We host so many galas here at The
Plaza and what made the Harlem School of the Arts’ 50th Anniversary
Gala so special was not only the fact that it was honoring Alicia Keys and
Steinway Pianos, but the students of the prestigious performing arts school who stole
I was so struck by the rehearsal that I had to have some of my colleagues come to the Ballroom just to feel the magic in the air. The immeasurable talent that was on stage had our entire team with goosebumps. They were kids aged 7-17 enchanting us with ballet, song, and jazz. There were solo artists, and a remarkable performance by two children that could not be any older than ten years old harmonizing.
Before we knew it, the evening was upon us and it was time for cocktails, and I must say that it was one of the most interactive cocktail receptions that I have ever seen. There were a few art students scattered throughout the space, showing their paintings to the crowd. There was also a roving musician weaving in and out of the crowd.
When it was time to enter the ballroom for dinner, rather than the typical chimes, over 60 of the performing arts students erupted into a flash mob to lead guests into the main event. The energy was electric. Awaiting the guests at each seat was our Maplebrook Burrata appetizer for everyone to enjoy while watching the kids do a song and dance performance celebrating the 50 years.
It was then time to announce the honorees – Alicia Keys was honored and the kids couldn’t have been more excited to be in the same room as her. Nick Cannon, who honored Steinway & Sons piano company, was noticeably touched by the talented crowd.
It was then time for dinner – guests were enjoying our succulent Roasted Chicken with Glazed Carrots and Turnips, Fresh Herb Risotto, and Bordelaise Sauce. Then, there were several more performances adorning the stage. The final performance of the night was in the back of the room on the dance floor. The students performed and got everyone off of their feet to join them! Guests were able to pick up some sweets on the way to the dance floor from the elaborate dessert buffet. It was an inspiring evening, and I am still amazed by the young talent that blew the crowd away!