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Singles Mingle to Strains of Jazz, Hollywood Hits

August 17, 2000|PAMELA DIAMOND

The event: Music devotees mingled under a canopy of leafy branches Saturday at the Classic Encounters for Singles mixer sponsored by the Pacific Symphony.

As the sun set behind the hills of the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, guests soaked up the smooth jazz sounds of the J.R. Lewis duo and piled their plates high with salads and barbecued chicken and beef.

The party drew more than 100 singles--women outnumbered men--ranging in age from their late 20s to sixtysomething.

Guests warmed to the casual atmosphere that saxophonist Lewis described as a "very laid-back" environment.

Stirring up fun: "We try to make it fun--for instance, this year we've added a wine tasting," said Sabrina Reed, a symphony spokeswoman.

The goal of the Classic Encounters Series--now in its 13th year--is to "bring together singles with like interests," Reed explained. "If you meet someone here, you can be sure that they enjoy music as much as you do."

Musical notes: The event's highlight: A program of Hollywood hits and Oscar-winning scores conducted by Richard Kaufman that included a quartet of love songs composed by Henry Mancini.

"This event is a little more upscale than most," observed Diana Scofield of Yorba Linda, who came with a female friend. "I'm always looking for alternative ways to meet other singles. And I love music, so the concert is a nice added attraction."

New friends: Aliso Viejo resident Jeanette Rodriguez met her boyfriend of eight months, Daniel Hall, at a past Classic Encounters concert.

The two enjoyed the series so much that they signed up again. "It's a lot of fun and a good way to meet people--even if you don't start dating," she said. Hall agreed: "Classic Encounters has good food, great music, a beautiful outdoor setting."

What's next: The Classic Encounters for Singles series closes with the Pacific Symphony's "Tchaikovsky Spectacular" on Sept. 9. Barbecue party begins at 6 p.m.; concert, 8 p.m. $40. (714) 755-5799.

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