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Fanfare: Wynton Marsalis leads Pittsburgh Promise gala

| Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
John Altdorfer
Drum major Roman Ramsey led the Perry Academy dance and drill team through a routine during A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Former Steelers running back Franco Harris led a second line parade with Brenda Frazier during A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Debbie and Bill Demchak, president, chairman and CEO of PNC Bank, attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Kiya Tomlin spoke during A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Carolina Beyers attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Chris and Sasha Heinz attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Pittsburgh Promise executive director Saleem Ghubril and his wife, Patti, attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Former Pittsburgh Public Schools principal Dr. Regina B. Holley and superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Event co-hosts Teireik Williams and Shannon Chavez joined former Steelers running back Franco Harris during A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin joined former Steelers safety Will Allen during A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Lois Pruitt and Cynthia McCormick attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Demeatria Boccella and Darnell McLaurin attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Dorna and Todd Palcic attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Jackie Udin and her husband, former Pittsburgh City Councilman Sala Udin, during A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis. The event at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtonw Pittsburgh benefitted the Pittsburgh Promise on Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
The Allderdice High School marching band drum corps kept the beat during A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Shannon Finley and Les Scales attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Pittsburgh Promise alum Kai Roberts joined James Robertson during A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Elizabeth Coslov attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Tia Torres and Michelle White Barren attended A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis performed during A Night of a Million Possibilities Featuring Wynton Marsalis to benefit the Pittsburgh Promise at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nov. 10, 2016.

By the time the Pittsburgh Promise's "Night of a Million Possibilities" gala had ended Nov. 10, a philanthropic dream team of the city's boldest names left little doubt as to just how committed they were to turning that dream into a reality.

"Tonight, we celebrate a total of $8.8 million in new funding for the scholarship fund," announced executive director Saleem Ghubril, with wife Patti. "The words 'Thank You' just fall short of what my heart feels for every one of you."

Early on, the sold-out crowd of 1,000-plus was buzzing over the headlining performance of Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, who spent the morning with Pittsburgh Public Schools students in a master class with an audience Q&A.

"I look at every one of those kids as if they were my kids," Marsalis said. "I wanted to leave them with the feeling I have … the intensity and love of music and them."

During cocktail hour, the Pittsburgh Allderdice Marching Band Drum Line parted the waters as guests were ushered into the ballroom of the Wyndham Grand where the Pittsburgh Perry Dance and Drill Team was waiting to take over.

From there, the passionate support of the Promise's mission to support urban youth via post-secondary scholarships became abundantly clear.

"Hope is what scholarships provide," said board memberKiya Tomlin, with husband Mike.

By the time Marsalis and his Small Group hit a high note, there was nothing left to do but dance in the aisles.

Spied were Promise chair Franco andDana Harris, co-hosts Shannon Chavez andTeireik Williams, Debbie Dick andArt Stroyd, Mardi andJim Royston, Janet andBill Hunt, Bill andDebbie Demchak, Max andPeggy King, Anne Lewis andJim Zeustek, Dr.Anthony Hamlet, Mary Louise andChip Babst, Sy Holzer, andEvan Frazier.

Kate Benz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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