The Rhythm and Style Fashion Show, Luncheon and Silent Auction is much more than a fundraiser - it's a tradition.
It's presented by the Savannah Friends of Music, which has about 300 members and is celebrating its 10th year.
The high-profile fashion show and luncheon, set this year for April 12, is held in collaboration with the Savannah College of Art and Design fashion design department and Dillard's department store.
"The proceeds benefit music," SFOM president Lynne Davis says. "Every bit of the proceeds goes into funding that we give away in May.
"This year, our allocations committee has more requests for money than we've ever had before. Our reputation for generosity is getting around."
The show has taken place annually for 57 years. It was presented for the first 47 by the Savannah Symphony Guild, up until the Savannah Symphony Orchestra disbanded and the SFOM was formed.
Over the years, SFOM has donated about $460,000 to support and nurture young musical talent in Savannah.
Grants are given to provide music education through private lessons and summer camps, and organizations committed to developing excellence in classical music also receive funding from SFOM.
One of the group's partnerships is with the Armstrong Atlantic State University Youth Orchestra. SFOM also has a puppet program used to introduce elementary students to the instruments in a symphony orchestra.
Since its inception, SFOM has given money to the Savannah Music Festival, the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, the Savannah Children's Choir and VOICExperience, which will host its first VOICE Festival in August.
"The thing that is new and different this year is that Dillard's has given the models the opportunity to pick their own outfits," Davis says. "It should be a lot of fun."
For five years, SCAD's fashion department has assisted with the event. Professor Doris Treptow and a band of students have helped host the fashion show.
"The Savannah Friends of Music requested assistance from SCAD in putting on the show, and I was appointed to help," Treptow says.
"This year, due to pregnancy, I gave more of the responsibility to the students."
Fashion Buzz, a SCAD club, is assisting with the show.
"The club was originally organized by fashion marketing and managing students," Treptow says. "But clubs at SCAD are open to different majors," she says. "If they have the passion for the subject, they can join the club."
As a result, 16 students with all sorts of majors are involved with the show.
"They are doing the choreography, and they worked the past Friday and Saturday," Treptow says. "The models are all volunteers from the Savannah Friends of Music. One year, the youngest model was 3 and the oldest was 80."
The students both bring and gain valuable experience by participating.
"It's an amazing experience for them," Treptow says.
"They've been to New York Fashion Week, so they've been through it before. They're not first-timers. But working on the show gives them a sense of responsibility and organization and accomplishment."
The artwork on posters and invitations was provided by SCAD. The event also features a raffle with prizes.
"One prize is a $500 shopping spree at Dillard's," Davis says. "There are premium season tickets for two to the Philharmonic, a $300 pendant from Harkleroad Jewelry."
There will also be a silent auction.
"We have a few high-end items, including a Steuben martini cocktail set valued at nearly $1,000, a silver tea service, the usual gift certificates and several pieces of art done by local artists," Davis says.
"The rest are gift certificates for shopping, including lots of small boutique shops," she says. "Another thing we feature is baskets with fruit and wine, cheese and crackers and pet baskets. People love to bid on those."
It's all volunteer-driven.
"Phyllis Albertson is the event chair and is organizing Rhythm and Style," Davis says. "She has done a fabulous job. She had a career in merchandising and fashions."
SFOM hosts other events throughout the year to raise money.
"Rhythm and Style is the culmination of our fundraising season, which takes place every spring through a series of Parties a La Carte," Albertson says.
"We have partnered with Professor Doris Treptow of the SCAD Fashion Design Department to inspire students who competed to design invitations and posters and who work backstage during the show," Albertson says. "This is in keeping with our vision of inspiring young talent in the arts, and we are extremely grateful to Dillard's department store for their enthusiastic support, which has made this fashion and music extravaganza possible."
IF YOU GO
What: Rhythm and Style Fashion Show, Luncheon and Silent Auction
When: 11 a.m. April 12
Where: The Landings Plantation Club, 71 Green Island Road, Skidaway Island
Info: www.savannahfriendsofmusic.com, 912-598-7216