On the ball
Singer and songwriter Paul Simon was in town Saturday for the Academy of Music's 154th Anniversary Concert. Simon performed a selection of his hit songs with the Philadelphia Orchestra, including "Cecilia," "Loves Me Like a Rock," and "The Boxer." A highlight of the evening was when he sang "The Sound of Silence" in his first-ever duet with opera star Renée Fleming. The program, conducted by Jonathan Nott, also featured Fleming performing works by Puccini, Leoncavallo, Leonard Bernstein, and Leonard Cohen, and showcased the 150-voice Philadelphia All City Choir.
The white-tie anniversary concert and ball began with the President's Reception in the Academy Ballroom, where 325 donors and board members were greeted by Academy president and chief executive officer Joanna McNeil Lewis; Philadelphia Orchestra president and chief executive officer Allison Vulgamore; Philadelphia Orchestra board chairman Richard Worley; and ball cochairs Charlie Pizzi and Sandy Marshall.
After the concert, 2,100 guests walked to the nearby Hyatt at the Bellevue for the champagne supper and ball, which boasted seven bands - the Rosalyn McClore Dance Orchestra, Harper Blynn, Alex Donner Entertainment, the 6th Street Quaternion, the Ward Marston Dance Orchestra, CTO Uptown, and CTO Downtown. The evening was a fund-raiser for the Academy of Music and the orchestra.