Anticipation runs high for 44th Annual Candlelight Concert – Orange County Register

It’s that time of year again—patrons kicked off the run-up to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ 44th Annual Candlelight Concert at The Ranch in Laguna Beach on Aug. 25.

Supporters say the annual event, slated for Dec. 1 and featuring the music of Grammy-winning singer Michael Bolton and classic rock band Chicago, will be especially sweet this year. Why? Guests will be toasting the completion of the center’s new Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and Center for Dance and Innovation.

“This is a pivotal time for the Center, so the evening will be one of celebration and looking forward to the future with great anticipation,” said Mark Perry, who, along with wife Carol, is chairing the event with honorary co-chairs Ronnie Allumbaugh, Sandi Jackson and Sandi Simon. Perry is the center’s first vice chair and co-chair of the Board Development Committee and the chair of the Long Range Planning Committee.

Julianne and George Argyros will be honored during the evening for their gifts to the center’s Next Act Capital Campaign that made possible the new plaza, Center for Dance and Innovation and a spectacular fountain at the center’s entrance.

Candlelight Concert raises funds that enable the Center to bring world-class performances and artists to Orange County and to provide community engagement and education programs that reach 340,000 students and children each year throughout Orange County.

According to a release from the center, The Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and Center for Dance and Innovation will enable new community engagement and education programs through the center, which it is hoped will complement the array of world-class performances that the center presents each year. The funds raised by Candlelight Concert will support all of these programs.

Candlelight Concert is always an evening of surprises, even the décor is a tightly kept secret until guests arrive at Segerstrom Hall. The inaugural concert in 1974 raised money to build a major performing arts center in Orange County. It was held in a vacant Kresge five-and-dime, which was transformed into an elegant ballroom with the use of candles. Since then, the annual gala has been called Candlelight Concert, with entertainment by celebrated artists. These have included Diana Krall, Diana Ross, Frankie Valli, Jay Leno, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Kenny Loggins, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Mathis, Donna Summer, Smokey Robinson, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Broadway stars Kristen Chenoweth,…

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