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Spring Is in the Air

Genteel garden scenes greet party-goers attending the 2019 Houston Symphony Ball: Vintage Music Garden

Photo credits: Wilson Parish and Jenny Antill

General Editor: Margaret MacMillan

Publisher: Connie Kwan-Wong

The Celebration

The elegant Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston welcomed over 450 guests dressed in black-tie attire for the 2019 Houston Symphony Ball: Vintage Music Garden. This year’s chairs were Dr. Courtney Toomey and Bill Toomey. Allison Harper chaired the silent auction and the after party cochairs were  Lexi Sakowitz and Elise Lubanko. The evening honored past Houston Symphony Society presidents John T. Cater, Robert M. Hermance, Janice H. Barrow, Rodney H. Margolis, Ed Wulfe, Jess B. Tutor, Robert B. Tudor III, Steven P. Mach, and Janet F. Clark. Phillips 66 was the presenting sponsor.


The Story

A pretty scene composed of revelers strolling about in period costumes and a magnificent flower-draped gazebo welcomed party-goers. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were enjoyed as guests bid on silent-auction items, which included a private in-home concert with Houston Symphony principal cellist Brinton Averil Smith and concertmaster Yoonshin Song. The wizardry of Richard Flowers of The Events Company transformed the ballroom into a gorgeous garden from days gone by. Sitting down to the elegant dinner prepared by Executive Chef Jean-Luc Royere, diners were delighted by centerpieces constructed of flower arrangements placed in unique vessels such as gramophones, brass bowls, and moss-covered vases. Continuing the theme, flat-screen televisions displayed floral still-life murals on suspended tapestries. To accompany the meal, the Rydman family provided perfectly paired wines from Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods. The Jordan Kahn Orchestra had attendees on their feet and dancing at the circus-themed after party, where sword swallowers and stilt walkers amazed and spicy chili caramel popcorn, salt-crusted pretzels, cinnamon churros, and mini corn dogs satisfied palates.


The Moments

Emina Kobiljar was the lucky winner of the His and Hers Rolex raffle courtesy of Tenenbaum Jewelers, which raised $41,000.

The memorable evening raised over $1.3 million for the Houston Symphony’s education and community engagement programs.


Guests: Lexi Sakowitz and Elise Lubanko, John Mangum,  Margaret Alkek Williams, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Yoonshin Song, John and Lindy Rydman, Lisa Rydman and Eric Lindsay, Steve and Joella Mach, Lorraine and Ed Wulfe, Betty and Jess Tutor, Judy and Rodney Margolis, Janice H. Barrow, Marilyn and Bob Hermance, Janet Clark, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Katie and Bob Orr, Dr. Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Robin Angly and Miles Smith, Barbara and Pat McCelvey, Rini and Edward Ziegler, Vicki West and Ralph Burch, Jana and Scotty Arnoldy, Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah, Hallie Vanderhider and Fady Armanious, Gina and Devinder Bhatia, and Kelley and Steve Lubanko.


About Houston Symphony

Founded in 1913, the Houston Symphony has played a central role in Houston’s cultural and civic life for more than 100 years and is now one of America's oldest performing arts organizations. Today, the Houston Symphony’s 87 musicians perform approximately 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Its mission is to inspire and engage a large and diverse audience in Greater Houston and beyond through exceptional orchestral and non-orchestral performances, educational programs, and community activities. 

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