Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sarasota Orchestra's Season Opener Brunch

What do you do with a lamp shade other than use it to shield a bulb or wear on your head at a party?  You use it as a centerpiece, of course!  Forty centerpieces were designed and created by volunteers using all sorts of ribbon, lace, beads, fur, and imagination, all under the guidance of design chair and board president, Anne Folsom Smith at the Sarasota Orchestra's Season Opener Brunch - Hot Jazz on a Snazzy Sunday - Roarin' 20's.  It was so fun to go from table to table to see each exquisite work of art.  Each table also had its own uniquely decorated table number to match its centerpiece - cute, cute, cute idea.  I love it when thought and effort are put in to making an event something special and memorable.

Fabulous brunch food stations were set up all over the atrium at Michael's On East and included made-to-order omelets, crab cakes, oysters Rockefeller, glazed salmon, flank steak, cheese blintzes (my personal favorites), eggs Benedict (I know, I know, THESE should be my favorite), and all sorts of salads and fruits.  Then on top of all of that, there was an ice cream pop station where you could get ice cream pops dipped in milk chocolate with rice krispies and toasted almonds.  I was quite full when I left, to say the least!

Once we were all satiated, a video was played outlining Greg Smith's visit to Sarasota, in which he visited four area schools and showed them how exciting and fulfilling it is to be a composer.  The best part was that during this project, Greg worked with the students to create Tamiami Sinfonietta, a piece they worked on in collaboration, with melodies created by the students.  Greg took that material and arranged it into a new composition for the orchestra.  It will be played in the Masterworks VI concert in March.  It was truly amazing to see the process and the outcome.  It kind of gave me goosebumps to see the kind of programs the Sarasota Orchestra's Education Department offers to area teachers and schools.  I know years ago when my now 37-year-old daughter was a teen, she played in some of the orchestra's summer programs and she loved it.  How fortunate we are to have such an organization in our area and generous donors who make these types of things happen to benefit all of us.

The hot jazz portion of the program featured John Miller and the Sarasota Jazz Ensemble.  They were terrific!  The first set featured 15 year-old vocalist Maria Wirries, whose accomplishments, even at this very tender age, are many.  It was such a pleasure to listen to her.  The second set featured vocalist, Ally Couch. whose soulful sounds had me wanting to jump out of my seat and sing along to R-E-S-P-E-C-T!  Both Ally and Maria looked especially beautiful in their outfits, which added to the overall performance.

The entire event was kept right on schedule and the two co-chairs, Bunny Skirboll and Marlene Isaacs did a marvelous job.  It was also Marlene's 51st wedding anniversary with husband, John.  How lovely to spend your special day with 422 of your closest friends!  Barbara Simon, VP of Development, said they sold out without ever having to send an invitation.  That is the kind of extraordinary support this organization has and deserves - Bravo!

Bunny Skirboll and Barbara Simon

John and Marlene Isaacs and Joe McKenna, Orchestra President & CEO

Anne Folsom Smith

Ilene Friedman and Maria Wirries

Tana Sandefur and Betty Schoenbaum

Beathe and Gerry Elden

Scott Anderson and Veronica Brady

Larry and Ann Garberding

Matt and Margaret Callihan

Dottie and Bob Garner

Doug and Roxie Jerde

Brian Lipton and Flora Major

Dennis Stover and Phil King

Barbara Geldbart

Couture lampshade centerpiece

The dolled-up table number

Another lampshade

Yet another lampshade

One more lampshade

Lampshade with fringe on top

More lampshades

Polka dot lampshade

Feather and lace lampshade

Ribbons and boas lampshade

The final lampshade

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