Opening Night Raises $200K for Symphony

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Symphony Music Director, Carl St.Clair, Event Underwriter Pat Podlich, Community Leader Liz Merage and Alfred Somekh. Photos by Nick Koon

You have to give Carl St.Clair, music director of the Pacific Symphony, big points for grace under pressure.

Case in point: At last week’s Opening Night for the symphony’s 33rd season, at the pre-concert dinner for major donors, St.Clair – less than an hour from a demanding performance with world-renowned violinist Sarah Chang – moved easily among the guests, shifting effotlessly from a conversation with a top-tier donor to greeting a bright-eyed teen girl, urging her enthusiastically to continue with her piano studies.

Honorees, Segerstrom Family – Steven Perry, Susie Perry, Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, and John Daniels, immediate past Symphony Board Chair.

He’s a class act, and so are the symphony he leads – which delivered a knockout opening night performance – and its board and financial supporters, who gathered for the night’s special festivities at the Westin South Coast Plaza before and after the big show.

Guests began the evening with a cocktail reception, followed by an elaborate dinner, concert, intermission reception and post-concert party. Thanks in part to presenting sponsor South Coast Plaza, the event netted approximately $200,000 for the Symphony’s artistic and educational programs. Special recognition was accorded the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation for underwriting this year’s Classical Series, as well as its history of support for the symphony.

Symphony Board Member and Event Chair John Evans, Event Chair Ruth Ann Evans, Michele Forsyte, and John Forsyte, President of the Pacific Symphony.

Among the many supporters in attendance were Pacific Symphony President John and Michele Forsyte; John and Sandy Segerstrom Daniels with Steven and Susie Perry, representing the Segerstrom Family Foundation; Tom Rogers and symphony Board Chair Sally Anderson; event underwriters Bill Gillespie, David and Suzanne Chonette, Jim and Catherine Emmi, Rondell and Joyce Hanson, Hans and Valerie Imhof, Bill and Pat Podlich, Ted and Janice Smith and John and Elizabeth Stahr; Kathryn Glassmyer of South Coast Plaza; and David and Darrellyn Melilli.

Music Director Carl St.Clair applauding Violinist Sarah Chang on stage.
Community Leaders and Event Underwriters David and Suzanne Chonette with Hope and Bruce Miller.


Symphony Board Members and Event Underwriters Rondell and Joyce Hanson with Symphony Board Members and Event Underwriters Elizabeth and John Stahr.





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