The Phoenix Symphony


text and photos courtesy of The Phoenix Symphony

Dancing into the New Year.

On December 31, more than 350 guests enjoyed a dazzling evening of festivities and music as they rang in the New Year with The Phoenix Symphony. Held at the Arizona Biltmore, the spectacular event gave guests access to dancing before a full symphony orchestra, under the direction of Guest Conductor Stuart Chafetz.

Top left: Ed Gillenwaters, Jeanne Herberger, Lucia Renshaw and Jim Ward. Top right: Virginia G. Piper Music Director Tito Muñoz and Amanda Lee. Bottom left: Doris Ong and Adrienne Schiffner. Bottom right: NYE Gala Honorary Chairs, Dr. Oliver and Sharon Harper and event Co-Chairs, Bruce Covill and Lucia Renshaw.

Chaired by Lucia Renshaw and Bruce Covill, the program included a tribute to the event’s Honorary Chairs, Sharon and Dr. Oliver “Ollie” Harper, for their extensive legacy of community stewardship and support of The Phoenix Symphony.

The evening’s activities began at 8 p.m. with a cocktail reception in the foyer of the Arizona Biltmore Ballroom. As the ballroom doors opened at 9 p.m. guests were greeted by the energetic sounds of The JJs Band followed by a sit-down, three-course gourmet dinner prepared by the Arizona Biltmore.

Top left: Denise and Steve Zabilski Top right: Guest vocalists Kathy Voytko and John Cudia. Bottom left: Jane and Mal Jozoff. Bottom right: Joan Cremin and Haig Tchamich.

The Phoenix Symphony and guest vocalists performed a one-hour set that included favorites such as “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific,” “In the Mood,” Thunder & Lightning Polka and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Music of The Night” from The Phantom of the Opera. More dancing, a dessert and coffee buffet and a champagne toast rounded out the evening’s celebration.

Thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual sponsors, the 2018 New Year’s Eve Gala was the most successful gala to date. The funds raised support The Phoenix Symphony’s Education and Wellness programs, touching the lives of over 125,000 individuals each year. For more information, visit