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2019 Honoree – Betty Francis
Thank you for joining us for an extravaganza for the eye and ear. The event featured hosted cocktail reception, gourmet dinner, and entertainment- ribbon dancers, lion dancers, and more- Event Chair – JoAnn Wellner; Event Planner – Frank Goldstin’s Momentous Events;
“This was the very best VW Gala ever! The honoree, theme, the wonderful and varied entertainment and the delicious dinner made it an absolutely perfect evening”
“Oh my, what does one say after attending a beautiful party for the Waring? How about Fabulous from the moment we entered the Lobby until all the wonderful festivities came to a close? Congratulations to all for the organizational work required to make this a successful party filled with music to be enjoyed by everyone”
“…I want to extend Congratulations and kudos for the marvelous Gala that was held last night at the Westin. I can’t think of one downside in the entire night; every detail was terrific and tasteful. The decorations, entertainment, overall presentation, and food were all top notch. You are to be congratulated for setting a new, higher bar for philanthropic events in the desert”
“What an unfortgettable time everyone had at the Waring gala… The setting, the tables, the decorations were fantastic, that transported us… to China!”
The Show – Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
32-250 Bob Hope Drive Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
The Waring Presents
A New & Exciting Gala Experience
At The Show – Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
Jack & Patti Grundhofer
2018 Lifetime Achievement Award
Hosted cocktails and passed appetizers – 5 PM
Award presentation / Paddle Auction / Dinner – 6 PM
Performance – 7:45 PM
2017 Honorees- Jan and Richard Oliphant
Gala Co-Chairs Drs. John D. Welty and Sharon Brown-Welty
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Piano program by 2015 Waring International Junior 1st Place Solo Winner Sarah Tuan
Dancing to the music of Doc Poster & his band
Thank you to all who supported the 2016 Gala Honoring Gloria Greer, in memoriam.
Event Chairs: Peggy Cravens & Chuck Monell
Honorary Chairs: Jerry Benston & Ruta Lee
Omni Rancho Las Palmas, Rancho Mirage
Musical interlude by Waring pianist
Dancing to the music of Doc Poster
2015 Black & White Gala Honors
The City of Palm Desert and Mayor Susan Marie Weber, Robert Spiegel, Mayor Pro Tem, Jan Harnik, Sabby Jonathan and Van Tanner, Council members
and Gary Hall with Wells Fargo – The Private Bank
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage
Hosted Cocktail Reception
Musical Interlude by 2007 Intermediate Concerto Winner Brian Lin, named a Jack Kent Cooke 2014 Graduate Arts Recipient Scholar – this award will enable Lin to continue his studies at Juilliard for up to the next 3 years.
Gala Chair Donna MacMillan; Honorary Chair Gwen Weiner
2014 Black and White Gala honoring Harold!
Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014
Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage
Hosted Cocktail Reception
Musical Interlude by Scott Cuellar 2013 Wells Fargo Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall Performance Prize Winner and Ernst Krenek Prize Winner
$300 general seating
$500 preferred seating
Table Sponsorships available – see Tribute Book Program Info below
Gala Chairs Helene Galen and Jamie Kabler
Honorary Chair JoAnn McGrath
The 29th Annual Black and White Gala honored Joyce and Joe Stein for their years of philanthropy and good works.
There was a special musical appearance by 2007 Junior Solo Winner Jan Lisiecki, who made his NY Philharmonic debut in December 2012.
Event chairs were Stephanie and Michael Landes – pictured here with Stephanie’s parents and 2013 Honorees Joyce and Joe Stein
Honorary Chairs were Lynda and Charles Biggs
Dinner Committee: Sherry & Ron Auen, Mary Ellen & Cooper Blanton, Sallie & Allan Bulley, Jr., Helene Galen, Karlene & Richard Garber, Joy & Harry Goldstein, Gloria & the Hon. Glen Holden, Anne Holland, June & Peter Kalkus, Harold Matzner, Dorothy & John Nocita, Carol Price, Stacey and Greg Renker, Sandy Woodson
Renaissance-Esmeralda Hotel, Indian Wells – Crystal Ballroom
28th Annual Black & White Gala benefiting the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, Sunday, February 19, 2012
Virginia Waring – Lifetime Achievement Award and
Marta Casals Istomin – Distinguished Arts Award
Special Youth Performers- Zihui Song and Allison To
Gala Chair – Rev. Patty Spicer
Honorary Chair – Gary Hall with Wells Fargo – the Private Bank
Dinner Chairs – Sherrie & Ron Auen
Longtime desert dweller, classical pianist and competition namesake VIRGINIA WARING plus cellist / international arts icon MARTA CASALS ISTOMIN were honored at the 28th Annual Black and White Gala for their musical contributions and encouragement of young musicians.
