And the dessert was hasty pudding, surprise surprise!

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On Monday, April 13th, The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 awarded the Order of the Golden Sphinx Award to the current Chief Creative Officer for Sony Music and music producing legend, Clive Davis with his own gala at The Plaza Hotel.  Clive has had a very successful career within the music industry, winning five Grammy awards and being indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer.  Clive has also had a huge role in the careers of talents such as Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Santana, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, and many others, which is why The Hasty Pudding Institute held their own gala in honor of Davis.  The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 is an organization within Harvard University whose mission is to provide education and developmental support in all aspects to underprivileged people in the performing arts, to encourage creativity, and to cultivate young talent around the world.  The Order of the Golden Sphinx is the highest honor bestowed by the Institute to recognize individuals in the entertainment industry for their contributions to the performing arts.

The night started off with a small reception where guests enjoyed tasty, hors d’oeuvres like short rib quesadilla, foie gras, barbeque chicken on a small potato pancake and a wide variety of cocktails. Soon guests took their seats in the main dining hall which was a room full of guests and alumni of Harvard University.  Dinner began with a tuna ceviche with an avocado mousse and some bitter herbs on top as the appetizer. Next, The Harvard Krokodiloes, the oldest and most prestigious a cappella group at Harvard, and the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, a full musical burlesque group, sang an opening number of their own to welcome the guests for the night.

After the performance was over, Chairman Andrew Farkas, said a few words about what The Hasty Pudding Institute does as a whole and to also introduce the man of the hour, Clive Davis.  The Harvard Krokodiloes came on stage once again to perform their own number.  This group gave a stellar performance of “Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing)” by Benny Goodman, really proving why they are the most prestigious a cappella group at Harvard.  With their performance ending, guests were then served the main course which was a delicious filet mignon with a warm and cheesy gratin on the side and a side of peas and asparagus.  While guests were eating the main course, Andrew Farkas took the stage once more to talk a little bit about the impact that The Hasty Pudding Institute has had on the performing arts and encouraged guests to make any donation if they had the means to.  After his speech was over, guests were then given the dessert which was a warm hasty pudding served with a small side of vanilla ice cream on the top.

Towards the end of the dessert course, Andrew Farkas came on stage once again to give Clive Davis The Order of the Golden Sphinx award. Clive gave a speech about all the people who had an influenced on him and his work.  Clive then told the audience that he wanted to treat them to a special performance by his newest discovery, Avery Wilson.  Avery then came on and commanded all the attention with his rendition of Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You.” He really showed his vocal range and control.  With Clive Davis managing his career, we are sure you will be hearing a lot more about Avery Wilson in the near future. With the night coming to an end, The Hasty Pudding Theatricals came on stage to honor Clive with their own rendition of “Empire State of Mind,” singing Alicia Keys’ verses in the song but instead they called the song “Clive Davis,” essentially replacing the words ‘New York’ with Davis’ name.  After that performance, guests headed to the after party, which was at the Rose Bar within The Plaza.

-Vinesh Vora