05/30/2012 02:59 pm ET Updated May 30, 2012

Black And White Ball Features Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper, The Wallflowers And More (VIDEOS)

Fact: Everything is better when done wearing a tuxedo.

Think about James Bond. How much less awesome would James Bond be if he saved the world in a Tommy Bahama shirt and unhemmed jean shorts instead his trademark tux?

Or think about taking the SAT. How much better would you have done on the math section if the dress code for the test was black tie?

The answer to both of those questions is 350 points.


This is precisely why the San Francisco Symphony's Black and White Ball is one of the city's most iconic institutions. Since 1956, the biennial event has been raising money in for the organization's music education programs in style.

However, the Black & White Ball is more than just an opportunity to dress up and channel you inner one percent--it's also a mini music festival featuring a dozen artists playing on five stages with performances by Paul Simon (backed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra), Cyndi Lauper, The Wallflowers, Janelle Monae and DJ Masonic (aka visionary classical composer Mason Bates).

"It's not just a free-for-all where you go out to have fun...this is the only thing in San Francisco that gives kids an education in music," Pattie Dunn, a 2010 patrons' dinner co-chair told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's not a self-indulgent thing. It's the best of both worlds."

This marks the first time in the event's history that the orchestra itself will be lending a hand (or a contrabassoon) to the party's musical headliner.

Tickets to the ball are still available here, starting at $250.

Check out this slideshow featuring videos of the performers:



Black And White Ball 2012 Lineup