Channeling the Carnival in Rio, Mercury Gala Welcomes Party ‘Animals’

Channeling the Carnival in Rio, Mercury Gala Welcomes Party ‘Animals’

Tim & Martha Pandajis

ONE OF HOUSTON'S most beloved music organizations — Mercury, whose mission is to serve the community by celebrating the power of music, teaching, sharing and performing with passion, intimacy and excellence — raised a quarter-million bucks at its recent annual gala, which had a fun “Carnival of the Animals” theme.

“Amidst décor that evoked a bright and colorful celebration at Rio Carnival, guests dined on a first course of grilled baby romaine with olive oil herb ciabatta and parmesan shavings,” explained a rep for Mercury. “The main course featured herb-roasted airline chicken with truffle risotto, green beans, and carrots, followed by a delightful cinnamon Tres Leches for dessert.”

What happened after dinner may have been even more delicious. Artistic Director Antoine Plante and Mercury musicians played selections from Saints-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals,” Paganini’s “Carnival of Venice,” and Pink Martini’s rousing samba “Brazil.” The finale showcased Donna Bella Litton on vocals, Carmon Kerl on Trombone, Jesus Pacheco and Charlie Perez on percussion, and samba dancers from Houston’s LD Dance Company, the latter bringing dinner guests to their feet!

Chairs Keith and Julie Little welcomed guest including Kelly and David Rose, Ginny Hart, Robert Navo, Blake Eskew, Martha Eskew, Lori Muratta, Brian Ritter, Christopher Michael Stribling, and Carlos and Luvi Wheelock.

Robert Navo & Ginny Hart

Mercury Performance

Martin Stuardo & Kyle Nasrallah

Matthew & Jaime Titus

Julie & Keith Little

Kelly & David Rose

Shane & Marissa Gilroy

Elena Lexina & Brian Rishikof

Michelle Furcho & Jonathan de la Garza

Rachel & Barry Lichman

Carlos & Luvi Wheelock

Emily Key & Martin Simoncic

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