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Glitz and Glam Gala Benefits Education

The San Francisco Symphony’s (SSF) annual Gala opened the 2013 season with a glittering splash Wednesday, September 19th.

I’m a writer, so you’d be right in guessing that mingling with the high society see-and-be-seen set isn’t my usual thing. But I made an exception for the SSF Gala, and got out the evening gown and put on my big girl shoes. Because of my passion for writing for young people, I feel supporting education in all the arts is vitally important.

The proceeds from the SSF lavish Gala benefit the symphony’s education and community programs, that provide music education to more than 75,000 Bay Area children each year, including the San Francisco Youth Orchestra. Which is why it was no surprise that world-renowned violinist, Joshua Bell, headlined the event.

OK, I admit I’m a fan of Joshua Bell’s music. He brings a certain physical energy to his performances that elevates and enriches the music beyond the actual notes. As corny as it may sound, listening to him play is a spiritual experience for me. And I’m guessing I’m not alone in there, because Davies Symphony Hall sells out every time he plays there.

Joshua Bell is a phenomenal musician, but what’s truly impressive is his passion for helping young people. For example, in 2011 Arts Horizons presented Joshua with the Paul Newman Award for Services to the Arts and Children. You can read about his other humanitarian awards here, and a recent interview here. The following is an excerpt…

Trying to reach kids is very important to me, not just so they can be the next professional musicians, though some will; it’s even more important that they just have music in their lives.

Participating in this event was a huge reminder that we all can all do something to benefit young people in our communities. Whether it’s helping out at our local library, working with the youth theater or youth orchestra (in any capacity), or supporting other local art programs. We don’t have to be famous to make a difference in young people’s lives, we just have to care.

After-Party Fun and Frivolity

The Opening Night Gala musical program was awe-inspiring, then the after-party rocked. Big time. Don’t let the symphony’s “proper” image fool you. Those folks know how to throw one heck of a par-tay! Grove Street, along side Davies Symphony Hall, was transformed into a carnival filled with street performers and kiosks over-flowing with sweet and savory treats. But that wasn’t all. A massive tent spanning half a city block behind the symphony hall, staged live bands where the crowd danced the night away.

Not that I stayed that long.

I had to get home to two diabetic cats who needed their insulin shots. But don’t feel sorry for me. As you can see in the photo taken by the VERY TALL man in the tux (juggling in the photo above), I had a terrific time!

What’s your passion for giving?

Inquiring minds want to know!