‘Oscars Night’ features HFCC Big Band

Photo courtesy of Anina Bachrach
Dearborn Symphony Gala co-chairs Gloria Nycek and John Matthews Jr. sample the special meal featuring kobe beef roulade appetizers and golden turkey coils planned for the Sept. 15 dinner at the Fairlane Club. All proceeds from the annual special event go toward support of the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra opening its 51st season Oct. 5 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.

Special to the Times-Herald/
Sunday Times

Dearborn Symphony co-chairs Gloria Nycek and John Matthews Jr. are preparing to roll out the red carpet for the “A Night at the Oscars” fundraiser which will formally open the 51st season for the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra.

They have engaged the Henry Ford Community College 17-piece Big Band to perform shortly after dinner under the direction of maestro Rick Goward, now in his 29th year at the college.

The black-tie gala takes place Sept. 15 in the ballroom at the Fairlane Club.

Tickets are $175 ($300 for benefactors), and can be obtained by calling 313-565-2424. Valet parking will be provided. A silent auction of select experiences will precede the “Oscars” award presentation, which promises to be a surprise to all guests.

The party will be filled with surprises plus a special meal planned by Fairlane Club Chef Kasey Faraj. Beginning with kobe beef and yellow fin tuna hors d’oeuvres, the meal features golden turkey coils with corn bread stuffing, ruby beet salad with Clermont cheese and ends with crystal sugar ringed tiramisu.

Dearborn Symphony artist-in-residence Jacqueline Csurgai-Schmitt will perform at the piano before dinner. A champagne reception is at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow at 7. The gala also will feature a martini bar and wine.

The HFCC Big Band has performed at major jazz festivals worldwide, and this summer made a return engagement at Europe’s oldest jazz festival, Jazz a’ Juan Festival.

Formed in 1983, the band performs music of legendary America jazz greats including Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Count Basie and Stan Kenton. The band has performed twice in New York’s Carnegie Hall and eight times at the Montreux Switzerland Jazz Festival, as well as at three U.S. presidential inaugurations.

Recently they were honored with the Wayne County USA County Executives Award by the Wayne County Council for Arts, History and Humanities. Their credit list also includes 25 performances at the Detroit Jazz Festival. They have also performed at the New Orleans Mardi Gras and Edinburgh International Festival

The HFCC band includes young professional musicians, music educators and music students who enroll at the college to continue their performances and study big band literature.