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San Diego Symphony 'Sensational for Centennial'

"Yo-yo Ma's performance was brilliant. A fitting tribute for our Symphony's Centennial year!" - Tanya Brandes


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The San Diego Symphony celebrated 100 sensational years with a grand centennial gala held at the U.S. Grant Hotel December 3rd, 2010.

The night's festivities started with cocktails and hor's d'oeuvres in the Presidential Foyer with live piano music and singing, followed by dinner in the Presidential Ballroom.

Grand it was. The peacock and it's vibrant jewel tone colors was the theme, setting the mood for a royally elegant evening.

Among the black tie attired guests were Centennial Honorary Chairs Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Gala Chairs Joyce and Craig Grosvenor, and Honorary Chairs Joye Blount and Jessie Knight Jr.

Tanya and Charles Brandes generously underwrote the very special guest of the evening, cellist Yo Yo Ma.

More there included Karen and Warren Kessler, Katherine Kennedy and Robert Horsman, Patsy and David Marino, Pauline Foster, Elene and Herb Solomon, and Marsha and Bill Chandler.

Among the standouts of a fashionable note that night were David Marino in a golden paisley motif jacket, Sheryl White in a very fitting and pretty jersey gown by Gucci, Tanya Brandes in a feathered Roberto Cavalli (a great tie in to the peacock feather theme), and Joan Jacobs looking divine in an off the shoulder Oscar de la Renta.

Divine was the word of the evening as Yo Yo Ma performed with the San Diego Symphony after dinner. "The San Diego Symphony Gala evening had the most marvelous atmosphere of warmth and inclusiveness" said guest Judith Harris. "Everyone was so thrilled to be able to witness a musical performance by the gifted Yo Yo Ma. When we got to the theater it was buzzing with new and old friends all filled with brotherhood in support of our world class Symphony. Great thanks to all the Chairs and especially Tanya and Charles Brandes for this beautiful gift of culture."

The San Diego Symphony performed Beethoven's No. 1 in C. Major, Opus 21 followed by Dvorak's Concerto in B minor for Viloncello and Orchestra, Opus 104. The Symphony's Music Director Jahaja Ling presided.

It was a stellar centennial celebration as noted by many guests.

"It was wonderful to attend this historic event..and having the party at the U.S. Grant where the Symphony first performed 100 years ago was a great idea" said Sheryl White. "The Grosvenor’s did an awesome job planning all the details of the party in purple and the Symphony never sounded better!  Yo Yo Ma was AMAZING..I only wish that he could have come back for an encore.  Continued thanks to the Jacobs for making it possible for San Diego to have such an outstanding Symphony for the next 100 years!!"

"The concert was mesmerizing" said Dr. Robert Singer. "Judith and I felt privileged to be able to witness the exceptional chemistry between Jahja Ling and Yo-Yo Ma  and the level of enthusiasm and superb performance of the entire San Diego Symphony Orchestra."

Event Producer Janice Dodge of ShowTec had these details about the evening. "We at ShowTec are very proud to be aligned with such an integral organization here in San Diego that makes an impact for so many. Working with our amazing chairperson & leader, Joyce Grosvenor, along with Allison Hooper, Special Events Manager for the Symphony is a real treat -- as they truly have fun with what they do. Joyce brought a sense of grace and elegance to the styling of this year's event. We took the inspiration of the peacock feather and trimmed the grand Presidential Ballroom of the US Grant with regal tones of purple and gold. Our technical team supported the needs for lighting, audio, and video, while our floral team, led by John Bruckner, Linda Brown and Cathy Lee Maynard-Miller, produced beautiful tablescapes in lush treatments of roses, callas and hydrangeas."

The evening continued with the afterparty downstairs. "Each room offered a unique experience for all personalities, while a mix of savory and sweet delicacies were offered by the hotel. Intimate lounge settings surrounded the dance floor in the main room, to the tunes of The Derrick Boudreaux Band, while guests could explore the Poker Room, The (Chocolate) Cigar Lounge complete with upright piano and retro chanteuse, or get let their wild side out on the Rock Band Karaoke Stage" stated Janice Dodge.

"Our vision for this magnificent Centennial Gala was to capture the high standard, the beauty, eloquence & integrity with grand detail - all things our Orchestra embodies" summed up Joyce Grosvenor. "It was a true pleasure to be a part of this historic moment for San Diego."


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The 1910 automobile that coincided with the San Diego Symphony's beginnings 100 years ago....

Honorary Centennial Chairs Joan and Irwin Jacobs

Charles and Tanya Brandes, the generous underwriters for Cellist Yo Yo Ma's Performance with the San Diego Symphony

Three generations of the Grosvenor family, Rachel Grosvenor, Joyce Grosvenor and Dakota Grosvenor


Judith Harris and Dr. Robert Singer

Doug and Neva Bradley

Shoes 'fit' for a Symphony!

Irwin and Joan Jacobs greeting Symphony friends

Elegant guests

Charles Brandes with Colette Royston, Sheri Jamieson, and Tanya Brandes

Above and Below, peacock themed floral arrangements and table settings

Tom and Julie Karlo

The singer during the reception

Sheryl White ** Boris and Kim Velinov

Jane Rice with Barbara Bloom

Lael Kovtun in Badgley Mischka

Duane and Renee Roth

Roxana Velasquez and Hector Tajanor-Loyola

Table setting Details


Maryann and Irv Pfister with Dr. Robert Singer in the center

Joan Jacobs with Maryann Pfister

Sheryl White with eyecatching Gucci gown

Gordon and Annika Kovtun

Above and Below, Sheryl and Harvey White


Pauline Foster

Charles and Tanya Brandes with Ivor Royston, Sheri Jamieson, and Colette Carson Royston


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reported by Margo Schwab

photoshopped by Scott Johnston

Scott Johnston is pictured here with Charles and Tanya Brandes who underwrote Cellist Yo Yo Ma's performance with the San Diego Symphony!

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* Margo Schwab, MBA, more formally known as Margaret E. Schwab, has produced, written, interviewed and photographed for various media organizations since 1989. Schwab attended Holton Arms School, La Jolla Country Day School and La Jolla High School. Schwab has a B.A. from Scripps College, spent a business internship with S.A.I.C., Science Applications International Corporation, and earned a Masters of Business degree, M.B.A., from the University of San Diego by way of Claremont Graduate School . Schwab additionally took college courses from Harvard University, and Syracuse University. Schwab volunteers for numerous charity organizations. She also continues to support animal organizations and the prevention of people and animal abuse. Schwab is the editor of The Social Diary.

Margo Schwab and Scott Johnston of The Social Diary are pleased to announce partnerships with the Arthritis Foundation of San Diego County, Country Friends, the San Diego American Heart Association, and the San Diego Humane Society.

Margo Schwab and Scott Johnston are both members of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (Margo Schwab since 1974) and both are new members of the University Club.. Margo Schwab and Scott Johnston are also credentialed by the Chief of Police, William Lansdowne.



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