March 21, 2012

It was all glitz, glamour and gold on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel as the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) hosted its annual ball. This year’s event marked a very special occasion for the ASO as it celebrates its Golden (50 Year) Anniversary. “The ASO has grown into one of the finest arts organizations in the area and continues to thrive and gain far-reaching recognition as such. We have a wonderful Music Director and first class musicians. Our education and outreach programs continue to serve thousands throughout the community. And we have a patron base that continues to grow by double digits. We truly are in full swing at 50 and are looking forward to another 50 years of continued success,” remarked ASO Executive Director Katharene Snavely.

Under the direction of volunteer Co-Chairs Marnie and Jon Kagan and Cathy and John Belcher,    the 50th Anniversary Ball In Full Swing at Fifty was presented by Lexus and featured a cocktail reception, gourmet dinner, dancing to the music of Swing Machine, and silent and live auctions. In total over $130,000 was raised in support of the artistic and education programming of ASO.

The event was a sell-out with corporate CEOs, political dignitaries, community leaders, major donors, ASO musicians, Music Director José-Luis Novo, and many others in attendance. The guests toasted to the ASO and danced to the very end, enjoying every last minute of the event.

Generous support for the “In Full Swing” event came from presenting sponsor Lexus and event sponsors: ARINC, BB&T Bank, Comcast, KURE Pain Management, Lockheed Martin, Baldwin, Kagan, Gormley. Also of note is the financial support given to the ASO to underwrite its 50th Anniversary season from Elizabeth Richebourg Rea who made one of the largest single gifts in the history of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra to honor the memory of her father, Philip Richebourg –first board president of ASO.

The evening’s live and silent auction featured unique items from a commissioned piano piece from Grammy Award winning composer, Gabriela Lena Frank to violins designed by distinguished area artists.

Additionally, Carol & Don Lee were announced as the winners of the ASO’s “Golden Ticket” raffle – randomly drawn at the event. Each year, the ASO hosts a raffle with just 100 tickets (at $200 each) being offered. This year’s winner had a choice of three luxury vacations. Mr. & Mrs. Lee selected the week-long trip to Hawaii.

The ASO’s 50th Anniversary season will conclude with a gala anniversary weekend featuring two concerts. The first is May 4, 2012 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, Maryland featuring British pianist Rachel Franklin. The second concert will be held at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Maryland College Park on May 6, 2012 featuring world-renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. Tickets for the May 4th and May 6th concerts are on sale now through the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Box Office by calling 410-263-0907 or visiting

Today, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra  features 70 professional musicians who perform a variety of symphonic music for audiences of all ages. Additionally, the organization provides educational programs through its partnerships with local schools, as well as various other community outreach efforts. The ASO’s vision is to be the best regional orchestra in the country, recognized as a jewel in the Washington/Baltimore area.

For more information on the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, visit or call 410-269-1132.

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