Galas: Concerts’ ‘Lagniappe’ trades classics for Dixieland

A trio of the "Fabulous Umbrella Ladies of Cambier Park," left, Pattly O'Connell, Janet Petschi and Linda Hansen, welcomed supporters to the Classic Chamber Concerts series Lagniappe fund raiser. Nancy Neal

A trio of the "Fabulous Umbrella Ladies of Cambier Park," left, Pattly O'Connell, Janet Petschi and Linda Hansen, welcomed supporters to the Classic Chamber Concerts series Lagniappe fund raiser. Nancy Neal

The night was brisk, but John Long, Helen Noble, Andrea Clark-Brown and Roz Travis came ready for the al fresco cocktails before the group went inside for music and food to support Classic Chamber Concerts. Nancy Neal

The night was brisk, but John Long, Helen Noble, Andrea Clark-Brown and Roz Travis came ready for the al fresco cocktails before the group went inside for music and food to support Classic Chamber Concerts. Nancy Neal

One North Naples neighborhood may have been surprised last weekend to hear the sounds of Dixieland. It was he Naples Dixieland Jazz Band as it marched into William Noll’s home and concert hall Feb. 28, followed by a coterie of the “Fabulous Umbrella Ladies of Cambier Park” and a parade of 116 revelers, who had paid $150 each to support Naples’ Classic Chamber Concert Series.

Frosty, rum-based drinks and warm hors d’oeuvres had loosened up bidders during the al fresco cocktail hour, featuring the live auction of exciting travel and dining packages for a grand total of $10,500. Auction chair Bunny Brooks assisted husband John in auctioneering process.

Within the house, the band played on in the pool area while the party segued into a New Orleans evening of fun and food catered by Angela’s Fine Cuisine. The Cajun menu was heavy on the spices and traditional Creole staples, including crawfish and andouille sausage. From chicken-and-sausage gumbo to shrimp salad, Bourbon Street chicken with rice, BBQ shrimp, buttermilk biscuits and ending in bananas Foster flambe, king cake baby and cafe au lait, it was authentic all the way to the pralines proffered as guests partied themselves out the front door.

Delores and John Sorey served as event grand chairs with the Lynn Drexler, Nancy Samples and Francia Stevens responsible for the evocative decor. Classic Chamber Concerts executive director Susan Mainwaring, artistic director Noll and president Helen Noble were welcoming presences, circulating throughout the gathering.

The organization’s declared mission is defined as providing world-class music at affordable prices, and educating and encouraging young audiences in enjoying classical music. But programs are varied in scope and appeal, from classical to straight-ahead jazz.

According to Delores Sorey, the event netted approximately $20,000. She described this gala as, “part of a rebuilding project just as the Classic Chamber Concerts are. I think we’ve made a considerable leap in that direction and trust that next year’s gala will be bigger and better.”

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