If for only one evening, stepping into the Union Ballroom at the University of Utah is like stepping back in time and on to another continent. The Vienna Ball is Salt Lake Symphony's annual fundraiser, and it goes off glamorously year after year.
Under the baton of conductor Robert Baldwin, the symphony plays an exquisite three sets of waltz-laden numbers for the gala attendees to enjoy and dance to.
As tradition goes, members of the symphony play alphorns to begin the evening. After a speech by the evening's emcee, the entire crowd parades onto the dance floor for the Grand Waltz.
Propelled by the symphony's lovely sounds, the crowd continues to dance counter-clockwise around the ballroom. They do this with varying degrees of success, while others watch from the sidelines.
The BYU Ballroom Dance Team (pictured bottom of article) demonstrates flashy footwork intermittently throughout the evening in styles ranging from Vienna Waltz to swing by the night's end. They are both inspiring, entertaining, and beautiful.
The waltz is not stuck in the 19th century. The Salt Lake Symphony, made up of volunteer musicians, proves this as they perform classical masterpieces as well as pleasant surprises. In year's past, this has included John Lennon’s “Norwegian Wood” and Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel Waltz.”
The Vienna Ball is a charity event to support the orchestra. Beyond dancing, eating, and enjoying the beautiful sounds, attendees can bid on items in the silent auction. This helps keep the area's volunteer orchestra going for another year.
As the hour approaches midnight, the audience heads home, where they surely mark their calendars for next year's Vienna Ball. This event is not to be missed.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit the Salt Lake Symphony Vienna Ball page.
Jennifer Leahy is a photographer based out of Salt Lake City and the San Francisco Bay area. She is a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. For more information or to view her portfolio, visit www.LeahyPhotography.com.