Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Grand Voyage

The Grand Voyage co-chairs Anapaula Watson, Eaddo Kiernan, Trina Santry, Elizabeth McMillen, Amanda Fische, and Julie Warburton.
On Saturday, August 13th up in Newport, Rhode Island, The Preservation Society of Newport County celebrated "The Grand Voyage" at Marble House on Bellevue Avenue with a dinner served in in a tent decorated like a Gilded Age steamship, complete with promenade deck overlooking the ocean.

This annual affair is the Preservation Society's
major fundraiser of the year. Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. It was a summer house, known in Newport and the parlance of society as a "cottage", the new Newporters' tribute to the early 19th century's seaside inhabitants.
Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt's summer "cottage," Marble House.
The Gold Salon at Marble House.
Marble House was much more of course. Its builder and chatelaine Alva Vanderbilt loved building grand palaces for herself. Its cost in those days was in the millions although today, much of work and the construction could be deemed priceless or at least in the hundreds of millions as its public rooms are truly palatial. The house was used only about six weeks a year, if that; and as it happened Mrs. V. divorced her husband two years later (she got the house in the settlement) and married Mr. Belmont who lived in a castle across the avenue – which she again remodeled in a palatial setting.

After the untimely death of Mr. Belmont in 1908,
Alva moved back to Marble House where she had built a grand seaside Tea House. It was there in that the widow Belmont took up the cause of women's suffrage with the same august certainty that characterizes her houses, and entertained her suffrage sisters and spearheaded a lot of their public activities.
Alva's Chinese Teahouse, built behind Marble House.
Alva Vanderbilt Belmont (second from right) and her daughter Consuelo (far left) in front of the Chinese Teahouse.
Alva and suffrage leadership in 1922.
Marble House was a social and architectural landmark that set the pace and competitive tone for Newport's subsequent transformation from a quiet summer colony of wooden structures to the legendary architectural grandeur that defined the Age.
Living Statues of Rhode Island sea legend themes entertained guests during the cocktail reception
Living Statues ''Jelly Fish'' roamed the cocktail reception
Welcome Aboard
Dinner table decor
'The Grand Voyage'' began with a cocktail reception held on the terrace and the gardens below. Dinner was served in an elaborately decorated tented enclosure and dessert and dancing followed. The Grand Voyage co-chairs Anapaula Watson, Eaddo Kiernan, Trina Santry, Elizabeth McMillen, Amanda Fischer and Julie Warburton welcomed arriving guests.
Board of Trustees chairman Monty Burnham with her husband Richard Burnham
Trudy Coxe and her husband Jim Gaffney
Duncan Chapman, Christine Paxson, Trudy Coxe (Executive Director of the Preservation Society of Newport County), Barbara Chapman, Edward Berwind Stautberg, Susan Stautberg, and Ari Gabinet
Mrs. David Lindh and David Thalmann
Marie Bennett, Toni Russo, and Mira Cocozziello
Teresa DeChant, Katherine Hayes, Stephen and Jennie Huttler, and Paul Danello
Mikki Micarelli and Ron Slingerland
Robin Hubbard and Alyssa Hubbard
Nadia Hadi, Zander Geronimos, Colby O'Neil, Peter Kiernan, and Elizabeth Michler
John Markarian and Ann Topjian
Jacqui Michel and Janet Lanzillo
Mike and Barbara Caldwell with Stephanie Zweck and her husband Brig. Gen., US Army (ret) Peter Zweck
Harling Ross, Sofia de Goytisolo, Madeleine Hicks, and Julia Caffrey
Ted Fischer, Art and Trina Santry, and Jay Holland
Nicki Blystad, Bernt Heiberg, Kimberly Palmer, and William Cummings
David and Candy Keefe with Lynell Antonelli and Bruce Halford
Captain Nicholas Brown, USN (RET) wearing his NY Yacht Club Summer Mess Kit with Captain Torre Peterson, USN (RET)
Craig and Kari Shapero, John and Kim Dematteo, and Patricia and Leo Orsi
Lindsay and Steve Lyons and Mackenzie with Michael and Kate Hamilton
Hugh McGlade, Lilly Fleischmann, Olivio Bono. Abby Baskin, and Janine Jablonski
Yvonne Moynahan with Torre and Patricia Peterson
Helene van Beuren with Gordon and Kennedy Nelson
Christopher Avery and his sister Elizabeth Avery
Last Wednesday night in Beverly Hills, Alex Hitz hosted a private screening of Robert Shaw – Man of Many Voices,”  Alex’s late stepfather, a boy from Red Bluff, California, son of a local preacher, who became the greatest conductor of chorale music of the 20th century.

