The Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala launched the DSO’s 2011-12 season living up to its theme name, “All the Raj,” with Moroccan dancers and drummers, a world-class concert, over-the-top décor, stylish glamour, and superstar after-party.
Guests were welcomed by an energetic performance of belly dancers and drummers outside the Meyerson Symphony Center before entering a lavish cocktail reception complemented by the Young Strings Cello Ensemble. Todd Fiscus of Todd Events, well-known for organizing the celebrity wedding of Candice Crawford and Tony Romo, paired well with Gala Co-Chair Barbara Daseke of Barbara Elliott Interiors. Bright, vibrant colors, palm trees, ornamented tents, and suzani lighting effects transported guests to the exotic reaches of India and Morocco.
Following an amazing dinner by Culinaire Executive Chef Tim Semenuk, the concert began with welcoming remarks and words of thanks by Honorary Co-Chairs, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe and Julie Straus, Gala Co-Chairs Don and Barbara Daseke, AT&T Regional Vice President Holly Reed, and Chairman-Elect of the DSO Board of Governors Blaine Nelson.
The highlight of the evening was the concert, confirmed by Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News who wrote, “Start to finish, this was white-hot music making, as passionate as it was lovingly detailed.” Famed violinist Joshua Bell who gained further worldwide acclaim for his featured performance on the Red Violin movie soundtrack and as one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful,” romanced the audience with the heavenly sounds of his legendary Stradivarius violin. DSO’s new Chorus Director Joshua Habermann and the 200-member chorus made an impressive first outing. The excellence of the entire concert was led by DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden.
Local fashion designer Prashi Shah created a gorgeous custom-made gown and jeweled headdress for Honorary After-Party Chair Anna-Sophia van Zweden and also dressed Barbara Daseke in a beautifully embellished Indian-inspired long gala skirt. The band, 440 Alliance, entertained the lounge area, while DJ Lucy Wrubel controlled the dance floor with bouncy energy on top of trampoline (literally).
It was definitely the see-and-be-seen “hot ticket” party of the year amongst the 1,200 concert-goers. To list the “who’s who” is virtually impossible but just a few names include young socialites Ana Pettus and Jessica Olsson, the lovely FOX 4 television personalities Fiona Gorostiza, Lauren Przybyl and Natalie Solis with behind-the-scenes star (aka producer) Melinda Thomas, Courtney Kerr of Bravo’s Most Eligible, Dallas with BFF Cynthia Smoot, Paul Salfen and the gorgeous Kelly Dillard, man-about-town Jose Reyes, the Schlegel family sans Kirby and Kimberly, and DFW Style Daily’s modelesque Lisa Petty wearing local designer Revina Outar Couture with hubbie Jeremy. Of course, most of the major philanthropists of Dallas attended and were well-appreciated for their support and generosity throughout the years.