Junior League of Las Vegas Announces Series on Sands Copa Room

(Las Vegas)—The Junior League of Las Vegas today announced The Sands Copa Connection Program Series, an entertainment and exhibition series designed to spotlight the legendary Copa Room of the Las Vegas Sands Hotel.  The series will feature four programs beginning on April5 through October 25. Each program will highlight a different aspect of the showroom’s glamour, music, celebrity and impact. Together, these events underscore the showroom’s effect on entertainment, tourism and gaming industries during the mid-twentieth century.

The schedule includes:

April 5-Meet the Copa Girls at the Morelli House

This open house reception will feature the Junior League’s special guests, the Copa Girls, the glamorous women who were iconic symbols of the Sands Resort in the 1950’s and 60’s.  These lovely women will be on hand to greet visitors, reminisce and answer questions. The event is free, open to the public, and will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Junior League’s historic Morelli House, 861 E. Bridger Ave.

May 9–“LVA Unplugged: Alive from the Copa”  

This jazz concert will also feature a pre-concert lecture from Dr. Michael Green, “The Rat Pack and the Sands.”  The lecture is free and will begin at 5:30 p.m. inside the Lowden Theater of the Performing Arts at the Las Vegas Academy High School, 315 S. 7th St. A concert featuring classic Copa Showroom music will follow at 7 p.m. performed by the LVA Jazz Orchestra, directed by Patrick Bowen and featuring guest vocalist, Marlena Shaw. A reception and guided tour will follow at the Morelli house. Concert tickets are $8 and available for purchase at the door. The event is being co-produced by the Las Vegas Academy High School Jazz Department, Nevada Humanities on the Road Program and the Junior League of Las Vegas.

Sept. 20-“An Evening at the Copa: A Century of Sinatra”

This event will feature nationally acclaimed author, Tom Santoprieto, and Carnegie Hall headliner, Tony DeSare, and will celebrate Sinatra’s life, music and legacy. Spotlighting the Copa Room’s most legendary entertainer, the event will provide both cultural insight and pure entertainment in story and song. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Historic 5th Street School, 401 S. Fourth St. The audience is encouraged to come early in their favorite vintage cocktail attire and to enjoy a no-host cocktail hour with dancing to Sinatra’s music starting at 6:30p.m. Immediately following the performance, the Junior League will host a complimentary “nightcap” reception at the Morelli House, 861 E. Bridger Ave. The free public program is being co-produced by the City of Las Vegas Department of Cultural Affairs and the Junior League of Las Vegas.                                              

Oct. 25-“The Sands: A Place in the Sun”

A panel discussion, highlighting The Sand’s impact on Las Vegas, will feature four noted historians and launch a special museum exhibit beginning at 1 p.m. Speakers will include: Dr. Larry Gragg, Dr. Eugene Moehring, Dr. Michael Green and Su Kim Chung. The overall program will feature the Sands’ effect on the city’s development as the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” The corresponding, special museum exhibit created by the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas will showcase vintage photos and promotional materials used by the Sands to market their image of glamour, top notch entertainment and excitement. The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is located within the Springs Preserve, 309 S. Valley View Blvd. This program is being co-produced by the Nevada State Museum,Las Vegas and the Junior League of Las Vegas.

Each Copa Series event will include a display of vintage Copa photos and a souvenir commemorative scrapbook for audiences, both made possible by funding from the Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial and the Nevada Humanities, a state agency of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


The Junior League of Las Vegas is collaborating with community partners to mount this public history series, sponsored by a grant from the Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial.  This series is in association with the League’s historic preservation project: the Morelli House, built by Antonio Morelli, leader of the Copa showroom orchestra from l954 to 1972.  A superb example of mid-century residential architecture, the League spearheaded the relocation of the structure from the Desert Inn Country Club Estates to the historical district downtown when it was set for demolition to make way for Wynn Resorts in 2001. The house earned placement on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

“The Copa Room was a defining moment in the development of Las Vegas,” said Dedee Nave, project director of the Junior League’s Sands Copa Connection Series.  “The elevated level of entertainment initiated by the Copa Room in the 1950s and 60s set Las Vegas firmly on its path to becoming the entertainment capital of the world.” 

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About Junior League of Las Vegas


The Junior League is an international organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Current programs of the Junior League of Las Vegas include children’s health fairs with follow up care to provide eyeglasses and dental services, healthy eating & fitness projects, school garden support, collaborations with our local nonprofits, a holiday gift program providing 10 gifts each to more than 350 local students and a historic preservation project featuring the Morelli House. Our longest running project, Education Grants, has provided more than $570,000 to teachers in Clark County schools since its inception in 1985.  During its 68 year history, the Junior League of Las Vegas has helped develop local programs including the Ronald McDonald House, Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, HELP of Southern Nevada, the Shade Tree Shelter and Community Alternative Sentencing. For more information, please visit our website at or call (702) 822-6536.