Shaw, who died in his 86th year in 1999, received 14 Grammys, 4 ASCAP awards, was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Honor, and the French Legion d’honneur, among the many accolades he earned over his long career.

With no formal musical training, Shaw, in his early 30s, achieved a stunning success in popular music working on the radio for Fred Waring and his Pennysylvanians. In 1948 became an apprentice to maestro Arturo Toscanini conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra which was a major radio weekly show, Shaw became legendary for his interpretations of classical music’s great choral masterpieces. His work became the most played music on the radio, in 500 shows a year.

An early champion of civil rights, Shaw had a mystical belief in the power of community and could communicate his passion for music with spellbinding intensity. As Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the latter half of the twentieth century, Maestro Shaw changed the course of musical history through the many voices he set on fire with an enduring love of music.

Co-produced by Georgia Public Television and the Atlanta Symphony, the film, which celebrates his life on the 100th anniversary) has been shown in New York -- where James Ostreich gave it a rave in the Times.
Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians at the Roxy Theater in New York City.
Needless to say, the film was a big hit with Alex’s 150 guests who included Kiki Wilson who used to sing with Maestro Shaw. Growing up with parents who always played the classic and opera stations on Sunday mornings, the name Robert Shaw Chorale always meant something dramatic and impressive to this kid’s little ears. As I got older the name made the same impression because I was, like millions of people, aware of the music he made with the voices he chose. Beautiful.

Also among the guests was Martin Chalifour, the Principal Concertmaster at the Los Angles Philharmonic. Mr. Chalifour was a protégé of Robert Shaw.
Robert Shaw conducts the Collegiate Chorale at the first session in the United Nations building, 1953.
After the screening, guests adjourned to the garden of a friend of Alex's in Beverly Hills where they dined outside to a menu created by their host whose cookbook “Classic Southern Cooking With a French Twist” (and also “My Beverly Hills Kitchen”) is a big hit with all you cookbook fans out there.
Lou Howe, Kiki Wilson, and Alex Hitz
Al and Kimm Uzielli
Alex and Samar Bloomingdale
Alex Hitz with Nancy and Martin Chalifour
Benton and Darren Weinstock
Alex with Nancy and Martin Chalifour
Billy Kimball, Suzanne Rheinstein, and Nic Bini
Caroline Whitman and Karim Amiryani
Chip Conlan, Alex Hitz, and Debbie Bancroft
Craig and Jane Gosden
Georgia Spogli and Frances Schultz
Jill Cartter and Ames Cushing
Jimmy DeWitte and Lynne Gordon DeWitte
Joanne Casullo, Tom Dittmer, and Beth Rudin DeWoody
John and Joan Hotchkis
Justine Bloomingdale and Brooke Davenport
Kai Loebach and Joan Agajanian Quinn
Kathi Koll
Kay Pick and Frank Bowling
Kiki and Steve Heinzer
Konstantin Kakanias, Allison Gorsuch Corrigan, and Carly Steel
Leo and Grega Daley
Louise Korshack and Marcia Hobbs
Nathan Turner, Rebecca de Ravenel, Georgia Tapert Howe, and Lou Howe
Peter Dunham and Maryetta Anschutz
Peter Iacono, Manfred Kuhnert, and Hutton and Ruth Wilkinson
Richard Ziegelasch and Andy Travaglia
Rose Tarlow and Mr. Yuki
Steve and Annabel Shulman, Darren Ramirez, and Nina Ohern
Stuart and Louise Korschak
Victoria Brynner, Gino Sullivan, and Marin Hopper
Alex's fried chicken
Photographs by Susan Scovill (Newport).