In Friday’s (2/11) Charlotte Observer, Steven Brown writes, “The Charlotte Symphony wanted to express its gratitude to three couples whose big donations kept it going in an emergency. So it arranged a thank-you fit for a king. ‘It’s not every day that you get a phone call inviting you to a concert and dinner at Buckingham Palace,’ Sandra Levine said. The orchestra’s music director, Christopher Warren-Green, used connections in his native England to arrange for Sandra and Leon Levine, Jane and Hugh McColl Jr., and Meredith and C.D. ‘Dick’ Spangler Jr. to attend a concert and dinner at the palace Jan. 27. ‘It was just a magical evening,’ Sandra Levine said. The three couples—along with Warren-Green and his wife, Rosemary Furniss—were among about 200 people at the event, which was mainly a benefit for London’s Royal Opera House. … The Levines, McColls and Spanglers came to the Charlotte Symphony’s aid in summer 2009.The orchestra, hit by a $1million cut from the Arts & Science Council after years of deficits, needed help fast. It launched a drive to raise more than $5 million. The Levines made a $500,000 challenge grant. The McColls and Spanglers each pledged $1 million.”

Posted February 11, 2011