Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert And Gala’s Grand Style


By Jennifer Roosth      Photography by Priscilla Dickson and Daniel Ortiz

THE SETTING: Recently, over 300 guests, donning their finest black tie attire, attended the Houston Symphony’s Opening Night concert and gala. Upon arrival at Jones Hall, partygoers enjoyed champagne and hors d’oeuvres on the Mezzanine level before making their way into see concert. The evening featured Juraj Valčuha leading the orchestra and Houston Symphony Chorus, alongside soprano Ana María Martínez, mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya, tenor Jonathan Tetelman, and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy. Following the performance, guests were transported to the Corinthian Houston for a spectacular seated dinner catered by Jackson and Company. Following dinner, guests enjoyed musical entertainment by the David Caceres Band.


THE STYLE: The Corinthian ballroom was donned with crystal chandeliers and greenery cascading across the balcony, all designed by The Events Company. The elegant tables that filled the room, covered in green linens, were topped with varying high and low-profile floral arrangements in shades of white and green.


Dinner began with an Italian butter lettuce salad with fresh herbs, gulf shrimp terrine, chives, and pickled mustard seed vinaigrette topped with a toasted chickpea crouton and three radish slaw. The main course included a gremolata and breadcrumb crusted black cod, with charred leek and artichoke white wine emulsion, alongside summer squash and white corn rösti, and Romano beans and button chanterelle sauté.  Accompanying the meal were wine pairings provided by Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods. After dinner, the dessert was a trio that included coconut sorbet verrine, tiramisu profiteroles, and hazelnut macaroons.


THE PURPOSE: The annual Houston Symphony Opening Night concert and gala, chaired by Drs. Susan and Dennis Carlyle, celebrated the opening of the 2022–2023 season and the tenure of Juraj Valčuha as the Houston Symphony’s 16th music director and holder of the Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair. This year’s event raised more than $540,000 for the orchestra’s industry-leading Education and Community Engagement initiatives. ConocoPhillips served as the Concert Sponsor and Lead Gala Corporate Underwriter for the 36th year.   



Houston PetSet Raises Record $1.1 Million

By Jennifer Roosth Photography by Priscilla Dickson

THE SETTING: More than 700 animal lovers packed the Post Oak Hotel ballroom to see Cole Hauser and Forrie Smith, stars of Showtime T.V. favorite, Yellowstone. However, the animals were the true winners of the 18th annual Fierce and Fabulous Soirée.  Houstonians came out in full force for a fierce and fabulous charitable evening of cocktails, dinner, luxury auction items, and a rocking after party. They opened their hearts and wallets to make this year’s event a resounding, fierce and fabulous success.


THE STYLE: Mistress of Ceremonies Deborah Duncan provided the audience with much laughter and banter from the podium. Sidney Faust was applauded for all her hard work and charitable generosity to the community. There were plenty of one-of-a-kind auction experiences. For one example, tennis great John McEnroe hosted guests at his seats at Wimbledon, for the women’s and men’s finals, which included an invitation for an after party at his house. Then there was the Cole Hauser experience for an afternoon horse ride in Montana, DeBoulle generously donated a Rolex timepiece for the raffle, and I-Touch donated a beautiful ruby and diamond ring.


PURPOSE: Leading the helm of this sold-out event were chairpersons Tena Lundquist Faust, Tama Lundquist, and Sue Smith. The event raised an unprecedented amount of $1.1 million for the animals. Houston PetSet is a non-profit organization providing grants to over 70 Houston area charities that benefit animal welfare and are committed to spaying, neutering, rescuing, adopting, and transporting the homeless pet population.  



Hermann Park Conservancy Raises Funds For Green Spaces

By Jennifer Roosth        Photography by Priscilla Dickson

THE SETTING: Due to the ongoing Covid-19 safety measures, this year’s Evening in The Park event for Hermann Park Conservancy looked a little different than in the past. To make up for lost time due to the prior gala’s cancellation, instead of dinner, dancing, and the program under one big tent at the Molly Ann Smith Plaza, the event was socially distanced and progressive. The dinner was served in tented pods placed along the Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones Reflection Pool.

THE STYLE: Guests were welcomed with cocktails  while they perused photographs on view in Lindsey Plaza. Then, to add an element of fun, many guests opted to take the Hermann Park Railroad from Lindsey Plaza to the Molly Ann Smith Plaza, passing through the beautiful native plants and grounds of the upcoming Commons site. Upon arrival at the Plaza, Conservancy board chair Kristy Bradshaw spoke about the Conservancy’s endeavors including play spaces, natural habitats and plantings, public art installations, gathering areas, and the McWilliams Dog Park. The dog park was the focus of this year’s gala celebration and one of the most requested features by the community. Dinner was then served, and each party headed to their respective pod to enjoy a meal created by City Kitchen. Then, tunes were provided by DJ Mav at the Pioneer Obelisk as guests danced the night away to celebrate an Evening in the Park’s two years in the making.

