High Altitude Society column: Bravo! Vail celebrates 30 years | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society column: Bravo! Vail celebrates 30 years

Carolyn Pope
High Altitude Society

Shakespeare said, "If music be the food of love, play on."

Recently, the staff, board and volunteers of Bravo! Vail celebrated their 30th gala and, appropriately, there was no shortage of music, nor food, nor love.

Deirdre Baker and Lisa Schanzer recognized all of those who chaired the event over the past 30 years, from Marge Burdick to recent chairs, including Michele and Jeffrey Resnick, Carole and Peter Segal and Steven and Susan Suggs. Many of the past leaders were present at the event.

"We were all trying to do something a little different this year and to focus on the music," said co-chair Deirdre Baker. "The energy changed, and it all came together."

New Format

Bravo! Vail mixed it up for the gala this year, tossing out the old format and replacing it with a creative new timeline, which kept guests attentive and staying late.

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After perusing the auction, noshing on passed appetizers and clicking fun pictures in the photo booth, the guests entered the beautifully decorated ballroom. After the salad course, the amazing mezzo-soprano Patricia Racette and pianist Craig Terry wowed the audience with her show "Diva on Detour," which featured renditions of some classics.

After dinner was complete, the generosity of those present raised substantial funds for the festival and their educational programs. The auction packages, as usual, were outstanding and included items including VIP tickets to the 40th Kennedy Center Awards; an exclusive Sonoma Wine Weekend at Brand Vineyards, courtesy of Deb and Ed Fitts; a New York City soiree at the Woolworth tower with Anne-Marie McDermott and members of the New York Philharmonic; and, of course, the final and incomparable item, the opportunity to conduct the New York Philharmonic. This year, Kay Chester took the stage to conduct the Wiliam Tell Overture.

The evening finished off with Denver diva Hazel Miller and her band rousing all of those with enough energy to kick up their heels to her diverse repertoire.

Bravo! Vail Music Festival concludes the first week of August. Several performances are still available for purchase. Visit http://www.bravovail.org to purchase tickets and find out more about their organization.