The Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra opens its 28th season of Parties of Note, a series of themed social gatherings to raise money for the Orchestra in unique venues across Greater Cincinnati with delectable food, drinks, presentations or tours, and of course incredible music.
The series runs from September through June, and is presented by the Cincinnati Symphony Volunteer Association (CSVA). The CSVA Parties of Note committee, chaired this season by longtime CSVA member and CSO board member Nancy Wagner, works year-round to find party venues, connect with hosts and arrange the music. One hundred percent of the proceeds from each party benefit the CSO.
“Last year we set a goal of $25,000 and exceeded that,” says CSO Director of Events Hannah Johnson. “This year we’ve set a goal for $35,000.”
Parties of Note are made possible by the generous patrons who open their homes and hearts to create memorable social events. Linda Holthaus, party host and CSVA secretary, has been part of the Parties of Note planning committee since 2011. This season Holthaus will co-host the April 10, 2016 “Echoes of the Past, Musicians of the Future” party at Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse, as well as the May 25 “Moonlight Dinner by the Pool” party at the home of JoAnn and Gary Hagopian.
“Parties of Note are important because they provide yet another venue for our CSO guests and patrons to experience unique events and meet other amazing people who are interested in music, the symphony and the arts,” Holthaus says. “And attending is a way to learn more about the city and its offerings, especially if people have not grown up in the local area.”
Since the first season of 32 parties in 1988, Parties of Note has evolved and earned more support from the community. In the past, Parties of Note were only in private homes, but over the years they have branched out to local spots with Cincinnati history. Cheapside Café, The Blind Lemon, New Riff Distillery and the Cincinnati Observatory are just a few of the exciting venues highlighted this season.
“Taste of Findlay Market” is March 10, and offers a new way to experience the food from Findlay Market. CSO musicians will perform at People’s Liberty, the newly renovated historic Globe Furniture building near the market, while hors d’oeurves and drinks are served.
Another highlight will be “Bourbon in the Bluegrass State.” On October 28 partygoers can tour the new New Riff Distillery in Newport to get a behind-the-scenes brown whiskey distilling demonstration while they dine.
An annual favorite is the “Swing into Spring” party hosted by Pops conductor John Morris Russell and his wife Thea Tjepkema. This house party is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon: listening to the Pops rhythm section (known as “The Poptet”) perform jazz classics, drinking wine and beer in the garden and meeting the conductor.
“John’s parties are always gracious and fun and well-attended,” says Wagner.
One of Wagner’s favorite party memories was the “Tacky Summer Evening” party hosted by Moe and Jack Rouse in 1996.
“It was really cute,” Wagner says. “Rumor has it there was the Enquirer to read in the portalet; they served beer and wine in brown paper bags; there was a rumor that you couldn’t use the pool, then Carmon DeLeone from the Cincinnati Ballet came in wearing a green serviceman suit saying he was there to fix the pool.”
Guy and Jane Wolf are just some of the dedicated patrons who attend Parties of Note.
“We love getting to know the orchestra members personally, and we’ve talked with so many as part of these events,” says Guy. “It’s a great way to join the community.”
Call the CSO box office at 513.381.3300 or visit the website at cincinnatisymphony.org for tickets to Parties of Note.