Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — The stained glass window in the bay window of the Bailey House grand stairway is the inspiration for this year’s Festival of Music Valentine Gala.

Swing time: Festival of Music invites you to Valentine Gala

Published 1:27pm Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Natchez Festival of Music Guild is inviting local sweethearts to escape to an exotic island — or at the least the story of one — and swing to music of love this Valentine’s Day.

The guild is hosting its fifth annual Valentine’s Day gala with a special theme this year inspired by Paul et Virginie, or Paul and Virginia, a novel by French author Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, first published in 1787. The novel’s main characters are childhood friends who fall in love.

The gala will be at The Bailey House, the home of Dr. Jack and Linda Rodriguez. The house, which was built in 1897, has a stained glass bay window that is based on what is said to be a painting of Paul and Virginia titled “Springtime” by Pierre-Auguste Cot that hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Festival Guild President Rena Jean Schmieg said the house is the perfect place for the romantic gala.

“It’s very exciting to have such a beautiful setting,” she said.

Those who have not read the novel and are wondering what happens to Paul and Virginia can find out at the gala.

“We will tell the story there,” Schmieg said. “It’s a tale of young and innocent love.”

In festival of music fashion, gala goers will be entertained by the vocalist Lynn Beach Smith and pianist Sam Bruton.

The gala will also have a live auction with a trip to Italy, dinners from local restaurants and many more items up for bid.

Elegant hors d’oeuvre and sweets will be served, and a cash bar will also be open.

The gala is from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The Bailey House is located at 400 S. Commerce St.

A limited number of tickets are available until Feb. 11. Tickets are $50 per person or $95 for a couple.

Groups of 20 or more can receive discounted prices of $40 per person or $75 for a couple.

Tickets can be purchased by calling Mary Robertson at 601-445-2210 or online at natchezfestivalofmusic.com and natchezpilgrimage.com. Tickets are also available at Natchez Pilgrimage Tours at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center.