Mexico native, is a multidisciplinary artist whose work blurs the boundaries between contemporary sculpture and architecture through the medium of adobe mud. She creates work that seeks healing and reparation of fragmentation towards land, home, family, and community. July 1―September 5. At

ON IMAGE: Nine Ways to Say Hello Adobe bricks, mirror, lime wash, mica, cotton, cochineal insects, onion skins. Courtesy of Joanna Keane Lopez