Arts & Entertainment - June 1, 2011

Symphony benefit at Circus Club

The Mid-Peninsula League of the San Francisco Symphony is bringing the garden inside for this year's gala fundraiser. The Menlo Circus Club will be the setting from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 12, for dinner, a floral display, and three musical performances.

For years, the league's signature event was "Symphony in Flowers," a garden tour held every other year. The difficulties of staffing and finding homeowners willing to open their gardens to the public led members to look for new formats. "We've decided to be flexible," says league spokesman Michal Brenzel.

A highlight of the June 12 gala will be 10 floral creations from local designers. Each designer will interpret a different musical classic, such as "The Waltz of the Flowers," Nights in the Gardens of Spain," and "La Dame aux Camellias." Among those taking part are J Floral Art of Redwood City, Ornamento of Pacifica, and Cindy's Flowers of Menlo Park.

This year's party will include performances by three chamber ensembles: a trio from the San Francisco Symphony, musicians from the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and an ensemble from the Music@Menlo Institute.

Guests at the gala will have a sit-down dinner in the clubhouse instead the wine and appetizers usually served at the league's garden parties.

There will be live and silent auctions, according to co-chairs Betty Ogawa of Atherton and Mimi Kugushev of Menlo Park. Nancy Greenbach of Atherton is league president.

Tickets are $190 each, by advance reservation only. For information and tickets, call 325-5530.

All proceeds benefit the San Francisco Symphony and its outreach programs. The Mid-Peninsula League offers its Concerts for Kids program to elementary school students at Costano and Flood schools in East Palo Alto.


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