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Singer Katharine McPhee, who was the “American Idol” runner-up in Season 5 (2006) and has gone on to record several albums and perform on stage and screen, was the guest star at the 18th annual Symphony at Salk benefit Aug. 24, 2013 at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla. The fundraiser began with a Champagne reception, followed by dinner and the concert, which also featured music by members of the San Diego Symphony under the direction of guest conductor Thomas Wilkins.