The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League introduced the 2024 debutantes during announcement weekend festivities held May 18 - May 20, 2023. It marked the official start of a season of events culminating with the 38th Presentation Ball, which will be held February 10, 2024.
The weekend began with the announcement party at the Dallas Country Club on Thursday evening, May 18. A Deb and Honor Guard family dinner was held the following evening at the downtown location of El Fenix. Stanley Korshak hosted a couture gown show at the Bridal Salon on Saturday morning, May 20, and Patti Flowers Design Studio presented custom gowns during the afternoon.
The Presentation Ball Chair is Kristin Cordiak and the DSOL President is Nancy Labadie. Kristin and Nancy know well what to expect during the debutante season. Kristin’s daughter Bronwyn made her debut in 2018 and her son Newt was an Honor Guard this year. Nancy was Ball Chair in 2016 and her son Will was an Honor Guard in 2015. Her daughter-in-law Lizzie was a Debutante in 2013.
“The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball has celebrated music and family for 38 years,” said Cordiak. “It is an honor to announce the 2024 Debutantes who each add to the beautiful tapestry of the event as they embark on a lifelong journey of philanthropy.”
The formal announcement of the debutantes by Emcee Stan Gardner went flawlessly. Heather Moore and Eve Sullivan were among the many volunteers who worked behind the scenes to coach the Debutantes and the Honor Guard in the staging area.
There were numerous parents who have had Debutante daughters and Honor Guard sons in prior years. Among them were Laura and Jason Downing whose daughter Kennedy is the third Debutante in the family making her debut.
Others in attendance included The Honorable and Mrs. Alphonso Jackson, John and Kristina Hallam, Dena and Vaughn Miller, Elizabeth and Eric Gambrell, Cameron and Clay Smith, Suzanne and Adam Stiles, Kathryn Wheeler, Kelli and Gerald Ford, and Gayle Sands.
The Assembly is a group of former Debutantes who assist the Symphony League by helping with event arrangements throughout the season. The Assembly officers in attendance were Perrin Griffin, Bronwyn Cordiak, Allie McWhorter, Katie Kottwitz, Emily Stone Young, Ava Heppner, Maddy Duvall, Maddi Hendrick, and Samantha Sullivan.
Honor Guard officers presenting the Debutantes for the evening were Conner Olson, John Liptack, Matthew Melcher, Eric Hirschbrich, Nicholas Arnold, Philip Jenevein, Wyatt Awtrey, Vance Miller, Thomas Liu, and Stefan Fischer.
The presentation of debutantes is a testament to the values instilled in them by their families, mentors, and loved ones. It is a reflection of the support and guidance they have received throughout their lives, shaping them into remarkable individuals. Their achievements and character are a tribute to the collective effort of everyone who has played a part in their upbringing.
The 2024 Debutantes are: Helena Breland Bach; Erika Mae Batson; Mia Lane Blanton; Claire Elise Cahoon; Ellie McClain Gidden; Ripley Elizabeth Cooley; Kennedy Claire Downing; Electra Wallace Ford; Sarah Rose Gambrell; 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 Gilmer 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; and Abigail Archer Willingham; Claire Anh Wooley; Sophia Corina Yung.
The Presentation Ball, which was first held in 1987, is the largest fundraiser for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Over $15 million has been raised 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 DSOL's mission is to support the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through service, education and fundraising activities. Since 1998 the League has contributed over $22 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.
Photos by James French Photography