Janet Gurwitch and Ron Franklin, photo by Dave Rossman
What: The Houston Symphony Ball: Carnaval.
Where: Jones Hall, with the seats specially covered by risers to channel a Brazilian supper club (a touch provided by The Events Company).
Who: Ball chairs Jana (resplendent in a Rio-worthy headdress designed by Alexander McQueen) and Scotty Arnoldy; auction chairs Mary Ann and David McKeithan; after party chairs Valerie and Tracy Dieterich; honorees patron Sybil Roos, Spec’s Lindy and John Rydman, and charismatic Houston Symphony associate conductor Robert Franz; Houston Symphony executive director/CEO Mark Hanson and wife Christina, hitting the dance floor; board president Steve Mach, addressing the crowd from the podium, with wife Joella; Phoebe and Bobby Tudor; Julie and Russell Frankel; Gina and Devinder Bhatia, Faith and Lee Majors; Danielle and Josh Batchelor; Franci Neely; Alex and Astley Blair, she in a fabulous Carnaval ensemble; and Bulgari’s Houston store director Stephanie von Stein and North American president Daniel Paltridge, in from New York, sponsors of the auctioned luxury trip to Rome, won by Helen and Jim Shaffer.
PC Moment: About 600 guests flocked to a colorful, lavish Brazilian-themed night. The raucous benefit raised nearly $1.5 million toward the Symphony’s education and community programming. Samba dancers in vibrant get-ups greeted arriving guests, who then perused the silent auction while noshing hors d’oeuvres, cocktails in hand. Principal trumpet Mark Hughes, with section-mates Robert Walp and Caroline Schafer, accompanied the presentation of honorees, followed by a performance from Brazilian bossa nova artist and Grammy nominee Bebel Gilberto. David Caceres and Hace Calor took over duties for a truly inspired Carnaval musical arrangement before DJ Kalkutta kept it going into the wee hours.