AROUND TOWN: Philharmonic's 90th anniversary celebration with Yo-Yo Ma sparkles

March 19, 2017 Updated: March 19, 2017 at 4:20 am
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When a special big 90th comes around, it's time to celebrate.

For the 90th season of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, it was time to celebrate not just once but for multiple days.

One of the major events was the Philharmonic's first formal gala on Feb. 23, a glittering evening with an all-star cast of 455 patrons at The Broadmoor International Center.

The Philharmonic's president/CEO, Nathan Newbrough, said in the program notes, "We, who so treasure the Philharmonic, have a unique opportunity this evening to look back with appreciation and honor the generations of musicians and benevolent patrons who came before us. It is our privilege to protect and support that great music for future generations."

Everything about the evening sparkled, including music performed by the entire orchestra that was just right for dancing. It led up to the following night when those musicians would again take the stage, this time with amazing cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a long-sold-out concert.

The creative minds behind the gala were the three co-chairs, Mari Sinton-Martinez, Vicki Dimond and Margaret Sabin.

"What ties everyone together is a love of the arts," said Sabin. "Music is truly good for our souls."

Honorary chairs were longtime supporters Margot Lane and John Francis.

Guests shared stories about earlier generations of their families who had been part of the symphony as musicians or supporters. For Pam and Steve Marsh and Darryl and Terry Thatcher, the loving memory was of grandmother Ilma Walbrach Thatcher, who was first chair violinist when this professional orchestra started in 1927.

El Pomar Foundation was honored for support that goes back to "soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor." That $1,000 El Pomar contribution, teamed with the support of Julie Penrose, was a catalyst for things to come in the local arts.

Committee members for the anniversary gala were Pam Burnelis, Pat Cone, Stephanie Edwards, Kristen Hillstrom, Becky Hurley, Ruben Manuel, CJ Moore, Dr. Theolyn Price, Betsy Sobral, board chair Bob Allen Street and his wife, Pamela.

Kevin Patterson served as the live-auction auctioneer and new mother Dianne Derby was mistress of ceremonies.

More than $300,000 was raised that evening, and Newbrough was enthusiastic that it would help with their vision, a 21st-century symphony orchestra "introducing great music to the next generation of listeners."

More photos: gazette.com/life/around-town

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