If the 200-plus guests at the April 9 Princeton Symphony Orchestra gala didn’t arrive with rhythm, they got some soon enough at the sold out event at Jasna Polana. The theme was Gershwin in Paris, and the revelers were treated to the sights and sounds of jazz-age Paris. Patrons sipped cocktails and ate canapes prior to being called to dinner by a brass fanfare by PSO musicians.
Music director Rossen Milanov welcomed everyone and conducted George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” as flappers from the American Repertory Ballet performed a jazz challenge dance choreographed by Mary Pat Robertson. More dancing was encouraged with the vintage jazz and classic swing sound of Lapis Luna.
Co-chairs Beth Beers and Nora Decker included a performance by PSO musicians at the event. “It’s a really nice marriage between what we’re raising money for and being able to experience a great performance,” Decker said. Funding from sponsors, individual donations, and the gala’s live auction significantly exceeded last year’s proceeds, making it the most successful gala ever.
A new element: The Fund-A-Need: PSO BRAVO! Challenge, to support the program that reaches 10,000 students every year, providing free performances, coaching, music instruction, and opportunities for creative engagement.