Women in Music Gala Celebrates Gershwin’s Muse Kay Swift

April 14, 2019 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Friends of Music at Guilford’s 10th annual Women in Music house-concert gala includes great food, great music, and great entertainment bargains…. When classically trained composer and pianist Katharine Faulker Swift (1897-1993) met George Gershwin in 1925, he suggested she change her name to Kay and try her hand at popular music. In 1930, she became the first woman to write a hit Broadway show, “Fine and Dandy.” Her lyricist was Paul James, the pen name for her husband James Paul Warburg, of the prominent banking family. Kay was George’s companion and trusted advisor for most of the decade preceding his untimely death from a brain tumor in 1937. She spent a good deal of the rest of her long life editing, publishing, and consulting on Gershwin’s music while continuing to write her own. This gala fundraiser, to benefit Friends of Music at Guilford’s current 53rd season, features some of Kay’s classical and show music. Performers include pianist Virginia Eskin, cellist Rebecca Hartka, and vocalists Jessica Gelter and Tony Grobe. A bountiful buffet supper begins at 6:00, followed by the hour-long concert at 7:00. The dessert reception features donations from area inn, restaurants, and bakeries. There’s a popular Silent Auction that includes over two dozen pairs of tickets to other arts events (concerts, plays, opera, puppetry, cinema) in the tri-state region, offered at 2-for-1 opening bids; winners get bargains, FOMAG gets their donation, and donors get publicity. Gala tickets are $20-$35 on a sliding scale, and reservations are required. Contact the FOMAG office at (802) 254-3600 or office@fomag.org for further information.

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