Philharmonic Society Presents Golden Baton to Elaine Redfield

Mahhhhvelous. That's how arts activist Elaine Redfield looked Saturday night when she received the coveted Golden Baton Award from the Orange County Philharmonic Society.

Taking the spotlight on-stage at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach, Redfield looked like the arts fairy godmother she is. Her voluminous pink chiffon gown sparkled when she walked and shimmered when she talked. The only thing missing was a wand.

But the elegant Golden Baton trophy, presented to her by Philharmonic President Ed Halvajian--who introduced her with "to know her is to love her"--suited Redfield just fine.

"This just wraps everything up in a great big bow," she said, addressing the 375 guests who came to honor her.

A supporter of the society since the '50s, Redfield said she moved to Orange County, heard a Philharmonic concert and "was off and running."

"This is the most glorious evening of my life!" she said. "When I was a little girl, my mother played piano for me. We lived in New York at 54th and 7th, three blocks from Carnegie Hall. My need for music was built in at an early age."

Besides the Philharmonic, Redfield has been active with the Orange County Performing Arts Center, where she asked Henry Segerstrom to donate the land ("you need to give music a decent home," she explained on Saturday night); the Pacific Symphony; Opera Pacific; the Newport Harbor Art Museum and South Coast Repertory.

For the third year running, Eva Schneider was chairwoman of the annual gala, which has honored arts activists such as Henry Segerstrom, Donald Bren, Floss Schumacher and UC Irvine's late founding chancellor, Daniel G. Aldrich Jr.

Gala proceeds of $90,000 will go toward supporting the Philharmonic's music education outreach programs and its presentation of world-class orchestras at Segerstrom Hall.

Design House at Glabman's: Now there's an idea. For the second year in a row, Glabman Furniture has opened up its Costa Mesa store to benefit a local charity. Annually, Glabman constructs a snazzy Design House--a house within a store--that features the dernier cri in home decor. Last year, the Newport Harbor Art Museum was the beneficiary of the bash that kicked off the huge home's unveiling. Last week, the Orange County Philharmonic Society and the Guilds of the Orange County Performing Arts Center benefited from its preview party. How does company President Jim Glabman pick the charities? "Well, the Big Canyon Committee of the Philharmonic picked us, " said Glabman, explaining that the committee used the Design House for its annual home tour. The lucky Guilds are $10,000 richer.

Dining in Sorrento: Creme brulee with lots of crunch and Caesar salad without too much Parmesan. That's the way guests described the tasty fare at Monday night's benefit dinner at the Sorrento Grille for the Laguna Beach Chamber Music Society. Also on the menu at the super-hot Laguna Beach bistro: teensy and tasty artichoke pizzas (served as hors d'oeuvres) and a choice of pasta primavera, grilled mahi mahi or "garlicky" chicken served up with rosemary polenta. Event proceeds of about $6,000 will go toward the society's educational outreach programs--Virtuoso School Performances--and its general concert program. Last year, the society provided 15 in-school programs in Laguna Beach, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano by professional chamber ensembles. Brenda Agren was chairwoman.

Day-tripping: It was off to the Huntington Library in San Marino on Tuesday morning for members of the Center Stars, a support group of the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The group regularly attempts to improve its knowledge of the arts by taking tours and attending arts lectures. Diana Sterling organized the bus trip, which included a docent tour of the library's botanical gardens. Luncheon was served up in the Herb Garden Restaurant. Janet Corbin is president of the Center Stars and Harriet Cox is chairwoman of membership. Incoming president is Christine Rhoades, daughter of William Lyon, the new chairman of the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Wined and dined at Mondavi: Talk about fund-raising. Proceeds estimated at $100,000 are expected from Sunday's "Taste of Life" benefit staged by the South County Cancer League at the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Center. More than 150 wines were up for tasting and 22 restaurants cooked up their best. Mary Jean Simpkins was chairwoman.

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