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FLASH Photography (1).jpg Cara Lichty, Cash Nix, Ela Austin, Caroline Woram, James Sutherland, headliner musician Chris Ferrara, Adelaide Boisture, Ashton Krug, Kate Fagan, and Baker Trent.

Tickets for the 66th annual Junior Symphony Ball (JSB)  “Purpose with a Party” fundraiser sold out within an hour of their release with hundreds more on the waitlist. The event on January 27th at the iconic Gilley’s Dallas witnessed a historic milestone with an unprecedented attendance of over 2,700 high school students from 35 schools. This outstanding turnout set a new record as the largest in the event's history. The Steering Committee, comprising more than 800 students, played a pivotal role in orchestrating the evening's success.

The JSB brought together high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors across the metroplex to celebrate with an evening filled with energetic live music, dynamic dancing, professionally staffed gaming tables, raffles, prizes and refreshments.

 “What makes JSB so special is this is the only party in town that every high school Sophomore through Senior is invited to attend,” said JSB 2024 Co-chair, Suzanne Austin. “These precious students are sometimes friends through social media, sports or school activities but this is the only time they can all come and spend an organized fun evening together.  This unique opportunity for our kiddos combined with raising money for an incredibly worthy cause is the right recipe for spectacular evening! My co-chairs and I are so appreciative of the overwhelming support from the parents, students, community businesses and underwriters that made this event so incredibly successful.” 

The dress code called for a Texas Tuxedo for the gentlemen and cocktail dresses paired with boots for the ladies. The majority of girls opted for short, black dresses, creating a striking sea of black enlivened by splashes of bright colors.

The evening kicked off with DJSC, the renowned DJ exclusive to The Dallas Cowboys for the past 15 years.  Also known as 13LACKBEARD, DJSC has shared the stage with notable artists like Snoop Dog, Chris Stapleton, and Taylor Swift. Possessing a larger-than-life persona, DJSC seamlessly commanded the crowd, drawing everyone to the dance floor. The music hit every major genre-and the energy level peaked in the jam-packed venue.

JSB headliner, Chris Ferrara and The Common Good, took the stage. They are a top-notch act in Nashville, headlining at Nashville Barstool nearly every Friday and Saturday night. His blend of city-boy swagger and country-boy soul was exactly what these high school students needed for a lively night of dancing.

The lineup of the 2024 Event Co-Chairs represents schools across Dallas: Cara Lichty, Episcopal School of Dallas; James Sutherland, St. Mark's School of Texas; Kate Fagan, The Hockaday School; Cash Nix, Highland Park High School; Ela Austin, Ursuline Academy; Ashton Krug, Jesuit College Prep of Dallas; Adelaide Boisture, Parish Episcopal School; Baker Trent, Bishop Lynch High School; Caroline Woram, Highland Park High School.

Their supportive and proud moms are: Suzanne Austin, Jenny Lichty, Ashley Boisture, Jonika Nix, Dana Woram, Holly Krug, Lauren Sutherland, Aimee Fagan, and Katy Trent.

From start to finish, the committee undertook the task of organizing logistics, planning activities, and implementing crowd control measures to guarantee the enjoyment of the vast gathering. The check-in went smoothly handling the process efficiently for the hundreds of students that came through. It culminated in a high-energy and memorable extravaganza for the staggering number of high school students in attendance.

“This is an event that my friends and I look forward to all year, so when asked if I wanted to be a part of planning it and be a co-chair, I was definitely on board,” said JSB student co-chair, Ela Austin. “My student co-chairs and I all do community service through our schools, but this was an opportunity for us to go beyond our schools and into the community and be a part of something bigger. This was something that was important to each one of us and was our way to help the Dallas Symphony and help the Youth Programs that JSB supports.”

Over 200 supportive parent volunteers helped to staff the evening including former JSB Ball Chair Mandy Click. April Willingham and Christie Cahoon were there for their high schoolers, but in the coming weeks, they will be attending another symphony event. They both have daughters making their debut at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s Presentation Ball on February 10.  

Sponsors include Mr. Tuxedo, Jenny Watts Photography, Competitive Cameras, Sewell, Veritex Community Bank, Highland Park Village, The Sidley Austin Foundation, and Stewart and Arango.

JSB is in its 66th year and is the longest running fundraiser of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League (DSOL), supporting DSO outreach programs such as the Young Strings program and the Young Musicians program. It was founded with the concept of “student-led, parent-guided” leadership. While JSB has evolved in scope and participation size, it has always been a high school student fundraising event for the DSO hosted by area 10th-12th grade high school students and their parents. JSB has grown over the decades from just a handful of participating schools to over 35 this year.  


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About Chris Ferrara
Born and raised in the small town of Sharon, MA, relocated to Music City in 2013 with just a suitcase and a guitar, and he has been making a name for himself ever since. His music draws from an eclectic mix of influences - from Muscle Shoals to Motown and every stop in between - to bring a style that is as familiar as it is new.

About JSB
JSB was formed to introduce Dallas area students to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, a cultural gem to our city, and in turn, teach them about giving back to the community by hosting the student-led fundraiser.

Participation on a JSB committee teaches high school teens valuable leadership, organizational, and team-work skills while raising significant dollars for a worthy cause. JSB creates a unique opportunity for students from a multitude of backgrounds to work together for a common goal and a positive contribution to their greater community. Both private and public schools from all across the Metroplex organize, participate, fundraise and attend the JSB.

JSB is a time honored tradition and a great first foray into giving back to the community and supporting music education on a larger scale. Proceeds benefit Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s community outreach and education programs, including Young Strings and Young Musicians that will benefit over 14,000 students, making a positive impact for under-served youth in Dallas and throughout North Texas. 

Photos by FLASH photography and Deborah Brown

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