It was an elegant silver and ice blue evening, a music lover's delight, as the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Guild celebrated with a formal Winter Dinner.
The sold-out crowd of 150 showered the Philharmonic with praise as guild members and guests were treated to a plated dinner and a private performance of Vivaldi conducted by concertmaster Michael Hanson at the beautifully decorated Garden of the Gods Club.
The Dec. 6 Winter Dinner glowed with silver, snowy white and blue table arrangements by Rich Designs Home, and Philharmonic supporters Rich Schell and Greg Wragge were there to enjoy the evening.
Wild action pitted competitors across the dining room against each other with a multitude of $25 bids for a $500 bottle of wine. The final $25 bid got the wine, and Chris McGarry and Philharmonic Music Director Josep Caballé-Domenech took to sneaking their bidder numbers into the air. She won. The Maestro had also been part of the live auction action run by Kevin Patterson, offering to put on a chef's hat for a Spanish paella dinner for eight at the home of patron Herman Tiemens. Bids kept jumping, topping out at $4,500 as Caballé-Domenech added promised gourmet ingredients to the paella pan.
Delighted event co-chairs Hope Mena and Janis Cross were congratulated for the Winter Dinner, which raised $34,000 for the Philharmonic and charted what they described as a "new course for the Guild." Their committee members were Stacey Kasten, Marie Newbrough, DJ Smyth, Nancy Price-Weddle, Robin Hamilton and Roslyn Block.
Describing the guild, President Lars Gronhagen was quoted, "We are women and men, we are working and retired, we are music lovers!" The Winter Dinner was, he said, a new approach to the group's holiday event, even adding silent auction bids by smart phone app.
The guild's mission is supporting the Philharmonic and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony's Young Artist Solo Competition scholarship program.
Its history dates to the 1950s as the Colorado Springs Symphony Guild. Times changed, and the symphony fell into bankruptcy in 2003, after which the guild supported multiple symphonic music activities. With the notable success of today's Philharmonic, this has evolved into a Philharmonic Guild (guild.csphilharmonic.org)