(3-25-08) Serengeti Serenade, May 3 VocalEssence Gala, benefits VocalEssence community engagement programs
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (March 25, 2008) — The magnificent landscape of the Serengeti region and the invigorating music of Africa inspire the 2008 VocalEssence Gala, a safari of musical discovery, unique auction treasures and savory cuisine. On Saturday, May 3, 2008 (6 pm), Serengeti Serenade takes place at The Historic Milwaukee Depot in Minneapolis.
The Gala is led by co-chairs Gayle Fuguitt and Julie Zelle and a committee of volunteers. Warren & Donna Beck and Dr. Josie R. Johnson are recognized as honorary chairs of the VocalEssence Gala.
Gala menu consultant Lynne Rossetto Kasper has developed an exciting menu expressing the many flavors and ingredients that influence East African cuisine, from the curries of India to the exotic spices and flat breads of the Middle East to a cardamom cinnamon Baba au Rhum cake of South Africa.
Items donated to the VocalEssence Gala offer guests the opportunity to bid on unique treasures and experiences. Just a handful of the items already donated for the 2008 Live and Silent Auction are:
- An authentic African dinner for 8 prepared by chef Asei Mannstein Tendle at a private home near Lake of the Isles
- African percussion instruments, including a handmade Djembe Drum and an African Shekere (beads woven onto a netting around a hollow gourd)
- A full page ad in Minnesota Monthly — or paid summer internship on the magazine’s staff!
Hayor Bibimma Dance, a traditional African Music and Dance group directed by Frances Kofi, will entertain during the evening, as will the 130-voice VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers, led by Philip Brunelle. Café Accordion Orchestra will be on hand to supply world music for dancing as the evening closes.
“The VocalEssence Gala is known for an atmosphere of surprise and delight for all the senses, and Serengeti Serenade will carry the tradition to a new level,” says Gala co-chair Julie Zelle. “Our goal is to raise over $200,000 to support VocalEssence education and outreach programs.”
Individual tickets for the gala are $175 ($100 tax deductible); patron tickets are $300 ($225 tax deductible). Guests will take home a handmade Zulu gift basket imported from Africa.
Gala proceeds support VocalEssence Community Engagement programs, including WITNESS, which celebrates the contributions of African Americans to our shared American heritage through concerts, recordings and comprehensive educational programs.
Reservations can be made online at www.vocalessence.org. For questions about reservations,
please call Laura Holst, 612-547-1473. For additional press information, please contact Jennifer Bauer, 612-547-1459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.