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Newt, Kristin, Bronwyn, Bob Cordiak

In a symphony of elegance and festive jubilation, the 2024 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutantes took center stage at a holiday reception and seated dinner on November 22, 2023, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

 

Guided by the gracious Presentation Ball Chair, Kristin Cordiak, the debutantes, their esteemed honor guards, and families were welcomed.

Kristin expressed gratitude, stating, "We are so very grateful for the opportunity to celebrate and honor the inspiring and talented young women and men who comprise our 2024 Debutantes and Honor Guard, and their families."

DSOL President Nancy Labadie, though absent, was there in spirit as she spent Thanksgiving in Indiana creating cherished memories with her son Will, his wife Lizzie and newborn twin granddaughters.

The DSOL has been integral to Honorary Chairs Margaret and Barry Hancock, who were welcomed on stage. Margaret was a Debutante for the 2nd annual Presentation Ball in 1988 and was match dated with Barry by family friends, Tincy Miller and Sharon McCullough. In 1991, Barry served as Honor Guard President and in 1992 Margaret and Barry married. The family tradition of service continued as Barbara Hancock, served as Ball Chairman and Margaret served as the Jr. Chair for the 1994 Presentation Ball.  

The Hancock family, a beacon of tradition, stands as the first to have both parents and all children partake in the Presentation Ball. Daughter Mary Margaret was presented in 2016, son James was an Honor Guard escort in 2020 and daughter Katherine was presented in 2022. 

Returning families, the Clay Smiths, the Scott Wheelers, the Adam Stiles, the Eric Gambrells, the Thomas Le Voyers, and Max Swangos, added to the rich tapestry of the evening with a second debutante. The Jason Downing family, witnessing their third daughter's debut, exemplify the enduring allure of the Presentation Ball.

For the Honor Guard, tradition also runs deep with Vaughn and brother Vance Miller as well as Robert Peacock representing a third generation of dedication.

Under the spotlight, emcee Stan Gardner formally introduced each debutante and they were joined by an honor guard escort for the presentation. A debutante gift of pearl earrings was provided by Eiseman Jewels, NorthPark Center, symbolizing the timeless beauty of this cherished event.

Proud parents, their hearts swelling with pride, were in abundance. Kristina and John Hallam, Dena Miller, Laura and Jason Downing, and Gayle Sands were among those beaming with joy.

The evening unfolded as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, offering a shopping extravaganza for moms and a Bow Boot Camp for the debutantes. The stage is set for a return during the Christmas Holidays, with a calendar filled with parties and bow practice, all leading up to the 38th Presentation Ball on February 10, 2024, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

The 2024 Debutantes are: Helena Breland Bach; Erika Mae Batson; Mia Lane Blanton; Claire Elise Cahoon; Ripley Elizabeth Cooley; Kennedy Claire Downing; Electra Wallace Ford; Sarah Rose Gambrell; Ellie McClain Gidden; Catherine Lee Grayson; Camille Anne Greening; Meredith Elizabeth Hallam; Grace Soleil Handler; Caroline Parker Hart; Catherine Bradford Hunt; Isabella Ann Jackson; Ashley Elizabeth Jaynes; Ellen Taylor Jones; Minje Kwun; Emannuelle Grace Le Voyer; Claire Michael Levy; Riya Kaur Luthra; Elizabeth Myers Madison; Avery Pilar Moore; Finley Elizabeth Nelson; Day Gilmire Nettle; Lillian Susan Nettle; Mina Hiranmayee Raj; Bailey Erin Robirds; Courtenay Christianson Sands, Kathryn Bunker Sands; Caroline Robertson Smith; Sheridan Michelle Spencer; Caroline Story Stiles; Leslie Katherine Swango; Caroline Parker Teegarden; Payton Grace Thurman; Megan McKamy Dyer Underwood; Lauren Alexis Watkins; Charlotte Nicole Webb; Kelley Caroline Wheeler; Abigail Archer Willingham; Claire Anh Wooley; and Sophia Corina Yung.

The Presentation Ball, which was first held in 1987, is the largest fundraiser for the DSOL. This annual celebration, dreamed of by visionary Tincy Miller, has become a cornerstone of the DSOL's mission.

Since its inception in 1946, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League has embraced the mission to support the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through service, education, and fundraising, contributing over $22 million to outreach and education programs.

In the grand symphony of philanthropy and tradition, the 2024 DSOL Presentation Ball will be a celebration of legacy, elegance, and the enduring spirit of giving.

 

Photos by James French Photography

 

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