We’ve received a flood of wonderful comments since Saturday’s Guitars Under the Stars at One World Theatre.  A guest wrote: “[We] would like to personally thank you and ALL the Staff of ACGS for one of the best (if not the best) evenings we have had last night.  The organization of the event, the venue, the food, and service was superb and top notch!”

Wow!  We at ACGS are so deeply grateful to every guest who made Saturday’s gala the special night that it was – and to every one of our supporters who makes our work in education possible.

If you did not get a chance to pledge support for our education program Saturday, and you’d like to, you can still give online – or call us at 512-300-ACGS – to get involved!

Thanks to our great staff: Julie Stoakley, April Long, Chuck Lutke and our ed team, who worked so hard to put it all together!

Here are a few pictures from Saturday.  I’d like to say a big special thank you to photographer Philip Rogers for these terrific shots.  When he sent these over he added: “Wow, What a night. Fantastic on all levels. Such a wonderfully nice group of people. Open and gracious. And very photogenic. The music was sublime.”

What it’s all about!  Here our Assistant Director of Education, Jeremy Osborne,

conducts a 9-member select student ensemble from Akins, Crockett and

McCallum high schools, playing a Bach Fugue, to open our show in the theatre.


After the kids played, the amazing Bandini-Chiacchiaretta

Tango Duo took the stage and energized our sold-out audience!


Guests arrived through the beautiful One World Theatre Plaza Gate.

Pictured here are Mark Flaherty and Daria Sandburg,

who joined us all the way from Pennsylvania!


We had a great time meeting the artists in the theatre during our

Sponsor Reception before the main event!


Our table décor was planned beautifully by our event manager Julie Stoakley

with the help of our amazing supporter and volunteer Liz Pyeatt

(from our presenting sponsor, Austin Asset).  They were put together

with an amazing team of volunteers led by Paulina Soenen.  Pictured here

is Ben Finklea, founder and CEO of Volacci – a generous sponsor of our education program!


Our Valentines Mystery Gift Boxes were a huge hit.  We sold out completely

of the 60 or so our wonderful volunteers had wrapped up!

Here are Jim and Jennifer Judkins holding a few.


AWMedia, publishers of Austin Woman and ATX Man, were media sponsors

of Guitars Under the Stars.  Here is editor Deborah Hamilton Lynn with several guests from AWMedia!


So many amazing guests!  Here I am with Diane Ingram, our patron Oscar Gomez

(who, with his wife Elsa, hosted a private concert with Jorge Caballero in their

home last summer) and Diane’s husband Hudson Ingram (right).


..and speaking of Elsa Gomez, here she is on the right, with Mexnet Alliance

President Monica Peraza (center) and Travis County District Clerk Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza (left)


A highlight of our brief education presentation was Sergeant Will Flores, guitarist in the US Army Band,

and graduate of our guitar program at McCallum High School, saying a few words about how our program

has changed his life.  Sergeant Flores flew in from Georgia to be with us Saturday.


Cesare Chiacchiaretta and Giampaolo Bandini played a glorious concert for us –

and our guests leapt out of their seats for a standing ovation at the end.


Our dessert buffet after the concert was super popular, and guests stayed

to talk long after the last notes were played upstairs.


If you didn’t get to join us Saturday night – here’s a fabulous video shot by KUT’s Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon of our live appearance on John Aielli’s Eklektikos from Thursday, February 7th!  They’re playing Piazzolla’s Libertango!



One of our patrons wrote simply: “The Gala was a triumph!”  We could not have done it without the generosity of our presenting sponsor: Austin Asset, our Platinum Sponsors: Jeff & Gail Kodosky, Louise Epstein & John Henry McDonald Trust, H-E-B, Kendal & Ken Gladish, and AW Media, and our co-chairs for the evening David & Catherine Wildermuth, Ken & Kendal Gladish, and Jeff and Gail Kodosky.

Thank you!