Symphony Supporters Gather at the Café Americain

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Music Director Carl St.Clair, Perry Soderberg, President of the Pacific Symphony John Forsyte.
Event Chair Jim Driscoll with Gala Entertainment Chair Betty Huang.

Here’s looking at you, kid…

… and a few hundred Pacific Symphony supporters who arrived in black tie attire – either 1940s elegant or traditional Moroccan – to this year’s Pacific Symphony Gala, “Casablanca,” finding themselves transported to an exotic world of 1940s Morocco.

Chuck and Twyla Martin.

Approximately 300 guests mixed and mingled on the foyer of the Hyatt Regency Irvine Hotel, which was magically transformed into a North African paradise complete with a Moroccan-style red carpet and music wafting from a stringed qanùn (traditional Middle-Eastern instrument). Guests were then swept off to the Sahara desert by camel (a live one!) for an evening that included a vibrant cocktail reception, a sumptuous dinner and exciting live auction.

Chairing the Gala for the first time were long-time Symphony supporters Jim Driscoll, serving as event chair, and Betty Huang as entertainment chair, who helped design a vivid Moroccan fantasy that included a live monkey, snake charmer and belly dancers. Inside, the grand ballroom was transformed into the famous “gin joint,” Rick’s Café, but with a twist; “Carl’s Café Américain,” named in honor of the Symphony’s Music Director Carl St.Clair.

Funds raised from the evening will support the Pacific Symphony’s artistic and education programming.  For more information, visit

Two Belly Dancers flank Pacific Symphony supporters Sandy Segerstrom-Daniels and husband John Daniels.

Photos by Nick Koon



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