The Houston Symphony Gala Celebrates With Carnaval Theme

By Jennifer Roosth
Photography by Priscilla Dickson, Anthony Rathbun and Dave Rossman

THE SCENE: Imagine this: sultry Samba dancers, dressed in vibrant costumes and headdresses, greeted 600 guests on the red carpet into Jones Hall for the 2016 Houston Symphony Ball themed Carnaval. Upon arrival, guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while perusing the silent auction items, including a trip to Rome to learn about Bulgari jewels, thanks to auction chairs Mary Ann and David McKeithan.

Soon after, event chairs Jana and Scott Arnoldy ushered guests to their tables in the auditorium of Jones Hall ‘Samba Line’ style. Arnoldy later underwent a wardrobe change from a red Alexander McQueen gown paired with Bulgari jewels and a feathered headdress to a second fun dress by Jovani.

THE VIBE: This year’s event will go down in history as one of Houston’s most colorful! The décor, created by Richard Flowers of The Events Company, transformed the auditorium of Jones Hall into Houston’s own Carnaval, with exotic floral centerpieces and colorful table cloths. The week-long build-out, which converted the auditorium into a spectacular five-tiered ball room, was executed by Staging Solutions in conjunction with the Symphony’s operations and production team. The headline entertainer was Bebel Gilberto.

After Jackson and Company catered the Brazilian-style dinner, an additional one hundred guests poured into the ballroom for the ball’s after party chaired by Valerie and Tracy Dieterich that featured New York’s DJ Kalkutta. Upon exciting the grandly colorful affair, guests received gift bags courtesy of Bulgari featuring its new fragrance, Te Bleu.

THE CAUSE: The ball raised almost $1.5 million for the Symphony’s Education and Community Programming. The evening honored Sybil Roos, Lindy and John Rydman, Spec’s Charitable Foundation, and Robert Franz, with awards presented by Houston Symphony Executive Director/CEO Mark C. Hanson and Houston Symphony Society Board President Steven P. Mach.

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