The Party: This year, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO)’s annual fundraising gala looked back on the lasting contributions of iconic composers Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. The gala and concert, titled “Tonight, Tonight: Gershwin and Bernstein Take New York,” was a celebration of music and culture that supported the CSO in its mission to deliver a high caliber of classical music and music appreciation to the Lowcountry. The ballroom was decked out in projections of New York’s cityscape, with small bites themed around some of New York’s most vibrant neighborhoods that inspired much of the composers’ work, including Mazle Street, The Village, Chinatown, and Little Italy. The evening began with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by a lively concert in the Gaillard’s performance hall. Principal violinist and pops conductor Yuriy Bekker lead the orchestra in pieces by both composers, and College of Charleston professor Paul Sanchez dazzled with his piano solo in “Rhapsody in Blue.” Following the performance, the event continued in the ballroom, where guests mingled and participated in a live auction.
Highlight: CSO music director Ken Lam’s guest conducting of the first song, the overture to Bernstein’s Candide, before handing the concert over to Bekker.
Overheard: A spirited “Mambo!” in unison as the audience joined in during a selection from West Side Story.
Beneficiary: Charleston Symphony Orchestra League