Oh, what a night! It began with BSO maestro David Zinman cooking up a concert for BSO gala guests. It was a winning recipe with just the right amount of Brahms, Ravel, et al., peppered with humorous commercials like Zinman singing a tapioca pudding song.
His performance brought smiles to the faces of gala co-chairs, George and Carol McGowan and classical music lovers Millie and Pat Deering, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Marcellus and Linda Alexander, Wealtha and Jim Flick, Ann and Ed Crook, Susan and David Brune, Phyllis and Don Brotman, Margaret Armstrong, and Buddy Zamoiski, BSO president. As entertaining as Zinman was, though, I'm sure most would agree that it's best he pursued the conducting end of the music business.
After the concert, guests were ushered into the lobby for cocktails and a firsthand look at the millinery talents of several dozen Baltimore women. In keeping with the "Hats off to the BSO" theme, Carol McGowan and Marilyn Poindexter, each of whom created a snazzy hat for the occasion, invited the women to create hats that were professionally modeled during cocktail hour. Believe me, the hats spurred plenty of cocktail chatter.
Cocktail hour was also prime for spotting who was who at the party -- I noticed well-known attorney Roger Redden and his wife, Gretchen, chatting with Anne Arundel County executive (and wannabe GOP governor) Bob Neall; Dave and Karen Wolf, CFS Health Group; Tom and Nancy Steuhler, who say their catering business in the Belvedere Hotel ballroom is going well; Bill and Mike Flynn, O'Conor, Piper & Flynn; Jim and Jennifer Vitale, Jason Pharmaceutical; and Suzanne and George Wills, who introduced their son, Brad, as the newest member of Wills & Associates.
Also there: Chip and Rand Mason -- he's Legg Mason's CEO; Bartie and Charlie Cole, First National Bank CEO; Lt. Gov. Mickey Steinberg and his wife, Anita; Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley and her husband, Bill; Chris and Skip Brown, Belt's Wharf; Port Authority's Michael Angelos; H&S; Bakery czar John Paterakis with his children and their spouses, Emily, Annette and Steve, Debbie and Bill; and Sherri Thompson, Maryland National Bank, with a weary Hal Donofrio, Richardson, Myers & Donofrio executive, who'd managed to take in the Governor's Crab Feast in Hagerstown before the BSO Gala.
Heard it through the grapevine:
Yep, according to my sources, that certainly could have been President Bill Clinton you saw playing golf at Caves Valley this weekend. No word yet on who was swinging the golf clubs with him . . .
Rick Schaeffer, agent for former New York Jets star Dennis Byrd, is also the husband of Josie Schaeffer, who works for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Maryland Chapter. Schaeffer was with Byrd recently when he appeared on the "Larry King Live" show and when WMAR-TV's Scott Garceau talked to Byrd about his amazing recovery from a spinal injury. I hear Rick played a role in drafting Baltimore's initial bid for an NFL expansion franchise . . .
For the first time in many decades, a Baltimore radio station will have its own house orchestra. WLG-AM 1360 co-managers Jim Ward and Paul Kopelke tell me they have lured George Hipp and his 14-piece big-band orchestra into an arrangement with them.
Now the band will be called the "Legends 1360 Orchestra under George Hipp's direction," and everyone's invited to a WLG big-band dance/open house. Remember the big-band dances Ken Jackson, now with WLG, used to arrange several times a year? Well, this is another Jackson production, which will be held in the ballroom of the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel. If you're in the mood for a big-band party, call (410) 576-8860 for tickets, which are $15 . . .
The Project Reach Out campaign was a smashing success, thanks to star of screen and stage Rita Moreno and the efforts of MPT CEO Raymond Ho, WETA CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller, Gov. William Donald Schaefer and his new best friend, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. Baltimore-Washington listeners pledged 1.39 million volunteer hours to area school systems.