Wolf Trap Ball Goes All British

The British invasion of Wolf Trap was completed with Burberry-inspired umbrellas hanging from the celiing. Photo by A.E. Landes Photography.

You probably never thought you’d read black tie society gala and Def Leppard in the same sentence, but leave it to Washington to bring together some strange bedfellows. On Saturday night the annual Wolf Trap Ball served up a rollicking pint of British rock along with the fine wines and lamb entree.

Every year Wolf Trap, the outdoor music and arts venue, partners with an embassy to highlight the cultures of different countries. It turns its massive stage, deep in the Virginia countryside, into an elegant ballroom, which always makes its party a must do, if you’re lucky to score an invite.

Very English umbrellas hung whimsically from the ceiling, the signs to the “loos” were marked by famous London “tube” stations and a British “Sweet Shop” doled out candy to guests on their way out.

But the real star of the evening was Britain’s best export: rock n’ roll.

British Ambassador Kim Darroch recalled seeing Jethro Tull as a young lad in the 1960s. Thanks to Wolf Trap’s eclectic concert offerings, he was able to see them again earlier this month.

Wolf Trap closed its summer concert series on September 8 with an orchestral tribute to the late rock-n-roller Prince.

After the meal, the 900-plus guests took to a makeshift dance floor for the tunes of Def Leppard and the Dexys Midnight Runners, performed by cover band, “The Legwarmers.” Darroch and his wife Vanessa were seen not far from the stage for the 1980 classic, “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

The Wolf Trap Ball raised more than $1.7 million this year, setting a new fundraising record for the performing arts center.

Andre Pienaar with ball co-chairs Teresa Carlson, Angela and Don Irwin. Photo by Tony Powell.
The British invasion of Wolf Trap was completed with Burberry umbrellas hanging from the celiing. Photo by A.E. Landes Photography.
British Ambassador Kim Darroch with his wife Vanessa and Tina and Gary Mather. Photo by Tony Powell.
Cover band, the Legwarmers, performed. Photo by A.E. Landes Photography.
Wolf Trap President and CEO Arvind Manocha. Photo by Tina Dela Rosa.
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