Ooh la la … lavish event raises $50,000 for Santa Fe symphony

SANTA FE, N.M. — As a sophisticated reader such as you knows, it takes a certain je ne sais quoi to pull off a really fun party for the j’ai vue tout set here in Holy Faith.

You need equal parts scintillating people; scrumptious – not banquet! – food; paired with delicious and very special – not ordinary – wines; fresh entertainment; fresh auction items; and, honestly, either an early evening or a really good reason for it not to be.

This year’s French-themed annual fundraiser for the Santa Fe Symphony was quite a fun party with all of the necessary elements. A kerchiefed accordion-playing troubadour set the ambiance with old favorites like “La Vie en Rose” and “Sous le Ciel de Paris,” while guests sipped chilly vintage French champagne and nibbled bite-sized canapés (so practical!) throughout the entire downstairs of the Hotel Santa Fe.

At dinner, they served two sublime vintage French wines with every course of delectable French food. You could compare the Bouchard with the Pommard, served with the pâté en croûte; two crisp whites, a 2004 Chapoutier and a 2009 Grand Cru Vaudesir, with the marinated sea scallops; and, with the “Tournedos Diablos,” a couple of velvety reds, a reserve Chateauneuf du Pape and a 1998 St. Julian. All were divine … Garçon! Garçon! En plus? Is there any more of that please?

And what a jolly crowd there was for the auction! Spirited bidding! Suspense and intrigue! Raucous laughter and arm waving! A vintage repoussé sterling silver tea set brought thousands, as did the violin hand-painted by Miguel Martinez.

And has it ever been a secret fantasy of yours to conduct a symphony orchestra? To stand stick straight on stage in front of the orchestra in tails, with your little wand, bowing to the audience and then directing the music? Da da da DAAA! Da da da DAAAAA! This is a highly sought-after auction item, a popular fundraiser every year, so popular that it was a double sale this year – two bidders wanted it so badly (at more than $5,000 each!), the Symphony agreed to two guest conductors next season. You won’t want to miss those performances!

To top off the evening, dancing with coffee and dessert … no DJ playing Daft Punk and “Get Lucky,” but Bert Dalton’s live orchestra with ballroom dancing, which was good because there were some pretty fabulous dresses for twirling and waltzing, and these folks knew how to do the dances right.

In a small town with several highly credible musical companies vying for the attention of audiences and a slice of the same donation pie, more than 100 committed supporters of the symphony raised $50,000-plus for the operating budget and educational programs at this exciting event.

They’re up all night for big fun; they’re up all night to get lucky!

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.


Jane Berry and Svegna Kalangis.


Anna and Eric Carlgren have flutes for sipping.


Maureen and Christopher Carusona are all sourires at the Santa Fe Symphony fundraiser.


Julie and Mike Dawson help keep the music playing.


 Jim and Allegra Derryberry soak up the French atmosphere.

Time gets a head with Scout and Jim Gay.


Anita Hausafus goes paisley and polka-dot in pink.


Greg Heltman, president of the Santa Fe Symphony, with his wife Elaine.


Ann Masten and Charlie Stringfello go French in basic black.
Chairwoman Carol Rudman takes a moment to relax with Richard Rudman.

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