SOPAC Gala to be Presented Virtually and In-Person at Drew University

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From the South Orange Performing Arts Center

On November 6, guests will enjoy a dazzling night of gourmet food and drinks, a silent auction, plus a performance by Great American Songbook ambassador Michael Feinstein.

Michael Feinstein

The SOPAC Gala brings together patrons, community leaders and artists to celebrate the nonprofit theatre’s achievements and pay tribute to supporters. As SOPAC’s largest fundraising event of the year, the gala raises critical funds for both arts education programs and operating support.

Typically held at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, this year’s soiree is being moved off site as SOPAC recovers from damage caused by Hurricane Ida. During this hybrid event on Saturday, November 6, guests can choose to participate in-person or virtually. 

This year, Drew University’s picturesque, forested campus serves as the backdrop for SOPAC’s Gala. The evening begins at Mead Hall, a building listed on both the Federal and New Jersey Register of Historic Places. Beginning at 6PM, attendees can enjoy cocktails and a strolling dinner. Alternatively, guests can opt for a catered takeout meal from Bistro d’Azur in South Orange.

At 8PM, the honoree tribute ceremony commences in the Concert Hall, located within the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts. At-home guests can experience the entertainment portion of the evening via livestream. This year, SOPAC honors Diana Hart, a former SOPAC Board member and owner of Diana Hart Fine Catering. John Lee, a Grammy Award-Winning Producer & Jazz All-Star, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Following the tribute, Michael Feinstein takes the stage. Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American Songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy-nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe at such iconic venues as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House, Feinstein’s work as an educator and archivist defines him as one of the most important musical forces of our time.

Whether attending the gala in person or from home, guests can participate in the Silent Auction through the online auction platform, GiveSmart. The Silent Auction will open during the week of November 1 and will close on November 6 at 8:30PM.


In-Person Tickets, $300 per person:

  • Option 1, in-person cocktails, strolling dinner, honoree tribute & entertainment
  • Option 2, catered takeout meal, in-person honoree tribute & entertainment

Virtual Tickets, $100-$300 per person:

  • Option 1, $300, catered takeout meal, virtual livestream of honoree tribute & entertainment
  • Option 2, $100, virtual livestream of honoree tribute & entertainment

COVID-19 Policy: 

In-person attendees must be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine, and must show proof of vaccination along with a government ID to check in. Non-vaccinated attendees must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time. All attendees are required to wear masks at all times while inside, except when actively eating or drinking.


Director Sponsors

American Express

M&T Bank 


Signature Sponsors

DePaolis Designs
Dean & Emily Kameros
The Mark Slade Homes Team
Anonymous Friends of SOPAC

Host Committee Sponsors

Arden and Alan Epstein
Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group
The Chalom Family
Carol & Larry Brodey
Elizabeth & Jeremy Dobrish
Frederick & Maureen Gammon
Harold & Nomi Colton-Max
Howard & Margaret Jacobs
Investors Bank
Jerry & Hanie Warshaw
Keesha Chavis
Leo & Barbara Sender
Mindy Cohen and David Bershad
Noel S. Siegel
Paul & Catherine Desjardins
Provident Bank
Randall Haase & Judith Rosenberg
Robert & Mattye Gandel
Samuel M. Convissor
Seymour Beneroff
Stephen & Lisa Plavin
Steven & Milvia Burns
Steven Friedlander & Sandra Kaplan

Gala Committee

Matt Epstein, Chairperson
Claudine Baptiste
Marc Chalom


About SOPAC:

Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including the Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, visit

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