The 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball, Philadelphia’s annual white-tie gala, celebrated the Academy of Music’s 157th birthday on Saturday, January 25th.
Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra along with host stars the Bacon Brothers and special guest artist Jill Scott entertained attendees during the concert. Nézet-Séguin told the audience that he had been a long-time fan of Scott’s and when he found himself in his dream job of conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, he just had to perform with the home-town girl. He called it a dream come true.
The night began with an open house reception before the anniversary concert at the Academy of Music where guests dined on delights by chef Jose Garces. During the concert portion, newly installed Adele Schaeffer, chair of the board of trustees of the Academy of Music, told the audience that the evening’s funds would be used to restore the building’s HVAC system, which dates back to 1966. After the concert, guests made the annual trek up Broad Street to the Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel. The ball included dinner and dancing to the music of six bands, including The Eddie Bruce Band, in the Grand Ballroom.
HughE Dillon covers parties, events and more for Philadelphia magazine’s The Scene. You can follow him on Twitter at @iPhillyChitChat and visit his daily online social diary PhillyChitChat.com.
2014 Academy Ball
From left: Tony Frick, Alyssa Ingram of Fox29, Kate Frick, Andrew Cabrey, Rosemary Connors of NBC10 and Ben Cross.
From left: Sara Smillie, Brian Lipstein, co-chair of the Young Friends of the Academy Music (the other co-chair was Christie Honigman – who was unable to attend at the last minute), and Taylor Kent.
From left: Leslie Miller, Trish Wellenbach, CEO at Green Tree School and Sevices, Larry McMichael and Sarah Coulson, invitations co-chairs.
Co-Chairs Eliana Papadakis and Joseph H. Jacovini greet guests as they enter the Academy of Music for the pre-concert cocktail party.
Lesley Coulson, wearing Angel Sanchez, with her husband, Frank Coulson.
From left: Curt Bosson, Amit Rihal, Suni Silvan, David Debnan Jenkins and Chris Myers.
Barbara Gilbert and RC Gilbert.
Jonathon and Alexandra Morgan.
Michelle Schultz , director of legislative affairs at SEPTA, and James Schultz, Pennsylvania General Counsel.
From left: Julian Wright, Olivia Nutter, First Lady of Philadelphia Lisa Nutter and Mayor Michael Nutter. Mrs. Nutter is wearing a custom gown made by Aso Damisi (from the first class of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City).
From left: Garrett Snider, Lindy Snider, Dr. Larry Kaiser, Nina Westberg and George Wood. Earlier this week, Garrett hosted a cocktail reception to benefit Mission Kids at his family’s home in Bryn Mawr.
Jonathan Cohn and Maria Hui.
Francis and Diana Boghicev.
John Paz and Rachel Moore, wearing a gorgeous Oscar de la Renta gown.
Anne Callahan and Charles Croce, executive director of the Philadelphia History Museum. Anne is wearing Jay Mandel with jewelry she bought at Bella Turka. Earlier this month she brought her gown to the store which created a custom sapphire necklace and earring set for the big night.
Bill Green, Philadelphia city councilman at-large, with his wife Margie. He’s excited to start in his new position leading the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.
From left: Michael R. Norton, Rachel Luber-Cevera, Jason Cevera, Cosmo Strauss, Teresa Nino and Kerry O’Brien.
Kate Slattery Parghi and Doc Parghi. Kate is wearing the most popular dress color of the night.
Katie English and Ryan Gagnon.
From left: Samuel M. V. Hamilton III, Suzette Strayer, Samantha Ohren and Crawford Hamilton.
Musician Michael Bacon and musician/actor Kevin Bacon co-hosted the Anniversary Concert. The brothers, who grew up in Philadelphia, shared stories about their parents, Ed and Ruth Bacon, who enjoyed attending the event when they were alive.
Jill Scott sang a medley of songs including "Summertime" and "Home," as well as her own hits “He Loves Me” and “Call” with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra with Robert Glasper on the piano. Scott told the audience that it was an honor to perform at the Academy of Music because she’s a Philly girl educated at Girls High and Temple University.
Anne and Matthew Hamilton make their way up Broad Street to the Bellevue at the Hyatt, where the annual Anniversary Ball is held. The traditional walk was hampered Saturday evening after a snow squall blanketed the area with an inch of snow.
Charles Lachman and Nancy Glass.
Dana Spain and Tommy Ciccione, who were later spotted dancing tableside to the Bacon Brothers.
Sisters Nicole Longo and Gina Longo in their beautiful gowns. Behind them looking dapper is Merrill Lynch’s Steve Sadler.
From left: Julie Dorenbos, Mare McKeever and Susie Celek make their way up Broad Street.
Congressman Chaka Fattah and NBC10's Renee Chenault Fattah in the Grand Ballroom at the Bellevue.
From left: Dave Maser and Alison Young with Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley.
From left: Osagie Imasogie and Lozenge Imasogie.
Evan and Lynsie Solomon of the Young Friends Committee. Lynsie is wearing a custom designed Irina Sigal, who has a store in Rittenhouse Square.
Jill Scott and Kristyn Aldrich of the Young Friends Committee. When Ms. Scott arrived at her table, the surrounding tables gave her a round of applause.
From left: Michael Lahoud of the Philadelphia Union, Maria Papadakis of the Young Friends Committee and Ashley Vanett.
From left: Renee Amore, Eliana Papadakis and Denis O’Brien, senior executive vice president of Exelon Corporation.
The Bacon Brothers performed several of their songs during the gala dinner in the Grand Ballroom. Afterward, the dance floor was open and guests enjoyed The Eddie Bruce Band as well as all the entertainment that filled the historic hotel. It was a beautiful night with glamorous people enjoying delicious food, dancing and each other — all for a worthy cause that is uniquely Philadelphia.