It is arguably one of the most special spots in all of Orange County. The Noguchi Garden at Pacific Arts Plaza, Costa Mesa, welcomed a distinguished crowd for a luncheon last week celebrating the union of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and New York City's renowned Carnegie Hall. The champagne luncheon, served al fresco under the shade of cream-colored market umbrellas, attracted a who's who crowd of the cultural elite.

Exuberant adjectives defining this remarkable partnership are in no way an exaggeration of the monumental accomplishment achieved in the cultural collaboration between the East and West coasts. Carnegie Hall has never in its long and storied history joined forces with a West Coast cultural center, such as the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. These relationships are the result of the efforts of Henry T. Segerstrom, managing partner of South Coast Plaza, working with Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall.

The program for the 2010-11 cultural festival is called "JapanOC" and will feature a series of artists representing a wide variety of the cultural diversity of Japan ranging from classical music to modern dance to contemporary orchestral composition. Guest performers will include violinist Midori, guitarist Kazumi Watanabe, composer and musician Kojiro Umezaki, among others. The festival will debut in October and run through April 2011.

For information, call the Philharmonic Society at (949) 553-2422 or visit www.philharmonicsociety.org.

The Stars of Santa Barbara will return to the June 9 benefit at South Coast Plaza benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. This second annual event is expected to attract the stars of the vineyards, not of the movie screen. Organizers create a wonderful summer food and wine event held under the stars in the Garden Terrace.

More than 40 of Santa Barbara's finest wineries will be front and center, pouring glasses of their wines and offering one-of-a-kind silent auction items.

The evening will be completed by fine food provided by AnQi by Crustacean, Marché Moderne, Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's, Pizzeria Ortica, Pinot Provence, Morton's The Steakhouse, Antonello Ristorante, Hamamori Restaurant-Sushi Bar, Quattro Caffé, Signature Kitchen and others.

Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 at the door. Every dollar raised will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Last year more than $50,000 was raised, and organizers are hoping to exceed that this year. To purchase a ticket, call (310) 451-7600 or visit www.learnaboutwine.com.

Ocean conservationists are hard at work planning the SeaChange summer party set for Sept. 10 at the Laguna Beach estate known as "Villa Di Sogni." Actor Pierce Brosnan and his wife, Keely Sheye Brosnan, will once again front the list of celebrities supporting the environmental ocean conservation supported by the organization Oceana. The lavish party is expected to attract some 1,000 guests enjoying an al fresco dinner on grounds overlooking the Pacific Ocean, followed by dancing under the stars.

For the third consecutive year, homeowners Bruce and Karen Cahill will host the party supported by underwriters that include Harriett and Sandy Sandhu, Eve Kornyei, Allison and Lang Cottrell, and Donny Crevier, along with a host of corporate sponsors and donors. Tickets to SeaChange are $2,500 per person with table packages starting at $10,000. Call (949) 720-0132 or write seachange.oceania@gmail.com.

The Orange County Performing Arts Center announced this week that Ambassador George Argyros and his lovely wife, Julia, will serve as honorary chairs for the center's 2010 Candlelight Concert. The Argyros family will work with the super-dynamic co-chairwomen of the evening, Liz Merage and Eve Kornyei, to create the party of the season, which raises more than $1 million each year for the center. The gala team is promising to redefine and recreate the glamour and the elegance of the evening, bringing it to new heights.

And speaking of the Argyros imprint on Orange County, Chapman University's Argyros School of Business and Economics on June 11 plans to announce the finalist who will be offered a full $57,500 scholarship toward a master's in business administration. Students seeking the award were asked to provide academic qualifications and write an essay on how they would use their Chapman MBA to improve the Orange County business community. One fortunate individual will be selected on June 11.