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Opus Ball XX

Ann Hampton Callaway performs with the Symphony.


  • OPUS HEADLINER: Ann Hampton.
New York jazz singer Ann Hampton Callaway, whose voice has been likened to the great Ella Fitzgerald’s, will perform for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Opus Ball XX on Saturday, Nov. 6. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the ball, it’s being held for the first time at Robinson Center Music Hall. The hall is being refitted in the style of a Carnegie Hall gala, with flooring built over the orchestra seating section of the main floor to allow for dining and dancing and a view of the orchestra. The event, which is sold out, will run from 6 p.m. to midnight. All proceeds go to the ASO’s music education programs, including in-school string instruction, its visits to more than 40 Arkansas towns each year, free children’s concerts and the ASO’s three youth orchestras. Local philanthropists Cindy and Chip Murphy are chairing the event. Callaway, who starred in an ASO “Pops, Live” series show in 2001, will perform her “Swing Away the Blues” show with the orchestra. A prominent figure in the Manhattan jazz club scene since the debut of her self-titled album in 1992, Callaway was described in Rolling Stone magazine as embodying “the charm and charisma of jazz singer legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn.” Her notable performances include a special concert for then President Bill Clinton. The event’s gourmet dinner is being prepared by the staff of Galatoire’s in New Orleans and will be coordinated by local celebrity chefs. The live auction will include unusual and elaborate trips and other exclusive items, including conducting the ASO for a number during the May “Pops, Live!” appearance by Jose Feliciano. A boutique silent auction will feature more than 100 items valued from $250 to $12,000. Last year’s ball raised about $559,000 and during the past 20 years has raised more than $3 million. Call 666-1761 for more information.


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