Arts / Society

Famed Musician Plays Jones Hall for Revered Concert Venue’s 50th

Sweet Music & $1.1 Million Raised

BY // 10.24.16
photography MichelleWatson/CatchlightGroup.com

The celestial sounds of Itzhak Perlman on his Stradivarius, along with the Houston Symphony, provided the breathtaking music Saturday night that launched the 50th anniversary celebration of Jones Hall. It was a glorious evening, raising $1.1 million, which will go toward a renewal of the revered, if aging, concert hall.

The night was a throwback to 1966 when Houston Endowment bequeathed Jones Hall to the City of Houston. “A Mad Mid-Century Celebration,” as it was dubbed, inspired mid-century dressing for many of the 350 guests who attended the black tie dinner that followed the concert. Chairs Alie and David Pruner and Jim Postl did their part, the gents donning white dinner jackets and Alie sporting a mid-century flip and shirtwaist party frock.

Winning the fashion award for the night were Joanne King Herring and Judy Margolis, both of whom wore the same dress they wore to the Jones Hall opening night gala a half century ago. No alterations required!

Following the concert and numerous standing ovations, dinner guests paraded in their finery across Louisiana Street to a lavish party tent erected in Jones Plaza. It was a miracle transformation by Bergner & Johnson with the otherwise rather cold setting transformed into a verdant “Palm Court” for the reception and a gilded ballroom (think dazzling crystal chandeliers, brocade-covered walls) for dinner and dancing. In keeping with the theme, the chairs brought in Lester Lanin‘s orchestra from New York while the City Kitchen menu reflected the era with its delish steak and stuffed baked potato dinner.

The evening honored the Jesse Jones family for it was the late businessman’s vision to build the concert hall and there were numerous family members present. The evening also gave a nod to the arts groups that have called Jones Hall home including the symphony, led on this night by music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada; Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera; and Society for the Performing Arts.

The party crowd included Estela and David Cockrell, Christina and Mark Hanson, Caroline and Perryn Leech, Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones, Kim and David Sterling, June Christensen, Melanie Gray, Janiece Longoria and Steve Lasher, Lynn Wyatt, Kathy and John Orton, Dina Al-Sowayel and Tony Chase, Joella and Steve Mach, Ann and Karl Stern, Jane and Dean Gladden, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor.




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