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An Evening of Grace and Gratitude at Hochstein Gala

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An Evening of Grace and Gratitude at Hochstein Gala

Greeted by warm smiles and a lively cocktail hour full of decadent hors d’oeuvres and drinks, guests were welcomed to Hochstein’s 2024 Gala, Transcend, at the Memorial Art Gallery on March 23. The evening started with performances by a quartet and quintet, followed by a special pop-up Latin social dance session by Hochstein faculty members Wynton Rice and Janalyce Lane. This was just the beginning of an incredible night full of community, generosity, and remarkable performances and stories.

As the cocktail hour concluded, Hochstein faculty member Jake Kwiatowski ushered attendees to the grand ballroom by playing the bagpipe. Each table displayed bursts of the colors of spring thanks to the generosity of Kittelberger Florist & Gifts, with a special notecard that included artwork by Hochstein student Jackie Johnson, who later sang How Far I’ll Go with Expressive Arts Department Chair Jennifer Phillips. Host Joe Lomonaco, a familiar face from previous galas, greeted everyone alongside Hochstein’s President & Executive Director Hilary Respass, who thanked attendees for spending the evening to celebrate the essence of the school and its impact on the Greater Rochester region.

Highlights of the program included Luciano Pagano singing The Impossible Dream in honor of Louise Vigdor’s life; performances by the Scholarship String Quintet, Jackie Johnson, Cheryl Johnson’s ensemble Transcendent Tap, Forrest Li on piano, voice students Katie Kovacs and Alison Henry, and Joshua Lin on the violin; and a concluding jazz ensemble number. Videos created by video production partner Crystal Pix, Inc. were also featured throughout the evening, which spoke to how a Hochstein education can transcend barriers and expectations. The final video, This is Hochstein, served as a tribute to the many talented individuals and their beautiful spirits who make Hochstein such a special place.

Guests enjoyed their plated dinner catered by Root Catering and desserts from Cheesy Eddie’s, and the evening concluded with a dynamic paddle call. The energy of support was felt from every corner of the room as people united to donate to Hochstein’s Tuition Assistance & Community Access program. With the raise of each paddle, attendees literally transformed lives. 

With closing remarks from Joe and Hilary, attendees then spent the rest of the evening chatting with both new and old friends before heading home. Echoes of how enjoyable and powerful the evening was continued to be heard for many days after the Gala, and we are left feeling immense appreciation to all those who share our vision that one day, everyone can have access to a Hochstein arts education, regardless of age, resources, or abilities. This vision is what grounds us in everything we do.

Special thanks to host Joe Lomonaco, table hosts, sponsors, donors, Gala Committee members, event attendees, Board & Advisory Directors, faculty, staff, vendors, partners, friends, volunteers, and everyone who contributed to the success of the Gala. We are grateful for each and every one of you!

Interested in seeing photos from the evening? Click here to view the Flickr photo album where you can download your favorites - or view the slideshow below by clicking on the arrow to the right of the image.


Hochstein 2024 Gala - Transcend

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