How great is it to celebrate your centennial anniversary in the Centennial State? Ask the Colorado Symphony. The orchestra’s galas have typically featured a crowd-pleasing mix of classical excellence and dramatic flair to the tune of a specific theme. This year’s Centennial Gala did not disappoint. You knew it would be a fun evening with a dress code that suggested tweaking traditional black-tie attire with “Colorful Colorado” hues to honor our state’s vibrant landscape.

Marcin Biegunajtys and Tarah Infranca

On Saturday, May 4, supporters gathered at Mission Ballroom for the festivities. At the reception, guests enjoyed beverages from the venue, as well as Footers Catering passed hors d’oeuvres as they bid on silent auction items. There was a Symphony of Spirits wine wall, too. Footers also provided a delectable plated meal as patrons enjoyed symphony performances and the dinner program.

Those who addressed the crowd included: Principal Conductor Peter Oundjian, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, President & CEO Mark Cantrell, CFO and COO Coreen Miller. The Colorado Symphony performed with award-winning singer-actress and guest artist Sierra Boggess. Featured soloists from the Colorado Symphony were: Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams; Courtney Hershey Bress, principal harp; and Justin Bartels, principal trumpet. JJ Raterink guided the crowd to higher bids at the live auction, and the evening ended with dance music from Denver Broncos DJ Squizzy Taylor.

Recipients of the 2024 Margaret Phipps Award: Nancy and board member Tony Accetta (front) and Sharon and board treasurer Jim Butler

Jim Butler accepted the 2024 Margaret Phipps Award on behalf of the Butler Family and spoke to the crowd as well. The family wrote: “The theme of this year’s award is Establishing a Family Legacy through Service & Philanthropy. In our family’s case, the legacy was begun by our parents/parents in law Erna and Brad Butler. As members of the ‘greatest generation,’ Erna and Brad set an example of sustaining their community through contributions of time, expertise, and financial resources. The four of us (Nancy & Tony Accetta, Jim & Sharon Butler) and our children are doing our best to build on that legacy through support of our symphony, and other cultural and human service organizations.”

(l to r): CSA President & CEO Mark Cantrell, Carolyn Kunicki, Nicole Frankel, Colorado Ballet Executive Director Sameed Afghani

The Colorado Symphony Association is the region’s only full-time professional orchestra committed to artistic excellence and ensuring the future of live, symphonic music. Performing more than 150 concerts annually at Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver–and across Colorado–Colorado Symphony is home to 80 full-time musicians representing more than a dozen nations, and regularly welcomes the most celebrated artists from all genres of music. Funds raised at the Centennial Gala will support the Colorado Symphony’s mission of inspiring the future of live, symphonic music. Through its programs, the Colorado Symphony annually reaches over a quarter-million Coloradans with innovative artistic collaborations, world-class classical programs and investments in the community through award-winning educational initiatives and community partnerships. To learn more, please visit:

Blacktie Colorado
Blacktie Colorado