The Day – ECSO Friday Summer Gala Concert at Stonington Vineyards

Normally, charity galas for the organization of fine arts are held in cathedrals or halls of architectural glass showcases. The ceremonial outfits of the participants are in gold. And items available on the silent auction include stuff like a draft of “I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed” in Emily Dickinson’s handwriting (and with hens drawn in the margins), a lock of Paganini hair, and , because someone always gives one, a Luis Tiant baseball.

Damn it ! Calm down!

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra is hosting its summer fundraiser Friday with just the right mix of ambiance and relaxation. On the one hand, it takes place outdoors in the charming and thirst-quenching vineyards of Stonington. The winery and ECSO entered into a partnership with their Soundscape concert series last summer as each looked for ways to deal with the pandemic.

The gala also and above all boasts of a real concert – as in, the ECSO is ready to work for your contributions! Music Director and Conductor Toshiyuki “Toshi” Shimada to conduct 40 musicians from ECSO in works by Leonard Bernstein, John Williams, Edward Elgar and more – and acclaimed soprano Sarah Yanovitch Vitale will be guest of selected pieces .

Yes, there is a silent auction and the items ARE excellent. But not so much that you are guilty of bidding on Van Gogh’s ear. Woodfellas Pizza & Wings will be on hand to provide food; you can also bring your own food. Light jackets, lounge chairs and blankets are good ideas, and bring a mask to order wine inside the tent; masks are optional on the lawn.

All proceeds will go to ECSO as it prepares to return to indoor shows for its 75th anniversary season this fall. Silent auctions run through Friday (preview items and bid on And ticket sales are only made in advance.

Fundraiser for the ECSO Summer Gala Concert, Friday 6 to 8 pm, doors 5:30 pm, Stonington Vineyards, 523 Taugwonk Rd., Stonington; $ 75; tickets available on; for more information

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