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R S V P / ORANGE COUNTY : Preparing for a Visit From Pops : A reception welcomes the Boston group's conductor, who will lead the Candlelight Concert to benefit the Performing Arts Center.

November 16, 1995|ANN CONWAY

Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart felt right at home last week when he was honored at a reception at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach.

New England-style clam chowder and lobster ravioli were on the menu for the maestro, who will conduct the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra at The Pond of Anaheim on Dec. 7.

Mingling with Lockhart were underwriters of the Candlelight Concert gala, which will be held before the concert and will benefit the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.

"The gala is a sellout--900 guests!" said Catherine Thyen, gala chairwoman. (Concert tickets are available for grandstand seating, said a center spokesman.)

"This is the first extensive holiday concert we've done," Lockhart said. "We usually do tours in the summer.

"But we're doing five in a row--Portland, San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix and Denver."

In each location, the orchestra will draw from local choral groups for its holiday programs.

"We will be working with the William Hall Master Chorale here in Orange County," Lockhart said.

He promises traditional holiday music and a few surprises. "We'll have everything from Handel to 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.' "

And a sing-along? "Oh, yes," he said, smiling. "Plan on joining us for 'Sleigh Ride,' 'White Christmas' and more."

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Saluting leaders: Community leaders were honored by the Orange County Performing Arts Center during two dinners this week. Overseeing the festivities at the center before performances of the Dance Theatre of Harlem on Sunday and the Moiseyev Dance Company on Wednesday was Dee Higby, chairwoman of the center's 10th anniversary Special Events Committee.

"We want to honor the vital role leaders throughout Orange County have made in the quality of life in this community," she said.

Receiving accolades from the center were representatives of groups that included the American Assn. of Retired Persons, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orange County, Orangewood Children's Home, Meals on Wheels of La Habra, Salvation Army of San Clemente, Yorba Linda Senior Center, Our Lady of Fatima School and the Jewish Community Center/Jewish National Fund.

"As we celebrate 'The Center at 10,' we are proud that these leaders are among those we honor," Higby said.

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Dining at Twin Palms: If it wasn't for Debi Sommars' love of art, the Exhibitionists Council of the Laguna Art Museum might not have been the beneficiary of Saturday night's opening bash at the Twin Palms in Newport Beach.

But art takes Sommars to Pasadena--"I love their art walks," she said--and during one of those art-filled days she sampled the fare at Twin Palms in Old Town. "I loved their food. It's exciting--they take chances," Sommars said.

When Sommars heard the restaurant would be opening with a series of charity fests, she put in her bid, and the Laguna Art Museum made the list (along with the Center 500 support group of the Performing Arts Center, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Futures for Children).

Guests sipped martinis, danced the jitterbug and dined on buffet food whipped up by chef Michael Roberts, a partner with Cindy Costner in the 325-seat restaurant.

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