Patricia Sprincin, chairwoman of the biennial Black & White Ball, checks in with her all-star team as the much-anticipated event draws near.
The Black & White Ball is one of the most anticipated events on the San Francisco social scene. The biennial soiree, benefitting the San Francisco Symphony’s nationally acclaimed music education programming, takes place in June and will commemorate the San Francisco Symphony’s Centennial.
Sprincin is a woman of seemingly boundless energy and is the force behind the entire affair. As Gala Chairwoman, Sprincin oversees every detail of the ball. From securing the entertainment, which will include performances from Paul Simon and the San Francisco Symphony, Cyndi Lauper and Janelle Monáe, from organizing the invitations, logos, menus and cocktail list, to planning the ball’s annual “midnight surprise,” Sprincin leaves no stone unturned. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the cause– the Symphony’s music education programs, which serve more than 75,000 students in the Bay Area elementary, middle, and high schools each year. Haute Living caught up with Sprincin just three months before the big night to see what a normal day looks like for this wonder woman.
I put on coffee and then my husband Charles and I usually spend at least an hour discussing business–what’s going on in his business, what we have going on here in California and Nevada. Occasionally, I’ll have something I throw in about Black & White Ball, but generally that’s just our time to discuss general family business matters.
I go to the office to meet with Denise Marica, who is heading up the Dinner Committee’s for the Black & White Ball – we have a Patrons Committee, a Supper Committee and a Symphonix Bash Committee, and have approximately 250 volunteers working on the Black & White Ball. It really does take quite a team. Other key members of the team are Jennifer Franks, who works on all of the logistics and putting together the look of the Ball, Sarah Cohan who is managing all of the sponsor relationships and Morgan Walton taking care of the Ball dinner sales.
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A typical day might be meeting with Denise about committee meetings coming up, a tasting with our caterer Dan McCall, the event designers at Blueprint Studios or our PR team at Glodow Nead. Today, we had a meeting with Baruch Gayton, our team out of Los Angeles coming in to design the main concert and also to activate the AT&T presenting sponsorship. They came from Los Angeles to do the walk-through at the War Memorial Performing Arts center last week.
I check in with Studio Heinrichs to look at what our hard copy written materials, our invitations and our logo would really look like. Because it’s the Orchestra’s centennial, we’re batting around ideas to celebrate this milestone in grand style. Another day might consist of getting the committees together; we’ll meet in the morning with the Supper Club and discuss their needs and considerations. We try to pay a lot of attention to what our volunteers are telling us and really look at what the Patrons would like. Then we might meet with our Patrons Committee, who sell our high-end tickets. We also might have meetings with the development department or our corporate sponsors.
Evenings we often have kick-off events leading up to the ball. Tonight, it’s a kick-off meeting with the Symphonix Bash committee members at a hip men’s store in the Mission district. There will be cocktails, mingling and then the meeting. We’ve had other events like this onboard the Queen Elizabeth or at Macy’s, with shopping and a fashion show, highlighting men’s tuxedos or women’s evening gowns¬–perfect for the Black & White Ball.