By Jack Elliott
On April 16, 2005, one of the largest of Jet Aviation’s nine hangars at Teterboro Airport will be transformed into something out of this world. Entering the hangar will transport one into the world of space and the planets. Those arriving at the hangar will be in black tie and gowns. They will have paid $5,000 per couple for the privilege of entering this far-out world. The occasion will be the third annual New Jersey Symphony Palace Ball.
“When the event was first conceived, it was decided that it should be held in some unusual place,” said Alice Golembo, the symphony’s director of special events.
The first Palace Ball was held in the historic railroad station at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, overlooking the New York skyline. The second was held in one of Newark’s earliest high-rise office buildings, which had undergone a $60 million renovation.
“We took over the entire mezzanine floor, creating a world of ice and snow to reflect that year’s event called, Palace of the Northern Lights,” said Golembo.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of the 2005 event,” said Mike Szczechowski, Jet Aviation’s senior vice president of the FBO and maintenance at Teterboro. “It’s an upscale event; we run a somewhat similar event at our Palm Beach facility in conjunction with Ferrari. It will provide an opportunity for people in New Jersey who don’t know us to come and visit us, and for people who do know us to come and spend a wonderful evening at our facility.”
Golembo said that one of the goals of the Palace Ball is to provide a unique opportunity for 250 of the area’s most sophisticated citizens to experience the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
“The Palace Ball grants guests the exclusive privilege of experiencing our orchestra at an artistically spectacular event staged to tempt and delight patrons’ ears, eyes and palates,” she said. “With the appointment of Neeme Jaarvi as music director, we have one of the world’s outstanding conductors at the helm of our orchestra. We also have the prestigious Golden Age Collection of historic 17th and 18th century Italian string instruments, the largest of its kind by any orchestra throughout the world.”
Jet Aviation’s Palm Beach event, dubbed La Bella Machina (“the beautiful machine”), has helped to arouse great enthusiasm for the Teterboro ball.
“We’re going into our fourth year,” said John Mason, director of FBO services at the Palm Beach facility, referring to his event in Florida. “We get as many as 800 people out. We not only host Ferrari owners, but readers of their publication, Cavalino. We have exhibits that include Bentleys and Mazerottis. NetJets has an exhibit. It’s not a fundraiser; the event is hosted by vendors and aircraft manufacturers. It’s a social business event and exhibitors report that it’s quite productive.”
“For the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Ball at Teterboro, a top event designer will transform the Jet Aviation hangar into a world that will pay tribute to the scientific developments starting with Galileo, and so many other brilliant minds that have made it possible for mankind to go into space and beyond the planets,” said Golembo.
Musicians of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will be on hand to play excerpts from Gustav Holst’s symphonic tone poem, “The Planets.”