Twenty-five years of excellence in arts education was on full display at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts 25th Anniversary Gala February 26. From the moment guests arrived at the historic Mar-a-Lago Club, they were immersed in art experiences provided by the talented and inspiring students and alumni of the internationally recognized arts magnet high school.
String quartets and a jazz combo played while Visual Arts students sketched and Communication Arts students filmed interviews with guests during the poolside cocktail reception. As the hundreds in attendance found their seats in the expansive ballroom, a video produced by the school’s communication Communication Arts Department highlighted Dreyfoos alumni who are thriving in artistic, creative, entrepreneurial, and scientific endeavors all over the world. Following a welcome by Gala Co-Chairs Theodora Aspegren and Robert Bailey, the school’s namesake Alexander Dreyfoos was honored by founding principal Edmund Duhy, current principal Susan Atherley, and founding School of the Arts Foundation Board Member George Elmore.
Then the entertainment, introduced by the dynamic duo of Gala Honorary Chairs Dorothy Lappin and Simon Benson Offit, continued with non-stop, over- the -top performances by alumnus jazz trumpeter Charlie Porter with the Dreyfoos Jazz Combo, piano soloists Catherine Zeng and Alvin Xue, a Dreyfoos Strings Ensemble, a high-energy dance piece, an excerpt from the theatre department’s “Shrek the Musical” production and two arias by opera soprano Nadine Sierra, met with standing ovations from the appreciative crowd.
A lively auction followed, resulted in lucky bidders winning exciting items including the right to name a character in a future James Patterson novel, luxury resort stays in Jamaica and Mexico, a dinner for ten at Mar-a-Lago’s seafood night, exquisite jewelry from Tiffany & Co.’s, a party cruise on the yacht Mariner III, tickets to the Palm Beach Wine Auction, and an hour with fashion icon Iris Apfel. A call to the heart to Fund the Future for the Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation, which supplements the school’s arts and academic curriculum, resulted in dozens of cash contributions to top off the gala evening. Dancing to the tunes of the Alex Donner Orchestra continued well into the nightevening.