The Best Dressed of the Academy of Music 160th Anniversary Concert and Ball

The Best Dressed of the Academy of Music 160th Anniversary Concert and Ball

PS Some of these photos will appear in Philly Mag, a few photos that will run are not included here and finally please DO NOT take a photo until 3 days, you may link back to my page though which I would appreciate. Then on Friday you may come back and screen shot the pix you want and post it, but please again link back to my site. Also it’d be good if you did this for Susan Scovill and Al For as well. Clicks on our site help us with clients and advertisers. This column took over 12 hours to write as it’s difficult to whittle down the pictures to the best of the best 30 photos, especially when i know nearly everyone I photograph.
Thanks, now on with the show…..

Oh what a night. Saturday night I went to my 6th Academy Ball. It was magical and one of the best I’ve attended. Attendance was up, and there was a good mix of people from all walks of life, and many more young people than ever before packing the dance floor until 2AM. The evening began with the Chairman’s Reception at the Academy of Music, then there’s the concert, afterwards guests promenade up Broad Street to the Hyatt at The Bellevue where guests dine in one of the 5 different public spaces at the historic hotel. Each room with a different musical theme – jazz, waltzes, current pop, country, and classical. I make it a point to hit each room and enjoy the vibe, especially in the Rose Garden Ballroom where guests traditionally waltz, jitterbug and quickstep.

Colleen Wyse, Stephen K. Klasko MD, president of Thomas Jefferson, Lucia Languino, MD and Dario C. Altieri, MD – The Wistar Institute – All are looking amazing in White Tie

Speaking of traditions, the Academy Ball’s dress is White Tie. White tie, also called full evening dress, is the most formal evening dress code in Western fashion, gowns for women and white tie formal for men. Although everyone I photographed looked amazing, my best dressed picks adhered to the standard of the White Tie. I would never want to see it go away, it’s the last one we have in Philly, and it’s on par with State Dinners as well as The Met Gala, another event I have covered in the past. It’s a nice tradition.

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The Co-Chairmen for 160th Anniversary Concert and Ball  were Georgiana W. Noll and Harry E. Hill III
Young Friends Co-Chairmen Lynsie Solomon and Scott S. Johnson

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Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and

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OK Martin Short is not dressed White Tie, but I’ll let him slide

special guest artist Martin Short kept the nearly 2000 people in attendance entertained for about 90 minutes, slipping into characters he’s made famous – Ed Grimley and Jiminy Glick; and I was surprised that he had such a good singing voice. He was really amazing and a great choice for the 160th anniversary.

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Also on the bill was Soprano Vanessa Vasquez, an Academy of Vocal Arts resident artist, sang an aria from Puccini’s La rondine. Vanessa had LED lights under her dress, which made her dress glitter as she glided across the floor. With her is André Courville;

Meredith West wearing a gown from Jan’s Boutique in Cherry Hill and Erin Cook

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This group Ben Cross, Rosemary Connors, Alisa Frick and Tony Frick always looks amazing, but Alisa choice of a royal blue Nicole Miller dress is breathtaking.  I wish I had asked Rosemary more about that dress, and her necklace, just amazing. Yeah the boys look good too, but how lucky are they to have these stunners on their arms.

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Richard Roccato and Greg Schwab head upstairs to the President’s Reception at the Academy of Music for the pre-party before the concert and Ball. For a white tie event, a white or red carnation are traditional.


Joanna McNeil Lewis wearing NY Designer Donald Deal, John Saler and Christina Saler is wearing Jovani with a lace illusion mid-section gown, which is very popular now, and this style gown is appropriate for a White Tie Gala.

