March 15, 2023

Crescendo! 2023 Was A Ball

Crescendo! —Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s largest annual “fun-raiser”— has become the “must-attend” social event of the season, attracting over 750 patrons. 

The festivities included a January kick-off lunch by Chef Jack McGuckin at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits in Miramar Beach and five intimate, vintner dinners hosted on Friday, Feb. 24 in lovely private homes and venues along the coast. Pairings included Darioush with Chef Dan Vargo of Fine Coastal Cuisine at the home of Amy & Joe Scherzinger; The Lerner Project with Chef Frank Szymanski of Blue Fin at Churchill Oaks Clubhouse; The Vines with Chef Jude Tauzin of Tony Chachere at the Kelly Plantation Owner’s Club; Arietta with Chef Fleetwood Covington at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood and Perus Wines with Jack McGuckin at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits. 

On Saturday, Feb. 25 Churchill Oaks Club House welcomed invited guests to the Panerai Watch Bar party. Guest sipped “timeless” cocktails by Better Together, nibbled bites by Chef Frank Szymanski and shopped Panerai’s latest time pieces. 

Then, on Sunday, Feb. 26, this year’s elegant Ebony & Ivory-themed fête transformed the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa into a sophisticated black and white ball. Bodacious black and whimsical white clad ladies (and gents) flowed in to mix and mingle. But first, they were greeted by the sounds of Sinfonia Youth Orchestra string and horn players remind everyone why they were gathered — to raise funds for Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s music education programs. 

Next, a beautiful woman in a shimmering ball gown cascading with chilled sparkling wine flutes — a one-woman party all her own welcomed one and all. But the “champagne dress lady” was just the beginning of what was around the corner… and just like that, the party of the season was underway. 

Everywhere you looked were festive balloon filled archways, wondrous floral walls, and chic high contrast décor. The alluring ambiance was made even more fun with luxurious lounging spots, keep sake photo booths, a live portrait session and delicious wine tasting stations.

Sipping colorful cocktails guests enjoyed pay-to-play party games and bid on beautifully displayed silent auction items before enjoying a delicious catered lunch. The strawberry cheesecake was delicious and so was the get your heart pounding performance by the sensational Big Band sensation Sergio Vellatti!

And with the help of fantastic silent and live auction lots, the giving began. 

Three bottles of 2019 cult wine Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon sold for $3,500 in the Silent Auction, while an unforgettable weekend in Napa Valley at the McClelland House fetched $35,000 in the exciting Live Auction.

With the help of staff and a dedicated team of volunteers, Beth Clavier, director of events and patron services for Sinfonia Gulf Coast, staged the soiree of the season to be sure. 

What does it take to pull off the must-do benefit bash of the year? Here are just a few figures to give you an idea.

Crescendo 2023 By the Numbers 

4,000 balloons used for decor at the Crescendo Main Event

750+ bottles of donated wine at the vintner dinners and main event 

740 bracelets made by Renee Krul at Bijoux de Mer

400 swag bags 

350 flowers (including roses, snap dragons and orchids) intertwined with 400 stems tinted silver and black to form a 25-foot floral cascade designed by 1920 & Co

108 silent auction items

100 Box Pull gifts valued at $21,486 

15 dedicated volunteers 

9 Sinfonia Youth Orchestra students, along with Sinfonia Youth Orchestra Music Director, Margaret Gordon performed during the reception

5 live auction lots, including an in-home concert by Sergio Vellatti

7 “atmospheric” entertainers, dapper emcee hosts, chill “champagne dress ladies,” DJs and live fashion illustrators

1 sensational Big Band featuring Sergio Vellatti!

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