Symphony Ball 2019, “Northern Lights”

Symphony Ball 2019, “Northern Lights”

Plans are coming together for a spectacular 2019 Symphony Ball, “Northern Lights,” to be held on Saturday, June 8, at Orchestra Hall and the Hilton Hotel—and you can be among the first to get your tickets when they go on sale at the end of this month! This gala evening of music, dining, dancing and good company is for a great cause: your Minnesota Orchestra. The Orchestra’s largest annual fundraiser is chaired this year by Betsy Frost and Charlie Anderson, who share their thoughts on the Ball, its theme and their longtime love of music.

How did you and the Symphony Ball committee pick the theme “Northern Lights”?

As we started planning, we wanted to pull a theme directly from our community in a way that represents Minnesota and resonates with our audience. The Northern Lights theme is a perfect way to celebrate the excellence of the Minnesota Orchestra and the impact it has on the Bold North.

If you have ever seen the Northern Lights, you know that it’s a spectacular show of Mother Nature’s brilliance—lighting up the sky in luminous blues, purples, greens and sometimes pink—leaving you speechless and moved. It’s the same brilliance that we experience every time the Minnesota Orchestra takes the stage, as the musicians transform the night and elevate the tremendous cultural and artistic heritage of our community.

How will this theme be reflected in the Ball’s activities?

The 2019 Symphony Ball will be a brilliant ball in name, design and décor and, of course, with world-class music from the Minnesota Orchestra. Attendees can expect light and sound to take center stage in adventurous new ways as the night moves from the ethereal to electric, transforming Orchestra Hall and the Hilton into the night sky. The lights will wow and the musician-curated program, including a special guest artist, will inspire and enliven the Hall.

Are newcomers welcome at Symphony Ball?

The Ball is open to one and all: whether you’re a first-timer or a Ball veteran, there is no better party in town! Symphony Ball is a premier event for many reasons. It combines multiple venues, an auction with musical experiences no one else can offer, creative collaborations between local musicians, dancing, an Orchestra performance—and the list goes on!

You can experience the Northern Lights for a complete evening that includes dinner with Orchestra musicians and a one-of-a-kind live auction at the Hilton—or you can join the party at Orchestra Hall with a champagne hour before the musician-curated concert, featuring an exciting guest artist. Orchestra Hall will then be transformed with light as the night continues with dancing, music, drinks and desserts. There’s no better way to celebrate with friends and the musicians, and experience the best that Minnesota has to offer!

What makes the Orchestra special enough to you to serve as Symphony Ball Chairs?

We are humbled and honored to be able to help with the Orchestra’s largest fundraising event of the year. The Minnesota Orchestra is so important to our community. It is not only a world-class organization that contributes a unique style and sound on the world orchestral stage, but it also elevates the Twin Cities as a thriving and culturally rich destination. The Minnesota Orchestra serves our community with music that uplifts, inspires, heals and unlocks creativity in a unique way that brings together the musicians, organization and community across the cities and the state.

The Minnesota Orchestra runs in Charlie’s family. His great-grandfather, Arthur Gaines, was the business manager in the 1920s and ’30s of what was then called the Minneapolis Symphony, taking the ensemble to Cuba for the first time. Charlie found the love of the cello after wearing out his grandfather’s cassette tapes of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto and introduced Betsy to the Minnesota Orchestra on one of their first dates. A lover of Ravel’s Bolero, Betsy was transfixed by the power of the Orchestra and joined the Board in 2017, inspired by the music and the role the Orchestra has in elevating the downtown experience and its reach throughout the community.


Tickets for Symphony Ball 2019 go on sale in late February. We’ll see you on Saturday, June 8!

Minnesota Orchestra Staff