A VERDANT SPRINGTIME FANTASY unfolded last Friday in The Post Oak Hotel when the Houston Symphony held its annual ball. The theme, "Vintage Music Garden," treated over 450 guests to an elegant evening of fine wining, dining, and, naturally, plenty of music.

Dr. Courtney and Bill Toomey chaired this year's affair, which was held in honor of past Houston Symphony Society presidents John T. Carter, Robert M. Hermance, Janice H. Barrow, Rodney H. Margolis, Ed Wulfe, Jesse B. Tutor, Robert B. Tudor III, and Steven P. Mach, as well as current Society president Janet F. Clark. For the fifth consecutive year, Phillips 66 was the presenting sponsor, and the festivities drew in more than $1.3 million to support the Symphony’s education and community engagement initiatives.

Lush decor from Richard Flowers of The Events Company transported guests to a musical wonderland complete with a green lattice gazebo adorned with fresh flowers, murals inspired by the spring season, and tables set with mossy vases and floral arrangements in funky vessels like gramophones.

The Post Oak's executive chef, Jean-Luc Royere, delivered a menu of New York strip, pan-seared Chilean sea bass, Boursin potato ragout, and créme fraiche panna cotta, among other tasty treats. A specially-curated wine list, selected by Lindy and John Rydman and Lisa Rydman of Spec’s, accompanied the spread.

A silent auction chaired by Allison Harper was another highlight of the night. Guests bid on epic packages like a Jackson Hole getaway with Grand Teton Music Festival tickets, a seven-night trip to Costa Rica, a pair of 18K white gold and diamond earrings, and a one-of-a-kind in-home performance from Houston Symphony Principal Cellist Brinton Averil-Smith and Concertmaster Yoonshin Song. A his-and-hers Rolex raffle brought in $41,000 alone.

The festivities didn’t stop there, as guests in the mood to groove were treated to a circus-themed after-party co-chaired by Lexi Sakowitz and Elise Lubanko. After-partiers enjoyed headlining performers The Jordan Kahn Orchestra, elevated carnival grub like spicy chili caramel popcorn and mini corn dogs, and captivating entertainment including a sword swallower and stilt-walkers.

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