CHARLOTTE CONCERTS' CROWN JEWELS BALL

 Board member Gail Brinn Wilkins in a custom Luis Machicao gown. 

Board member Gail Brinn Wilkins in a custom Luis Machicao gown. 

The Crown Jewels Celestial Ball was out of this world. Hosted by Charlotte Concerts, a nonprofit musical arts organization founded in 1931 and still going strong, the fundraising gala celebrates its mission of bringing world-class concerts to the greater Carolinas region and providing music programs for area students, especially those in underserved schools.

Leslie and Bruce Schlernitzauer were honorary chairs of the black tie gala at Quail Hollow Club. During a fun moment, Gene Hoots crowned the couple, officially making them the king and queen of the ball. The evening also included a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, a performance by the Marvin Ridge High School Men's Choir, dinner and dancing to the Doug Burns Big Band Orchestra.

On March 20, Charlotte Concerts showed its commitment to musical education in area schools -  and received rave reviews - by presenting its inaugural Musical Showcase featuring the best orchestra, band and choral ensembles from Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. It was a smash hit and a date has already been set for next year's showcase (April 23, 2018).

Charlotte Concerts also just announced its upcoming 2017-2018 season: The New York Philharmonic String Quartet (Oct. 5); Gil Shaham and Akira Eguchi (Oct. 20); The 5 Browns (Jan. 18); and The Gershwin Project (Feb. 15); Details: 704-527-6680; www.charlotteconcerts.org.

 Claire Campbell

Claire Campbell

 Bruce Schlernitzauer, longtime supporters Sam and Carolyn McMahon, and Leslie Schlernitzauer.

Bruce Schlernitzauer, longtime supporters Sam and Carolyn McMahon, and Leslie Schlernitzauer.

 Tony and Stephanie Ansaldo. 

Tony and Stephanie Ansaldo. 

 Sonja Gantt and Mitch Gibson. 

Sonja Gantt and Mitch Gibson. 

 Gene Hoots crowns Bruce and Leslie Schlernitzauer as the king and queen of the ball. 

Gene Hoots crowns Bruce and Leslie Schlernitzauer as the king and queen of the ball. 

 Guests get ready to bid on fabulous live auction items. 

Guests get ready to bid on fabulous live auction items. 

 The auctioneer in action. 

The auctioneer in action. 

 The Marvin Ridge High School Men's Choir. 

The Marvin Ridge High School Men's Choir. 

 The Doug Burns Big Band. 

The Doug Burns Big Band. 

 Randy Coble and Claire Campbell. 

Randy Coble and Claire Campbell. 

 Gail Brinn Wilkins and Howard Freese.

Gail Brinn Wilkins and Howard Freese.

 Dr. Vincent Voci and his wife, Sandra. 

Dr. Vincent Voci and his wife, Sandra.