On Nov. 3, music fans gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary season of the Jefferson Performing Arts Society at the annual “Pasta & Puccini” gala. The event benefited JPAS’ educational programs and children’s choruses—sponsored in part by the Paula Maher Foundation—which performed at the party.

The Belle Grove Plantation Ballroom in the Pontchartrain Center was the gala location, where patrons enjoyed a night of Italian food, fun, and of course, musical performances. Nancy Ross (soprano), Filippo Pina Castiglioni (tenor) and Mauro Augustini (baritone) of the recent JPAS production of “La Traviata” performed for the crowd. The festivities even included an auction, for which Pat and Henry Shane were the guest auctioneers.

The gala committee was led by Daniel Bruza as event chair. Betty Exnicios acted as auction chair, and Michele Kraft and Jack Sloan co-chaired the patron party, which was hosted by Lou and Bonnie Gourgues.

Event chair Daniel Bruza, Cheryl Bruza, Hannah Cunningham and JPAS executive director Dennis Assaf

Dr. James Douglas and Dr. Melody Ritter with Dr. Bob and Sharon Weilbaecher

Lou and Bonnie Gourgues with Sibyl White and Jerry Crawford


Wayne and Carolyn Landwerlin with Joe Caldarera

Pat and Henry Shane with Betty Exnicios
photos: Nijme Rinaldi Nun

Joy Shane with Jack and Diane Sloan