A Model Benefit Raises $2,500 for Master Chorale

Jan Hofmann is a regular contributor to Orange County Life.

Long before they stepped onto the runway, it was easy to spot the volunteer models at Friday’s fashion show and luncheon for the Guild of the Master Chorale of Orange County at the Turnip Rose restaurant in Orange.

They were the ones who walked gracefully past the gourmet dessert display at the end of the buffet, laden with assorted yummies from Amaretto mousse pie to devil’s-food fudge-nut cake to cream puffs.

“I want to make sure the suit still fits,” said Master Chorale music director William Hall, who had been assigned to model a sleek Italian ensemble.

Billed “Let Us Entertain You,” the $35-per-person event featured members and supporters of the chorale modeling fall styles for a friendly crowd of more than 150. According to guild president and chorale member Katie Duncan, the luncheon netted about $2,500.


Hall confessed that he had no experience as a model, save for “modeling a monkey suit when the chorale is performing.”

Model John Rhynerson, tugging at the slightly tight jacket of the Giorgio Armani suit he had been issued, admitted that this was his first time on the runway as well. But that wasn’t the real reason he was uncomfortable.

“This is a Donald Bren kind of suit--no, I mean Donald Trump ,” he corrected himself, momentarily confusing the Irvine Co. head with the Big Apple tycoon.

In either case, Rhynerson said, “He’s the only one who can afford something like this.”


The whole Rhynerson family, including Rhynerson’s wife, Kathleen, and his preschooler daughters, Kristen and Whitney, took to the ramp.

Although some chorale fans might have been confused by the group’s recent aborted bid to merge with the Pacific Chorale, the organization’s core supporters were unfazed, event chairwoman Lynn Galt said. “It hasn’t had any effect on the morale of the guild,” she said. “But it may have impeded our attracting new members.”

With or without a merger, new members are the primary goal this year for the guild, which now includes 24 full members and 46 associates, according to Duncan.

Other models included Gayle Anderson, Carole Follman, Marcia Giesler, Jeanne Moriarty, Gypsy Pulliam, Nancy Sorosky, Diana Sterling, Kit Toth, Milli Wieseneck, Debbie Williams, and Donna Bunce, who also was the commentator.