THE PURPOSE: Event co-chairs Jo and Jim Furr, along with Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell and Derrick Mitchell, worked tirelessly to ensure guests had an entertaining and safe night. This year’s event surpassed its goal and raised $650,000 for the care and improvement of Hermann Park. Thanks to the generous $1 million gift from Laura and Brad McWilliams, this year’s honorees, funds raised at the gala, and a slew of additional donations directed towards the dog park, the Conservancy is $100,000 shy of its $2 million capital campaign. The honoree of the prior canceled Evening in The Park event, Marley Lott, was also in attendance and recognized.



Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation’s 28th Annual Celebration Of Reading

By Jennifer Roosth      Photography by Michele Watson/Catchlight Group

THE SETTING: More than 700 guests gathered at The Post Oak Hotel in Uptown Houston to toast the 28th annual A Celebration of Reading. This year’s theme was Life. Liberty. Literacy. in honor of the late First Lady Barbara Bush’s belief that literacy is a foundation to reaching one’s fullest potential in life and realizing the American Dream. In keeping with the Americana theme, the reception areas and ballroom were donned with stunning red, white and blue décor, while the guests wore patriotic attire, which created a festive all-American event.

THE STYLE: This year’s exceptional lineup of bestselling authors included Alafair Burke, sisters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, Brad Meltzer, and Dr. Rick Rigsby. Foundation chairs Maria and Neil Bush welcomed guests and recognized the late First Lady who personally created A Celebration of Reading to raise awareness and funds to advance her cause of literacy.

“Mom always said that literacy is at the core for one to achieve God’s given potential,” Neil Bush noted. Sisters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush spoke of their personal relationship, and of family and how their “Ganny,” the late First Lady Barbara Bush, instilled a lifelong love of literacy. They also shared how their most recent children’s book was inspired by their mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, who was an only child, yet found women to become her “sisters” throughout life.

THE PURPOSE: Marking another successful year, the event raised more than $1.8 million to help support the Foundation’s local and national literacy education causes, including $125,000 to launch a new initiative, Success Through Adult Reading (STAR) that provides scholarships for adult learners in partnership with five community-based organizations.



Holocaust Museum of Houston LBJ Moral Courage Award Dinner Raises Over $2 Million

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Priscilla Dickson Photography and Gary Fountain Photography and Jacob Powers Photography

THE SETTING: The Hilton Americas-Houston was the recent setting for the Holocaust Museum of Houston’s annual LBJ Moral Courage Award Dinner honoring the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The event featured over 1,300 of Houston’s most notable sociables for an evening of touching tributes and dazzling performances those fortunate enough to attend will not soon forget.


THE STYLE: The black tie optional affair featured an elegant mix of formal and high-cocktail ensembles worn by patrons. The festivities began with a cocktail reception in the venue’s foyer where old friends were re-acquainted, and new friends were made. The festivities then moved into the ballroom for the evening’s main program.


Once inside, the crowd found their tables, where a scrumptious, multi-course kosher dinner awaited them. As guests dined, they were treated to a series of touching video tributes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg from several notables, including Billy Crystal, Chita Rivera, and Aaron Sorkin. The evening was capped off by a showstopping performance by TonyÓ Award-winning actress Kristen Chenowith, who dazzled the audience with a host of Broadway’s greatest hits. After her performance, Chenowith announced that she was donating her fee back to the museum, which brought the crowd to their feet, capping off a beautiful evening.


THE PURPOSE: The dinner, chaired by Mady and Ken Kades, with Lynn Wyatt serving as honorary chair, raised over $2 million for the Holocaust Museum of Houston. The proceeds raised at the event will go toward funding programs at the museum.





Bayou Bend Celebrates With Annual Garden Party

By Jennifer Roosth      Photography by Jenny Antill and Wilson Parish

THE SETTING: Recently, guests enjoyed a beautiful spring evening at the annual Bayou Bend Garden Party to support the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. At twilight, the attendees gathered in the gardens of the historic Ima Hogg historic estate for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres under an extravagant tent featuring décor by The Events Company that included crystal chandeliers donned with greenery and lavender blooms.


THE STYLE: Everything about the event was ideal for the theme of a spring evening garden party. Tables were dressed with lavender-hued linens. The delicate floral arrangements of rosy pinks, lavenders, and magentas, and chargers with butterfly designs perfectly complemented the theme of this year’s event, the butterfly. Dinner was catered by City Kitchen and included summer melon salad with purslane, Jamon Serrano, pine nuts, basil gastrique, and shaved manchego; pinto bean cake; warm cabbage and celeriac slaw and jumbo asparagus; and grilled red snapper filet with olive oil, Meyer lemon, shallots, and capers finished with a chocolate pecan tart and Amarena cherry gelato. After dinner, guests danced the night away to live music by the David Caceres Band.


THE PURPOSE: This year’s soirée raised $533,000 for the Bayou Bend operating budget. Remarks were made by Gary Tinterow, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, followed by Jim Miller, the managing director for the Tanglewood Corporation. Earlier that weekend, the 5th Annual Bayou Bend Fashion Show Luncheon raised and additional $423,000, with The Galleria/Simon Property Group as the Principal Underwriter.

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