Greatest Showman Singer Loren Allred Comes to PSO Gala 2018
Loren Allred, the singing voice behind Rebecca Ferguson's portrayal of the legendary Jenny Lind in the hit movie The Greatest Showman, lent a taste of Hollywood and impressive vocals to the Princeton Symphony Orchestra's "Puttin' on the Glitz" Red Carpet Gala held Saturday at Jasna Polana. Nearly 200 elegantly dressed attendees generously contributed to funds raised for the orchestra and its PSO BRAVO! education programs, particularly to continue the PSO's commitment to bringing the orchestra into the Trenton Public Schools.
The glamorous venue was decked-out for the occasion with scarlet carpets, red velvet and brass stanchions, and a starlit dining room adorned with stunning ostrich-plumed centerpieces created by gala chair Stephanie Wedeking. Commenting on the uniqueness of the evening, Ms. Wedeking said, "people look forward to an exceptional experience with anything connected to the PSO. With this year's Old Hollywood theme, we made the orchestra shine like the jewel it is."
Attendees posed for photos on the red carpet and vied good naturedly for access to party boards, signing up for two exclusive performances to be given by PSO musician friends clarinetist/composer Derek Bermel and the vocal/harp duo Addi & Jacq later in the year. The excitement continued as Loren Allred brought everyone to their feet with her performance of "Never Enough," now on the platinum-selling soundtrack of The Greatest Showman, setting the perfect tone for a thrilling live auction.
The high-end auction offerings included tickets and VIP treatment to Broadway's newest show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I & II, vacation stays in a charming Penobscot Bay waterfront cottage and elegant 18th century farmhouse in Dorset, England, and a collection of California vintage wines from a family-owned vineyard. Ms. Wedeking attributes the auction's success to guests' hunger for something different, "people have enough things, what they're looking for are unique, one-of-a-kind experiences they can't find anywhere else."
Following the success of last year's PSO BRAVO! Challenge which made possible a performance by the orchestra for Trenton school children this coming May, attendees were encouraged to pledge funds to continue to provide such concerts in the future to Trenton children and programs to students at schools throughout the area.
"The Gala is our big fundraiser for the year," explains Ms. Wedeking. "It's vital for the organization. The money raised supports the entire organization not just for outreach, but to support high quality performances by the PSO. This is my second year as gala chair, and it's such a pleasure to work with the orchestra, Executive Director Marc Uys, and the entire PSO staff. They're always striving for excellence."
In addition to the Princeton Symphony Orchestra's Classical, Chamber, and POPS! concerts, the PSO provides over 100 PSO BRAVO! performances and events each year which engage students at every age level, and are presented free of charge to schools and throughout the community. The PSO relies on fundraising support to bring music to the concert hall and beyond. For more information on how to support the PSO, visit princetonsymphony.org/support.
The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a cultural centerpiece of the Princeton community and one of New Jersey's finest music organizations, a position established through performances of beloved masterworks, innovative music by living composers, and an extensive network of educational programs offered to area students free of charge. Led by Music Director Rossen Milanov, the PSO presents orchestral, pops, and chamber music programs of the highest artistic quality, supported by lectures and related events that supplement the concert experience. Through PSO BRAVO!, the orchestra produces wide-reaching and impactful education programs in partnership with local schools and arts organizations that culminate in students attending their first live orchestral performance. With considerable community support and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PSO is also a multiple-year recipient of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts' highest honors. The PSO has been recognized for its commitment to new music with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and a Copland Fund Award. The only independent, professional orchestra to make its home in Princeton, the PSO performs at historic Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.