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2019 Debutantes and Honor Guard - Photo by James French

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League introduced the 2019 debutantes at the 33rd Presentation Ball on February 9, 2019 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. 

The Honorary Chairs for the 2019 Presentation Ball were Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, longtime supporters of the DSO and the Dallas community. Their daughter Niña was a debutante and their sons Alexis and Oliver have served as Honor Guards. 

The Presentation Ball Chair was Carla Leffert and DSOL President is Lisa Loy Laughlin. Both knew well what to expect during the debutante season well. Carla has had two daughters make their debut and Lisa is a past Presentation Ball Chair. 

There were several second-generation debutantes making their debut. Hattie Newton’s mother Mary Casey and aunt Donna Casey were debutantes for the inaugural ball held in 1987 and her aunt Lisa Casey was presented a few years later. Megan Molthan’s mother Heather and her aunt Wendy are both former debutantes.   

Three generations of the McCullough family have participated with the Honor Guard.  Michael McCullough, Sr. was the founder of the Honor Guard in 1987. His son Michael Jr. is a past Honor Guard and this year, his grandson Mac McCullough served as an Honor Guard.

Houston native Elizabeth Moore made her debut at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Presentation Ball. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harvin Cooper Moore IV of Houston, will be in Dallas for the debut, but the family’s ties to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra date back to 1974.

At that time, Elizabeth’s grandfather Lloyd Haldeman was hired as the DSO manager when the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was rebuilding itself. He launched massive fund drives, persuaded civic leadership to take more active involvement in the orchestra’s future introduced new concert series including summer pops, won a 52-week contract for the musicians, hired new players, lengthened the subscription series, and engaged Eduardo Mata as principal conductor and Kurt Masur as principal guest conductor. With that foundation laid, Haldeman left a lasting legacy. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has since become one of the top orchestras in the nation.  

“The Dallas Symphony brought my family to Texas, and played a pivotal role in our lives,” said Janet Haldeman Moore (a graduate of Greenhill School). “Elizabeth’s presentation honors her grandfather’s legacy and continues our family’s meaningful connection to this stellar symphony.”  

Although not able to be active with the Dallas Symphony, Janet serves as a Trustee of the Houston Symphony and was one of the founding board members of Houston’s River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. 

The 2019 debutantes are:

Maddie Basso, Katy Callewart, Carly Cooper, Savannah Crow, Avery Davis, Katherine Fraser, Kathleen Gamso, Kate Gioldasis, Natalie Groves, Gracie Hunt, Mary Margaret Jaynes, Alix Lippincott, Georgia McGill, Elizabeth McIlyar, Megan Molthan, Elizabeth Moore, Caroline Mulligan, Coco Murchison, Hattie Newton, Mindy Osler, Cassandra Polley, Elizabeth Reid, Anna Robertson, Lily Schiff, Lauren Schnitzer, Livy Scott, Nicole Smith, Emily Stone, Samantha Sullivan, Sally Wade, Ava Wall, and Whitney Wheeler. 

The Presentation Ball, which was first held in 1987, is the largest fundraiser for the DSOL. Over $11 million has been raised for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through the annual event, which was created with the vision of long-time League member Tincy Miller, who chaired the first ball. 

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 $16 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 Photography. All others by Deborah Brown.

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