Danelsy Medrano, MBA and Doug Oliver

Definitely one of the best dressed of the night with the most brilliant smiles. Great posture, and
perfect hand on hip placement. I like the dramatic background as well. Next year I’m posing everyone here.
Danelsy Medrano, MBA and Doug Oliver

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These two are adorable. Andrew Culbard, from Scottland and Peter McQuillan, from Ireland, heard about The Academy Ball from friends in Europe and flew in just for the occasion.
(Scottish Highland dress is often worn to black- and white-tie occasions, especially at Scottish reels and ceilidhs; )

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For women  the rules are simple Formal (floor length) evening gown and Long gloves (optional) and Teresa Nino (2012/13 co-chair of Young Friends of the Academy Ball) looks fabulous with fiance Dr. Christopher M. Kenney, Esq. Congrats are in order as well as the two will be welcoming their first child in 2017.

Philly Chit Chat’s choice for Best Dressed of 2016 makes the list for Best Dressed at the Academy Ball is not a surprise.
Flo Celender (wearing Juan Carlos Pinera) and Rick Celender

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Jim Dever, Bank of America’s Philadelphia market president and Dr. Lynn G. Dever, MD

Steven and Sylvia Feinberg, with daughter Lynsie Solomon, Young Friends Co-Chairmen (wearing Rene Ruiz) and Evan Solomon


Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
You’ll have to wait til the March issue of Philly Mag to see what he changed into.

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After the concert guests were serenaded by several groups along the way to the Hyatt at the Bellevue. This was the creative idea of event producer Sharon Phillips Waxman a few years back.

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Mark Nicoletti and his daughters Francesca, Megan, and Sophia begin the promenade down Broad Street after the concert.

Otis and Faith Hightower
Otis and Faith Hightower

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Toni Leslie and fashion blogger Ian Michael Crumm wearing a vintage tail coat, tailored from a coat he found in his moms closet, Zara pants, Bruno Magli shoes, a Baume and Mercier watch from Bernie Robbins, and his newly dyed gray locks are by Roxy at The Rittenhouse Spa.

Alisa Frederico, Style Director at Dressing Jane, wearing Theia Couture with baubles by Bernie Robbins, and Alex Holley, Good Day Fox 29, wearing Bloomingdale’s private label brand Aqua

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Gary Frank, Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Chairman Nominations & Governance, Chair 2016 Opening Night Philadelphia Orchestra Association and Alexian Timeus

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Outstanding as always, Anne Callahan, wearing Giambattista Valli (and fur for the walk) in 2017 Color Of The Year – Greenery (This was last year’s dress, which she never got to wear because of the snow storm) and  Charles Croce, Executive director Philadelphia History Museum

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Chris Young and Danielle Hankin
(I’m kinda bummed I didn’t have Danielle take off her coat, as I had others do, but I can still see this outfit is fantastic)

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Nick Nicholson and Tara Theune Davis
Betsy Johnson and Scott Johnson, Young Friends Co-Chairmen walk up Broad Street to the Bellevue, seranaded by The Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble.

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Stunning couple, and that dress OH MY Jenine Neff and David Neff

Jimmy Schaeffer, Adele Schaeffer and Nicole Schaeffer

Robert Santorsa and Ary Modesto

Robert Santorsa and Ary Modesto

Katie Clemm (wearing Jovani at Nieman Marcus) and Ryan Kayson

STUNNING – Terry Leach, and Jenny DeHuff of The Philly Voice, wearing Badgley Mischka.

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Rachel Sill wearing Carrer de la Riera (she wore this to the Grammy’s last year) and Justin Wineburgh

Brandon Morrison (Custom Tux by LR2, and walking stick by Tobox) and Stacey Kracher, wearing Nicole Miller (only 5 of these gowns were made in the collection)

Erik and Ellen Gregorie, who looked equally classy on the dance floor in the Rose Garden Ballroom

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Then it was time for dinner and

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as tradition has it, no photos are to be taken after dinner. Although you can catch a lot of social media snaps by all who attended.

Over $2 Million was raised proceeds go to the Restoration Fund for the Academy of Music

Head to Philly Metro to more pics from the night