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Gala 2015 A Night of Merriment

Merriment and Money – by Richard Mineards, Montecito Miscellany

To celebrate its forthcoming production of Carl Orff’s spectacular Carmina Burana – based on 12th century poems – with the Santa Barbara Symphony [and State Street Ballet] on its 63rd opening night at the Granada in October, the Santa Barbara Choral Society hosted “In Taberna: A Night of Medieval Merriment” gala at the Music Academy of the West’s Lotte Lehmann Hall.

The colorful bash, with most of the 137 guests garbed magnificently in medieval mode, was co-hosted by Marylove Thralls and Mary Dan Eades and raised around $20,000 for the popular group.

SB Choral Gala 2015 Jester group photo M Journ

Treasurer Jim Robbins, dressed as a court jester, bells and all, emceed the Plantagenet party, which featured the State Street Ballet’s Professional Track Dancers under director Megan Philip, the Rollick recorder musicians playing traditional music, Valerie Saint Martin on the harp and the Pacific Sword Company and the Bowler Boys, regular performers with the Santa Barbara Revels, doing energized Morris dancing.

The ubiquitous KEYT journalist, John Palminteri, conducted the auction, which included a week at a villa in Provence, a river cruise on the Danube, a stay in Hawaii and a 12-diamond gold ring. Among those making musical, as well as Middle Age merriment, were Brooks Firestone, Debra Stewart, SB Chamber Orchestra director Kevin Marvin, Dan Secord, Kate Rees, Karen Williams, Pam Enticknap, Barbara Burger, Erica DiBartolomeo, Candy Stevenson, Deborah Bertling, Kathleen Stinnett, Julian Nott, dashing as Robin Hood, Anne Luther, symphony director David Pratt, and former symphony president Stefan Riesenfeld.

Firestone group photo M Journ

Carmina Burana has not been performed in our Eden by the Beach since 2008, so the October 17 show should be an absolute cracker.