Sunday, February 06, 2011

Heart Gala 2011

After months of preparation and meetings the 2011 Heart Gala was a smashing success! The theme was "King and Queen of Hearts" and we went with an Alice in Wonderland setting where the "impossible is possible!" This kind of verbiage went well with stories from survivors of heart disease and heart attacks. There were many moving stories and the auction was successful in raising money to fight heart disease.

This was my 4th Heart Gala to work on for Gary Musick Productions and my second in serving as the primary Producer. Erin Link from the American Heart Association is a great client and we enjoy our work with her. Thank you, Erin for your partnership! Thank you also to Amos Gott for the part he played in making the night a great success.

To the Gary Musick Productions team--thank you for your tireless work and professionalism. You are all true pros and it is a pleasure to work with you. Thank you to Gary Musick, Jonathan Yeaworth, Keith Brogdon, Jim Sheridan, Chris Lyle, Eric Cardwell, Jacob Driver, Jennifer Pippen, Phil Barnes, Tucker...and all the crew're all amazing.

After the devastating Nashville Flood of 2010, our Symphony Center was down for months and month. Making it's return on New Year's Eve, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center was better than ever. And thank you to the great staff of the Schermerhorn for their hard work--Bruce Pittman, Brian Doane and Mitch Hanson especially.

As a part of the theme we had some actors on stage during the evening portraying the roles of the Queen, Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the White Rabbit.

Cindy Moore played the White Rabbit. She ran through the crowd during the silent auction out in the lobby yelling, "We're LATE! We're LATE!" She helped usher the crowd into the concert hall for the dinner and program.

As people got out of their cars at the valet station they walked through a series of forest lighting effects to enter "Wonderland".

Overlooking the main lobby inside the Schermerhorn where the silent auction took place.

Wonderland signage in the west lobby of the Schermerhorn

The centerpieces were giant roses adding to the magical feel of the Queen's garden

Gary Morris (famous for his hit country song, "Wind Beneath My Wings" and for playing the role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway musical "Les Miserables") poses with his son, Garon, backstage. Gary sang and played "Amazing Grace" for the invocation. His voice was as rich as ever. He and Garon shared our dressing room so we had a nice visit. Thank you, Gary, for your help last night.

Jim Sheridan is one of my heroes. Jim is our go-to stage and production manager. He is also hilarious and keeps me laughing every day at the office. Jim has more stories than you could ever imagine...early in his career he worked for Jim Henson and Disney. He's very creative and very talented...but beyond that, just a great guy.

We created an entry way on stage to the "Queen's garden". A giant 17 foot gate covered in roses provided the perfect setting.

One of my favorite scenic details was the Cheshire Cat which would fade in and out in different places on stage throughout the evening. Eric Cardwell had the idea to use a gobo for that...great idea!

During the dinner portion, the characters were so fun to watch. We also had dinner music provided by a really fun group named the "Gypsy Hombres". They were a jazz trio and created the perfect eclectic feel for Wonderland.

Jason Michaels played the Mad Hatter who welcomed everyone to the dinner and provided some opening entertainment by doing some fun illusions with tea pots and cups and a giant stir stick.

I loved the tree we were able to find which sat behind the Mad Hatter's tea party. It provided the perfect setting.

Michelle and Jim Schmitz were the co-chairmen for this year's Heart Gala.

This is a shot out at the audience as they were enjoying dinner.

Gary Morris sang "Amazing Grace" and did a fantastic job!

video clip of Gary singing "Amazing Grace"

The Gypsy Hombres

Throughout the evening we heard from several survivors...very moving

The live auction had some great was a golf outing with Vince Gill and friends as well as a dinner together at the Richland Country Club.

Another cool auction lot was a golf outing and dinner with one of the band members from classic rock band, Journey

At the end of the evening we moved into the late night portion where the band "Burning Las Vegas" provided dance music. They really rocked out.

Sheryl and I pose back in the dressing room.

I always love dancing with my wife. We had a great time last night. We enjoyed the late night party with Gary and Ellen Musick. Always fun to be together.

Burning Las Vegas as they kicked off the late night party

Gary and Ellen Musick

Sheryl and I were excited to see our friend Leon Dowling last night. We enjoyed getting to catch up.

And so, that ends another successful year for the Heart Gala. I have been in a vegetative state all day...and feeling thankful it all went so well.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Bravo Brandon and Gary Music Company for a fabulous Heart Gala. It looks amazing! Holly

Clarissa said...

Proud of you.