What an amazing evening! With thanks to everyone who came out in support of ECPA for our first annual Spotlight Gala! And our deep appreciation goes out to all our wonderful sponsors and volunteers who made the gala possible. A special thanks to Elmhurst Art Museum and Elmhurst Artist Guild who opened their doors to ECPA, donating their beautiful spaces for the Gala. Click here to see photos, all courtesy of event photographer Jeff Nelson.
The evening began with our Preview Reception, where guests sipped champagne, reconnected with friends, and enjoyed some beautiful music from York’s string quartet. Joe Keefe, executive director of Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, captivated Elmhurst residents with his explanation of how Metropolis brings in nightly crowds who boost business for restaurants, bars, and businesses surrounding the theater building. Metropolis’ proven success demonstrates that there is a huge upside for communities that invest in the arts. Next, ECPA chairman Jeff Budgell presented and exciting video walk-through of our concept building, showcasing the performance spaces, the welcoming lobby, and the environmentally responsible rooftop space. The Preview Reception concluded with a special performance by classical tenor Micheal St. Peter, a recent graduate of The Juilliard School.
With the opening of the Gala, guests were able to mingle while enjoying live entertainment for several local performers. Jazz vocalist Gayle Bisesi, accompanied by Jeffrey Deutsch and Nick Bisesi, got the night off to a great start. Men of Spirito!, directed by Molly Lindberg, York’s Gypsy Jazz, and a trio of finalists from the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards reflected the variety and professionalism of Elmhurst’s deep pool of talent. After an exciting live auction led by Tim Soszko, composer/musician Will McGing took the stage.
Looking forward, ECPA is already planning an exciting roster of events for the holiday period and for 2017. All will feature Elmhurst performers – and that is the whole point. We are working toward building a state-of-the-art venue that will become the artistic home of performers within our community and from surrounding suburbs. We deeply appreciate your continued support and look forward to seeing you again at our next public event!
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