Sailing on Cunard Line, dressing up is one of the most enjoyed traditions on board Cunard ocean liners. Guests relish the opportunity to don their finest at Royal Nights Themed Balls, where dancing to a live orchestra is highlight. Cunard offers its own Black & White Ball during popular formal nights on board and recently co-sponsored the San Francisco Symphony’s prestigious Black & White Ball, celebrating the orchestra’s centennial season.
“Dressing up and the appreciation of live music across varied genres are among the many similar passions beloved by Symphony patrons and Cunarders alike,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “With its focus on elegant attire, world-class entertainment and support of the musical arts, co-sponsoring the San Francisco Symphony’s Black & White Ball was natural for us.”
The event’s live auction opened with a seven-night Transatlantic Crossing aboard flagship Queen Mary 2, introduced by two Symphony trumpet players. Two Cunard Bellmen flanked the enthusiastic Bonhams and Butterfields auctioneer as he facilitated bidding on the voyage. The trip, won by Ginger Crane for $30,000, took the second-highest bid, just behind a private conducting class with Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony.
At the evening’s close, guests were treated to an exclusive concert with GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist Paul Simon, who performed with his band and, in a Black & White Ball first, the San Francisco Symphony. Guests also enjoyed performances by Cyndi Lauper, The Wallflowers, Janelle Monáe and The Drifters, among others.
Held every two years, the highly anticipated gala raises funds for the Symphony’s vital and multifaceted music education programs, which supports more than 75,000 Bay Area elementary, middle, and high school students.
“Getting Decked Out: Attitudes about Dressing Up,” an online survey commissioned by Cunard, measured the attitudes of 1,500 U.S. residents to dressing up and revealed that more than half of the respondents enjoy dressing up five times or more each year. Similarly, nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they would like to have more opportunities to dress up. Respondents indicated that dressing up made them feel “attractive,” “sophisticated” and “elegant” and, that they prefer dressing up on a cruise vacation over a land vacation.