Fanfare: Symphony Splendor Holiday Home Tour draws 1,000
There was wind. Rain. Grey skies unleashing the occasional torrent of hail. But none of it could deter 1,000 people from heading over to Mt. Lebanon's Virginia Manor for the Symphony Splendor Holiday Home Tour on November 19.
“I always say it starts the holiday off on the right note,” said Diane Unkovic, who co-chaired the event with Cathy Trombetta.
Benefitting the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the day began a short distance offsite where ticket holders arrived in droves before embarking on one of five Molly's Trolleys that were ready to shuttle them directly at the doorstep of nine gloriously adorned homes along Osage, Larchmont, Valleyview, Glen Ridge, and Couch Farm Roads. Eight of them had never been open to the public, with one proving so popular last year that the owners graciously agreed to roll out the welcome mat for the second year in a row. Inside, three to four docents were on hand to share brief, often anecdotal stories behind an array of antiques, framed originals and designer touches, with the printed program also providing an enjoyable history of the residences that often included a personal touch. Forget the architect! What is important is that the current owners met at this house on a blind date!
Adding to the ambiance in dining rooms, living rooms, and dens was the presence of PSO musicians—34 in total—who volunteered their time and talents, played holiday inspired music throughout the afternoon.
More than 200 volunteers helped ensure that the day went off without a hitch.
Committee members included Jean Horne, Jan Bleier, Mary Clements, Jackie Dudley, Lisa Earle, Kathy Leger, Frances Pickard, Vera Purcell, Kamie Schoonhoven, Patty Snodgrass, Arlene Sokolow, Christine Thompson, Myra Toomey, Judy Woffington, special consultant Dr. Philip Pollice, and founding chair Millie Ryan.