Music News

Phoenix Symphony Taps Donna Summer for Big Fundraiser: You Cannot Afford to Go

This year's big fundraiser for the Phoenix Symphony is going to be a little different. First, it's going to be in mid October instead of on New Year's Eve. Second, Donna Summer is the featured performer.

Yes, the incomparable Donna Summer, known for such hits as "Love to Love You Baby," "Hot Stuff" and, ummm, "Love to Love You Baby." (Sorry, folks, but "Ring My Bell" was actually done by Anita Ward.)

The symphony is branding the event "THE Concert" -- yes, with all caps on THE -- and selling tickets for $250 and up.

So, yeah, some things about this seem kinda smart. Bringing in a pop icon? Smart. Bringing in a pop icon that would otherwise be playing a reservation casino? Not as smart. Calling it "THE concert" seems a little self-important. It's as if they've never heard of Lady Gaga -- that was THE concert of the year according to most folks I've talked to.

It does sound like a classy event, however.

"At 6:30 pm, The Phoenix Symphony will take the stage for a concert featuring Donna Summer. Following the concert, musical vignettes by members of the Phoenix Youth Symphony will escort patrons to The Ballroom at Civic Plaza... for an evening filled with dinner and dancing. A sumptuous dinner prepared by Chef Jesus Cibrian will be served... Considered one of the Valley's premiere social gatherings, the Symphony's Gala remains the only such event to feature live music played by a full symphony orchestra each year. Tickets for 'THE Concert' and 'THE Encore' (starting at $500) give patrons access to the entire evening's events from the cocktail reception to the concert at Symphony Hall, followed by the evening of dinner, dancing to the music of Affinity at The Ballroom at Civic Plaza."

Food and drink included = nice.

But, you may be wondering, "Who the hell is Jesus Cibrian? Does he run some fancy Paradise Valley joint I've never even heard of because it's so swank? Is he a mystery man behind the scenes at Kai?" Oh, well, actually, he's the chef from the convention center downtown. So he's more or less a caterer. Sweet.

Also, Affinity is a wedding band. Awesome.

Next year I vote for The Phoenix Symphony Plays Roy Rogers.

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Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar