Gowns and courtseys were all the rage as 33 Symphony Debutantes took their bows at the 32nd Annual Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball on Saturday, February 17 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The spotlight was on the debs, their families, and dapper members of the Honor Guard with over 1100 in attendance.
The Honorary Chairs were Lisa and Kenny Troutt who were also there with their Honor Guard son Grant.
Lori Routh served as Ball Chair and Mari Epperson is President of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League. Committee Chairs were Melissa Lewis, Kay Weeks, Sandy Secor, Eleanor Bond, Rene’ Edwards, Nancy Labadie, and Kim Brannon.
The debutante season started with an announcement party in June and ended with the Ball on February 17. It was a whirlwind season of numerous parties and events and rehearsals for the famous Texas Dip.
This year’s Ball featured three generations of involvement. Nancy Duncan was a proud debutante mom to daughter Denise Duncan Beutel in 1991, and then together they co-chaired the Presentation Ball in 1996. This year granddaughter Caroline Beutel made her debut.
“The Presentation Ball honors DSO debutantes and their families through memorable experiences that bond young adults and their families with the community and the symphony,” said Nancy.
Other families have had long involvement with the DSOL and Presentation Ball. Debutante Claire Fletcher’s mom, Mary Rebecca Enloe Fletcher, made her debut along with her aunt in 1988. Alexis Bray's grandmother, Mrs. Frances B. Chantilis, was a Past President of the DSOL in 1983-84 and her mom, Stephanie, was a DSOL Representative to the Jewel Ball in Austin.
Also in attendance were Jerry and Gene Jones with their daughter and son in law, Charlotte and Shy Anderson, to see their grandson, Shy, Jr., an officer in the Honor Guard.
“The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League is very proud and honored to be a part of presenting these outstanding young ladies and gentlemen to society,” said Ball Chair Lori Routh. “My heartfelt thanks to our very generous patrons and sponsors for this year's Presentation Ball season. It is because of their enormous contributions that the Dallas Symphony is able to introduce and educate the youth of Dallas by bringing the gift of music to them.”
The 2018 debutantes are: Caroline Allday, Meika Bass, Caroline Beutel, Natalie Blazejewski, Kennedy Boscamp, Alexis Bray, Helena Burns, Megan Casey, Catherine Champlin, Arden Cheatham, Bronwyn Cordiak, Eliza Davis, Claire Fletcher, Grace Gunnin, Hope Hyde, Emma Jenevein, Olivia Jennings, Anna Marie Jordanou, Riley King, Katie Kupp, Catherine Leffert, Lane McCormick, Annabel McGill, Megan Meinecke, Kay Merritt, Caroline Morway, Theiline Pigott, Jacqueline Reagor, Avery Roossien, Madison Stuart, Julianna Szuwalski, Madeline Toole and Morgan Weaver.
The Presentation Ball was first held in 1987 and created with the vision of long-time League member Tincy Miller, who chaired the first ball. It is the largest fundraiser for the DSOL and more than $13 million has been raised in support of the Dallas Symphony Association and its education and community outreach programs. Some of the quality outreach programs the League supports are: DSO on the Go, Community Concerts and Performances, Cecil and Ida Green Youth Concerts, Symphony Yes!, DSO Kids, and Young Strings.
Founded in 1946, the mission of the DSOL is to support the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through service, education and fundraising activities. Since 1998 the League has contributed over $20 million in support of the Dallas Symphony Association’s Community Outreach and Education programs, which help bring the wonder of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to thousands of youths and adults in the Dallas Metroplex.
Group photo by James French
All other photos by Deborah Brown