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
Couture lampshade centerpiece
The dolled-up table number
Yet another lampshade
One more lampshade
Lampshade with fringe on top
Polka dot lampshade
Feather and lace lampshade
Ribbons and boas lampshade
The final lampshade