Entertaining party closes a hectic season

SANTA FE, NM — New Year’s Eve … for a lot of folks, end cap of the holiday season, last event of the year, crowning glory of parties with mandatory revelry and frivolity, crankety noisemakers, whistles and blowers, excesses of food and alcohol, and you’re supposed stay for the midnight bell and the customary kiss, and sing Auld Lang Syne … . Whoopee!

By New Year’s Eve, we’ve been out nearly every night for a month and have run out of gas, and, as a friend summed it up years ago, about now, “I’m outta charm!”

So we usually stay home.

Imagine my consternation when Paul told me that this New Year’s Eve we were going out, first to the Performance Santa Fe concert at the Lensic and then to their famous fabulous Black Tie Gala afterwards. Our out-of-town guests wanted to go and dear Paul had saluted!

“But I’m outta charm!” I told him … .

The splendid New Year’s Eve Concert at the Lensic featured Joe Ilick’s exuberant conducting of the Performance Santa Fe orchestra, (that’s a show all by itself), and the flashy and theatrical piano playing of Joyce Yang. Fabulous concert! Okay, I was glad I went.

Then, about 120 of us slipped over to the Eldorado for an intimate evening filled with many other diverting and amusing performances. With cocktails: clerestory, skinny stilt people greeted us in the corridor and mingled, doing card tricks and sleight-of-hand games as Scheherazade lured us into the candlelit cocktail chamber. During dinner, young Catherine McDonald enthralled guests dancing around quite jauntily with a very perky violin; then, at dessert, jugglers, acrobats and a fire-eater mesmerized us, and a spinning ballerina twirled on the dance floor with dozens of long silk ribbons flying in the air.

Next up was the band with Santa Fe’s star vocalist, Vicki Speer, crooning songs we all knew all the words to to a packed dance floor … even with so much entertainment for our amusement, it was a mellow atmosphere with dimmed lighting and candles, especially comfortable for closing down a hectic season.

Performance Santa Fe is the renamed venerable old Santa Fe Concert Association – a stylish new title befitting the range of their interests and offerings, no longer just concerts. Funds raised at the gala will help underwrite grants like their Education Program, ably administered quite hands-on by Gina Browning. Catherine,our violinist, is a protege who credits the program and Gina with instilling in her the self-confidence and poise she has onstage, and, although her college degree will be in classical violin, she was playing a country kind of fiddle this night and says she’s heading to Nashville “to go get in a band,” just like that! When she does, it will be “thanks to my mentors, Gina and Joe.”

Their New Year’s Eve Gala is legendary and did live up to its reputation of actually being a better thing to do on New Year’s Eve than stay home … perhaps it’s worth it to hold out for just one more party, then use bleak January and February to stay home and hibernate for awhile.

Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email apm@ashleymargetson.com.


Stuart Brand with Gina Browning and Brenda Brand, who were all lit up.


The Stilt People from Clan Tynker walked tall on New Year’s Eve.

The Stilt People from Clan Tynker walked tall on New Year’s Eve.


Linda and Jim Cohen enjoy New Year’s Eve with Performance Santa Fe.


Only on Dec. 31: Ellie Gray and Michael Nunnelly.


Catherine McDonald perked up New Year’s Eve revelers with her violin.

Kathy Reidy and Beth Moise react to the fun and games on New Year’s Eve.


Robert and Ellen Vladimir welcome the New Year.


Jim Woodcock and Allen Hubbell at Performance Santa Fe’s New Year’s Eve gala.


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