Fanfare: Wynton Marsalis leads Pittsburgh Promise gala
By the time the Pittsburgh Promise’s “Night of a Million Possibilities” gala had ended Nov. 10, a philanthropic dream team of the city’s boldest names left little doubt as to just how committed they were to turning that dream into a reality.
“Tonight, we celebrate a total of $8.8 million in new funding for the scholarship fund,” announced executive director Saleem Ghubril, with wife Patti. “The words ‘Thank You’ just fall short of what my heart feels for every one of you.”
Early on, the sold-out crowd of 1,000-plus was buzzing over the headlining performance of Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, who spent the morning with Pittsburgh Public Schools students in a master class with an audience Q&A.
“I look at every one of those kids as if they were my kids,” Marsalis said. “I wanted to leave them with the feeling I have … the intensity and love of music and them.”
During cocktail hour, the Pittsburgh Allderdice Marching Band Drum Line parted the waters as guests were ushered into the ballroom of the Wyndham Grand where the Pittsburgh Perry Dance and Drill Team was waiting to take over.
From there, the passionate support of the Promise’s mission to support urban youth via post-secondary scholarships became abundantly clear.
“Hope is what scholarships provide,” said board memberKiya Tomlin, with husband Mike.
By the time Marsalis and his Small Group hit a high note, there was nothing left to do but dance in the aisles.
— Kate Benz (@KateBenz) November 12, 2016
Spied were Promise chair Franco andDana Harris, co-hosts Shannon Chavez andTeireik Williams, Debbie Dick andArt Stroyd, Mardi andJim Royston, Janet andBill Hunt, Bill andDebbie Demchak, Max andPeggy King, Anne Lewis andJim Zeustek, Dr.Anthony Hamlet, Mary Louise andChip Babst, Sy Holzer, andEvan Frazier.
Kate Benz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.