The Master Chorale of Orange County tossed a late-night party after Saturday's "Christmas for the Family" concert at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. About 200 friends of the ensemble gathered at the Garden Bistro restaurant in South Coast Plaza's Crystal Court for a lavish buffet and goblets of wine and wassail (hot cider). The $30-per-person event raised an estimated $2,000.
The beloved patriarch of this musical family is William Hall, the pink-cheeked, sparkle-eyed music director. Santa-like, Hall swooped into the party with good tidings--and a bear hug--for all.
"We're the Bill-ettes!" said Mary Jane Coleman, who squealed with delight when Hall came over with a welcome kiss.
"We're Bill Hall's professional entourage," joked Susan McKellar, who dined with Coleman and Betsy Critchfield.
Along the same lines--if somewhat more subdued--were the comments of Cherry Rhodes, a concert organist and professor at USC.
"I'm here because I'm a fan of William Hall," said Rhodes, who attended the concert and party with her husband, concert organist Ladd Thomas. "Bill is a wonderful musician, and he gives people a very good time as well as giving them great music. He's a very special performer. He has that gift."