It was billed as a Gala Celebration, and those in attendance at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, indeed celebrated a wonderful evening of music, first with the renown Philadelphia Orchestra, performing Bernstein's Overture to Candide, followed by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice bringing a stirring selection to the stage, and followed after an intermission, with Aretha, yes that Aretha, Franklin, on stage with a powerful rendition of hits that included, of course, Respect.

Believe me Aretha earned her respect; the concert-goers loved it.

The overflowing crowd of music lovers was enthusiastic in their responses from the time Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Rossen Milanov waved his baton, to the introduction of Condoleeza, and eventually Aretha strutting her time upon the stage.

It was truly a night to remember.