ABS Gala “Sparkle”: A Night to Remember

The 27th consecutive season of American Bach Soloists is off to a great start! “Sparkle,” the ensemble’s annual gala, kicked off the new season with a glamorous affair that more than lived up to its name.

"Sparkle" silent Auction. Photo: Gas Lamp Productions

“Sparkle” silent Auction.
Photo: Gas Lamp Productions

We could not have asked for a better evening for this fabulous event. The clear blue skies yielded gorgeous views of the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and a lovely sunset. At the end of the evening, a luminous full moon lit up the night sky. The James Leary Flood Mansion proved an ideal setting for this festive gathering of music lovers, elegantly attired in their finery, to celebrate ABS and raise funds to support the ensemble’s programming and educational outreach initiatives. The generosity of the guests was nothing short of tremendous and it was an inspiration to see so many support the future of musical performances of the highest quality right here in the Bay Area.

Jeffrey Thomas leads a Bach & Handel program at the gala. Photo: Gas Lamp Productions

Jeffrey Thomas leads the Bach & Handel program.
Photo: Gas Lamp Productions

The silent auction was held in one of the Flood Mansion’s observatory rooms, so all had the chance to chat with fellow ABS supporters, bid on items, and take in the views while sipping their Bellinis, Kir Royales, and glasses of sparkling wine. Guests with the winning bids took home works of art, concert tickets, bottles of wine, and fun adventures. After the auction, Jeffrey Thomas led a program of arias by Bach and Handel in the Mansion’s chapel with mezzo-soprano Agnes Vojtko singing excerpts from Handel’s Hercules, Serse, and Ariodante, Bach’s “Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” from Cantata 170, and “Et exultavit” from Magnificat in D Major. The ensemble of Elizabeth Blumenstock, Noah Strick (violins), Katherine Kyme (viola), William Skeen (violoncello), Steven Lehning (violone), Corey Jamason (harpsichord), and Jeffrey Thomas (conductor), also performed a Suite in D Major which was adapted in the manner of a French Overture from Bach’s Partita in D Major and dances taken from the Orchestral Suites.

The room is set for dinner Photo: Gas Lamp Productions

The room is set for dinner
Photo: Gas Lamp Productions

During dinner, the live auction found guests winning trips to Paris, New York, and Machu Picchu, as well as a private concert to be held in the chapel at Grace Cathedral. One lucky guest will even be conducting the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah during rehearsals for ABS’s performances of the entire work at Grace Cathedral in December. It was quite a night!

If you were not able to join us for “Sparkle,” but would like to make a contribution to ABS, you may do so at anytime through our website or by calling the ABS office at (415) 621-7900. Thank you for supporting American Bach Soloists!

Highlights from the 2015 ABS gala: