Atmosphere is jovial at MSO Guild's annual ball

November 30, 1999|By TARA REILLY

Elizabeth Schulze described it in a nutshell ? the Maryland Symphony Orchestra Guild's annual ball was a "combination of music, good food and prizes."

"You can't go wrong with that," said Schulze, director of the MSO.

The atmosphere was just as jovial throughout the Silver Sonata Ball at Fountain Head Country Club.

"Oh, this is our event of the year, and it's so exciting because it's the (25th) anniversary ball," said Barbara Henderson, president of the guild.

The guild holds the annual event to benefit the orchestra, which also is celebrating its 25th year.

About 300 people were expected to attend the event. Tickets for the event cost $125 per person.

Shortly after the black-tie affair began, those in attendance shared conversations in the dimly lit ballroom amid cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and music by The Howard Burns Trio.

Others took their conversations just outside the ballroom and glanced at items being auctioned.


Marjorie Hobbs, ball and auction chair, said the event raised $65,000 last year, and the guild hoped to beat that this year.

Hobbs said the orchestra can use the money however it prefers.

"They use it for educational purposes," Hobbs said. "They use it for the run-of-the-mill. They use it to keep the operations going."

The ball included live and silent auctions. The live auction featured a diamond necklace by designer Judith Ripka; a "triple concerto" dinner for eight hosted by MSO Executive Director Andrew Kipe and chef Norman Morse, with Schulze as special guest ; a framed painting by artist R. Benjamin Jones; and an Alaskan cruise.

In addition to the financial benefit, Schulze said the ball allows orchestra patrons to meet each other.

"I think it brings people closer," Schulze said.

Henderson said the orchestra improves the quality of lives for residents through music. The music also is used for educational purposes for students.

"All the students in Washington County get to hear a symphony performance in fourth grade," Henderson said.

Maureen Sasse, co-chair of the ball, said many people work hard every year to make the ball a success. She described the event as "a fabulous evening raising money for a fabulous cause."

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