Virginia Morley Waring devoted her life to music, nurture, and public service. Born in Dinuba, California, her talent gained musical honors at Mills College, and then a full scholarship at the renowned Music Academy of Fontainbleau, France. There she studied with the great Robert Casadeus and Nadia Boulanger, and joined with another gifted American pianist, Livingston Gearhart. They formed a piano duo, and in time a marriage and family. The specter of impending war brought them back to the USA where they toured extensively as “Columbia Artists” for thirteen years, appearing regularly on the “Fred Waring Show.” In 1954 Virginia married Fred Waring and became not only wife and mother, but an integral part of the extensive Waring music and publishing organization. With Fred’s declining health, Virginia assumed the baton as conductor and master of ceremonies, becoming Chairman of the Board of Fred Waring Enterprises and President and Owner of Shawnee Press, a highly regarded publisher of Choral Music. She is the author of two books, her own autobiography, “Return to Fontainbleau,” and the biography, now in its 2nd printing, “Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians.” She is Namesake
and Founding President of the VWIPC.
Marta Casals Istomin is an internationally known figure in the arts:
President of the Manhattan School of Music in New York from 1992 to
2005; former General Director of the Recontres Musicales d’Evian Festival International (France, 1990-1997); member of the National Council on the Arts (USA, 1990-1997) and Artistic Director, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC, 1980 to 1991). During her 16-year marriage to the legendary cellist Pablo Casals, she helped the Maestro establish the Casals Festival, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, and the Conservatory of Music. For five years after his death, she was co-Chairman of the Board and Music Director of the entire Casals Festival Organization and added a children’s string program to the conservatory. She taught cello at the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico and was visiting cello professor at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. She has received numerous honors, awards and honorary doctorates in the US, Europe and Latin America. She was married to the internationally eminent American pianist Eugene Istomin from 1975-2003.
The Waring’s 2011 Honoree was Condoleezza Rice. She received the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award on February 20, 2011 at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa.
The 66th United States Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor is an accomplished musician and concert pianist. Dr. Rice is known for her brilliance in many fields: professor, politician, diplomat and musician. Dr. Rice is currently Professor of Political Economy at Stanford University and co-director of the Center for Global Business and the Economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
The Waring celebrates Condoleezza Rice’s life-long dedication to the piano and her immense dedication to education, public service and humanitarian ideals.
Our Black and White Gala was held on, January 31, 2010 at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage.
The 2010 Honoree was Betty Barker, Outstanding Community Leader and Patroness of the Arts and Sciences, with a special Tribute to the late Leonore Annenberg, Philanthropist.
Event chairs were Mary Ellen Blanton and Sandra Cooper Woodson.
The special guest pianists were 2007 Prize winners Sarina Zhang and John Yoo.
Renowned American concert pianist Byron Janis was honored at the 2009 Black and White Ball with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage.
The Black Tie event was co-chaired by Dr. Gerald Benston, Dr. Charles Monell and Dr. Judith Zacher.
The gala was part of a “Byron Janis” Festival that included a master class conducted by Janis, a recital by concert pianist, former Hodges winner and former Janis student, James Giles, and a showing of a working biographical documentary on Janis.
The 2008 Black and White Ball honoring Carlo Ponti, Jr. was a huge success. Thank you to our fabulous co-chairs Peggy Cravens, Mark Adams, Jerry Benston and Chuck Monell.
Over 400 people feasted at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa on February 8, 2008. Carlo was “roasted” by his younger brother, Edoardo. 2007 Junior Concerto Winner, Colton Peltier (who just turned 13) played Chopin’s Impromptu Fantasie and Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz. Tony Rose and His Orchestra provided dinner and dance music, and the dance floor was never empty.
Left Photo: Jerry Benston, Virginia Waring, Peggy Cravens, Mark Adams, Chuck Monell. Right photo: Colton Peltier, Virginia Waring, Carlo Ponti, Jr.
To excite, educate, and engage the community at large with the joy of classical piano by presenting, promoting, and nurturing classical music through live piano performance including international competitions, concerts, and local educational outreach programs for all ages.
Alive and Well in the Contemporary World