Virtuosi of Houston Annual Gala Concert & Dinner Celebrates United Kingdom
By Jennifer Roosth
Photography by Fulton Davenport
THE SCENE: 400 guests graced the 16th Annual Virtuosi of Houston Gala Concert and Dinner Gala theme Legends of the Future: Celebrating the United Kingdom honored Sarah, The Duchess of York, Clive Christian OBE (Order of the British Empire), Victoria Christian, Margaret Alkek Willams, Monzer Hourani, Crispin Ward OBE, and Andrew Derry. The black-tie crowd enjoyed both a concert from the Virtuosi of Houston Young Artists Chamber Orchestra and dinner in the Legends Ballroom of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Emcees for the evening were Dominique Sachse and Peter Remington.
THE VIBE: True to the theme of the event, the regal vibe of the evening was all about celebrating the United Kingdom. The very gracious Sarah, Duchess of York was a major hit throughout the evening posing for countless photographs. The live auction included a trip to England with two business class British Airways tickets and a four-night stay at the iconic Savoy hotel in London. The Duchess added to the package by volunteering to host a tea and arrange a tour of Buckingham Palace… the trip sold twice for $45,000. The Duchess spoke of her dedication to children and her charity, Children in Crisis where she is active in her mission to provide education and clean water to forgotten children around the world.
THE CAUSE: The evening raised over $400,000 for Virtuosi of Houston, a Premier Young Artists Chamber Orchestra. Virtuosi’s goal is the education and development of young talented musicians into true professionals, who would be sought after by the premier conservatories and who would pursue a musical career as performers, educators and advocates of classical music. The event’s honorary chairs were Margaret Alkek Williams and Monzer Hourani. The advisory chairs were Dr. Meherwan and Zarine Boyce and the event chairs were Dr. Quang and Staci Henderson with Tony and Donna Vallone. Honorees Clive Christian OBE, creator of Clive Christian No. 1, known as “the world’s most expensive perfume,” and his daughter Victoria provided gifts for the guests.