The morning rain heralded a beautiful Spring day as about 100 JASNA members gathered at the Woman’s Athletic Club for the Greater Chicago Region’s Spring Gala on Saturday, May 7, 2016.

The Emporium was a busy place with Jane Austen Books and other dealers tempting all of us.
Regional Coordinator Jeffrey Nigro welcomed all of us and introduced the program.
Northwestern University Pianist and Lecturer, Stephen Alltop
The morning program was Jane and Emma — A Celebration of  Music and Words by Stephen Alltrop and Josefien Stoppelenburg. They performed selections from music known to have been played by Jane Austen, many from the books of music she herself copied.
Stephen performed on the elegant Steinway, but due to my corner seat, I couldn’t catch him in the act!
Soprano Ms. Stoppelenburg sang a variety of Austen’s favorites, from Italian arias to English folk tunes.
The accomplished soprano also entertained us with her violin.
Before luncheon, we all had the opportunity to enjoy the varied and delightful centerpieces on the tables, each representing a scene from Emma and creatively assembled by volunteers. Here is a sampling:

Victoria Hinshaw and Susan Forgue
After luncheon, Susan Forgue and Victoria Hinshaw presented London High Society in Austen’s Novels, including Sue’s beautifully made Almack’s vouchers.
William Phillips in front of the voucher slide!
The only snag in this delightful day (just kidding of course!) was Quizmaster William Phillips’s diabolically difficult questions!  Even those of us who thought we KNEW Emma backwards and forwards were often stumped by the obscure facts he found to challenge us!  I have to admit we should have been forewarned as this is not the first time William has teased us so mercilessly.  Just for that, William, I am showing your picture almost unintelligibly — also since that is the way it turned out!! Sorry.
Many thanks to Jeffrey Nigro and Program Chair Debra Miller, the Emporium dealers, and all who attended!

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