MERRILLVILLE | It was all about wine, women and song Wednesday as the Women's Association of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Society hosted its annual May Wine Brunch.
More than 300 guests sipped wine as they shopped at dozens of vendor booths in the Celebrity Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza.
The wares included plenty of jewelry as well as handmade shawls, toffee and baby clothes.
"I like the shopping. They have very nice things," said Kathy Malone, executive assistant to the chancellor at Indiana University Northwest. "It's an annual event I look forward to attending."
Joining her as guests of Pamela Lowe, wife of IUN Chancellor William Lowe, was Candy Bushnell, administrative assistant in the chancellor's office.
"It's nice to get a chance to get out of the office and see people," she said as she eyed fellow guests passing by in their spring bonnets.
Indeed, the competition for fanciest hat is one of the highlights of the annual event.
Welcoming guests was Charlotte A. Strowhorn, WANISS president and brunch chairwoman, who also introduced featured artist Katie Reeves.
A past winner of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra's Young People's Competition, Reeves has appeared in numerous stage musicals, won first place in Hoosier Star competition with the LaPorte Symphony Orchestra in 2009, and was featured soloist last fall at NISO's "Halloween Pops Concert."
She took the audience on a journey of composers, from Victor Herbert to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, singing numbers ranging from "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" to "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" from "Oklahoma!," which had guests joining in on the chorus.