BSO stages an anniversary gala that won't be forgotten soon

September 15, 1996|By Sylvia Badger

Lively tango beats, All-American swing melodies and classical crescendos highlighted the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 14th Anniversary Gala concert. And what better time for the BSO to strut its stuff than in front of an audience filled with Maryland's movers and shakers!

Approximately 1,000 guests filled the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for the gala. While they enjoyed cocktails in the lobby after the concert, an incredible transformation of the auditorium took place. Mountain Production of Wilkes Barre, Pa., best known for designing and building stages for rock stars Madonna, Michael Jackson and Gloria Estefan, quickly erected a tiered platform that extended over the entire orchestra level. Tables were set, and guests returned to an elegantly transformed concert hall to dine on a sumptuous gourmet meal prepared by Ridgewell's.

I chatted with the chairs of this year's gala, Jody and Martin Grass -- he's chairman and CEO of Rite Aid Corp. According to Jody, who wore a stunning black and grayish-white evening gown, the gala was sold out almost a month in advance, thanks to the efforts of volunteers like Jay Wilson of Mercantile Bank. Georgia and Peter Angelos, primary owners of the Baltimore Orioles, were the gala's only sponsors. It's too soon to know, but Heidi Minken from Createvents, who had the tough job of coordinating the BSO event, felt this gala could be one of the most successful ever held.

Faces in the crowd included Sandy and Bob Hillman, former gala chairs -- he's an attorney and she's with Trahan, Burden and Charles; the BSO's executive director John Gidwitz and his wife, Pat; Ravens owners Pat and Art Modell, who were there with Millie and Pat Deering, also former gala chairs; Arnold Lehman, Baltimore Museum of Art director, and his wife, Pam; Judith Martin, who's chairing the Chimes' fund-raiser this year, on the arm of attorney Saul Jablon; and Joe and Karen DeFrancis, the brother-sister team who own Pimlico and Laurel racetracks

FYI: The sixth annual Baltimore Symphony Associates Wine Sale began last Sunday and continues through Oct. 31. This year's selections are a 1995 Chardonnay Bourgogne, a 1993 Clos de la Vieille Eglise Bordeaux and a 1993 Arthus. Each bottle has a Baltimore Symphony wine label and is sold by the full or mixed case. Cases of the Chardonnay and Bordeaux are each $130, and the six-bottle case of Arthus is $120. Wines will be delivered in early November. If interested, call the BSO box office, (410) 783-8000.

Care for babies

Something new and something blue wants to come to Baltimore. The Boarder Baby Project's Little Blue House, a successful private social program in Washington, has plans to open its doors in Baltimore to give temporary care for abandoned, abused and neglected babies.

At this time, the Little Blue House has placed more than 75 infants into adoptive or long-term foster families. Co-founders Patty Gartenhaus and her sister-in-law, Lynne Gartenhaus, had a party at the Colonnade for health-care, community and corporate leaders. Richard Belzer, star of the "Homicide" television series, which is filmed in Baltimore, was the guest of honor at the reception.

Oriole quilt

Baltimore's Eric Riedlbauer was the lucky winner of an Oriole quilt that was raffled off this summer. Thanks to the efforts of Susan Johnson, wife of O's manager Davey Johnson, and Jean Reed, wife of O's trainer Jamie Reed, who got players' families to contribute autographed quilt patches, the raffle raised more than $44,000 for Parents Anonymous. I'm told area hair salons sold more than $24,000 in raffle tickets. Image Is Salon in Cockeysville, owned by Bob Simon and Paul Levine, was the top-selling salon. The top-selling stylist was Monica High, who works for Gallery Hair Design in Towson, which is owned by Tammy Levine and Loretta Simon.

Gift to Kernan

Joseph Schwartz, a local developer, and his wife, Corinne, donated $1 million to Kernan Hospital, which he became acquainted with during his rehabilitation there from a stroke several years ago. In recognition of this wonderful gift, a new unit at Kernan has been named the Joseph and Corinne Schwartz Stroke and Brain Injury Center.

A degree in hilarity

Congratulations to 17-year-old Bryan Fulton, who graduated twice in one year: first from Patapsco High School in June, and, last Sunday, from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College with a degree in "higher hilarity."

After graduation, his entire class boarded buses to travel to Tyson's Corner, Va., for a stint at the International Children's Festival, scheduled for this weekend. What a great debut for Bryan!

Tie one on

Approximately 80 well-known celebrities have been stripped of neckties by Gage World Class Mens Store, which managed to gather these autographed ties and frame them for an auction in progress at their stores.

Stop by and bid on these collector's items from Eddie Murray, Clint Eastwood, Roberto Alomar, Arnold Palmer, Cal Ripken Jr., Grant Hill, Johnny Unitas, Bob Dole, etc. The goal is to raise money for Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity in Baltimore. The ties will go to the highest bidder when the auction ends Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. at the Owings Mills store.

Oops . . .

It looks as if gremlins were at work during the production of last week's party page. The Sun would like to apologize for identifying the woman photographed with Art Modell as Pat Modell. That was really Caroline Croft. And somehow the Modell sons, John and David, were identified in reverse order in an accompanying photograph. Again, we apologize for the errors. We hope to run into the Modells in more of our party visits and give readers an opportunity to see them again soon.

Pub Date: 9/15/96

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