Winter Wonderful Holiday Dinner 2019
Winter Wonderful, one of the most magical annual events of the holidays kicked off the season in musical style on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at the J.W. Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Hosted by Frost School of Music Dean Shelton G. Berg, this unique carols and candlelight event benefits the Donna E. Shalala MusicReach mentoring program. Hundreds of guests were led to the gala by Herald Trumpets as a sparkling tunnel of northern lights encircled them on their path to the cocktail reception and ballroom. Led by Dr. Amanda Quist, Frost’s new Director of Choral Activities and Professor Corin Overland, the evening included over 150 Frost School of Music student singers and instrumentalists, from the carolers on stage to those surrounding the guest’s elegant candlelit dinner tables, all set in a magical frosty winter setting.
Among gala attendees were Dr. and Mrs. Philp and Patricia Frost, former Governor Jeb (and Colomba) Bush, U.S. Congresswoman and former UM President Donna Shalala, Miami Dade Mayor Carlos (and Lourdes) Jimenez, Miami Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto (and Maria) Carvalho, Jeffrey Miller, Frost Dean Advisory Committee Chair, along with other South Florida philanthropic leaders and guests.
UM President Julio Frenk and Dean Shelton G. Berg presented the 2019 Frost Legacy Award to longtime patrons and supporters of Winter Wonderful, Olga and David Melin. As directors of the Olga and David Foundation, they support visual and performing arts, including a wide array of organizations such as human services, conservation, and wildlife and have generously supported The Frost School of Music over many years and are UM Grand Founder Society members.
Dean Shelton G. Berg stated: “Tis the season and I can’t think of a better way to start celebrating than by attending Winter Wonderful. Our gala is truly one of our most memorable events of the year putting everyone in a giving holiday spirit while experiencing the extraordinary music presented by our students and faculty along with an enchanting holiday setting. It is an opportunity to acknowledge those who have given generously and it was truly a pleasure to present the Frost Legacy Award to this year’s honorees Olga and David Melin.”
The annual gala, established in 2008, raised more than $250,000.00 for the Donna E. Shalala MusicReach program. The success of this program is attributed to the Director of MusicReach Dr. Melissa Lesniak and Frost School of Music student mentors, whose passion for the arts motivates underserved children to remain in school, develop positive social and study habits, and ultimately gives them the confidence to pursue further education. The labor of love that our Frost School of Music Faculty and Students put into each mentee in this unique program, continues to remind us of the true reason for the season. At the Frost School of Music, we actually do, “Play it Forward.”