There’s a future for Porgy serenading his Bess, for an American dancing in Paris, and for Maria, Anita and the girls to match the musical escalations of the Sharks against the Jets. For 96 years the Cleveland Institute of Music has trained and nurtured accomplished classical musicians. The Broadway in the Circle benefit, sponsored by CIM’s Women’s Committee, is helping secure the way for future generations.
As some of the 300 patrons mingled over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, others scanned the silent auction table, which featured a sumptuous Sperry mechanical music box, circa 1896-1909. Then it was up the stairs to dine overlooking the lotus patterns of the Grand Foyer, with a luscious dinner by Marigold Catering capped with whimsical owl-faced fruit tarts.
The true treat of the evening awaited in Severance Hall, where the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, conducted by Carl Topilow, regaled the capacity crowd of patrons and supporters with an evening of Gershwin, Sondheim, Bernstein, Rodgers and Hammerstein and others. The program included rich performances by CIM vocalists of iconic songs from productions such as “Porgy and Bess,” “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Oklahoma,” while Brooke and Bobby Wesner of the Neos Dance Theatre interpreted the student orchestra’s rendition of Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.”
The evening marked the first bestowing of the Women’s Committee Distinguished Service Award to Richard W. and Patricia R. Pogue, to recognize their ongoing support of CIM through nearly three decades of service on the CIM board of trustees and women’s committee. Proceeds from the benefit will help conservatory students at all levels, and encourage student participation in international competitions and festivals. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY PEGGY TURBETT