BSI Gala Dinner

Everyone in the British Suzuki Institute knows by now that on Tuesday 7 May 2013 we enjoyed a fantastic fundraising Gala Dinner at Plaisterers’ Hall in London.

“that wonderful evening at the Plaisterers’ Hall will remain a lifelong memory… total vision – a complete triumph….what a magnificent setting… delicious food… creativity abounding, great people, fantastic playing by the musicians. Amazing evening. …such a success, what an inspiration!”

The occasion rose above the ordinary for various reasons. The venue, thanks to our BSI Chairman Gary Morley, was simply stunning. The musicians were quite remarkable. Wissam Boustany must be one of the finest flute players ever. He was truly amazing. So was Piers Adams of the Red Priest. The Washington Post recently heralded Piers as the ‘reigning recorder virtuoso of the world’. He is. I still find it hard to believe that those great musicians came to play for us, for the sake of the Suzuki method, and for the BSI in particular. Beyond mere good fortune.

Personally I was also very touched by the smiling faces in the BSI teacher’s photo-montage video. It was looped onto a large screen in the Reception Hall throughout the evening. We enjoyed some of the comments: “is it ok to have my dog in the picture? Am I smiling enough? Is this photo too grainy? I’m sorry I don’t understand megabytes. My hair is rather untidy. You can cut out the rest of my body if you like/and my friend too” etc.

The Silent Auction raised money beyond our wildest dreams, over £12,000. Suzuki people demonstrated extraordinary generosity in their auction contributions – a luxurious Paris apartment, villa in Mallorca, houses in France, Devon and Edinburgh, loads of Piano/violin/cello/recorder/Alexander lessons, Last Night of the Proms tickets as well as Royal Opera House, ENO and Premier League football tickets. I think the most unusual auction offering had to be the lunch at stately home, Holdenby, for four people – with a lesson in falconry to follow (competitive bidding for that one!)

Thank you to the wonderful ‘Dream Team’ who were on the Gala Dinner committee. Rebecca Simor, Wendi Lewitt, Michelle Bernard, Nona Liang and Karina MacAlpine all worked way beyond the call of duty. And we were so glad about the large number of Suzuki teachers who came that night, which itself was an inspiration.

Cathy Newman arrived at the Gala dinner after presenting the Channel 4 News that night. She was just in time to give a brilliant and scintillating address to the guests, from a parents point of view.

The last word is from our Chairman, “whilst the raising of funds was important, congratulations on that, even if not a penny had been raised the whole evening would still have been a roaring success. A night that everyone will long remember”.

By the way, did anybody take any pictures with a camera or phone that evening that they could share with us? Please.
Helen Brunner

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