What: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League 36th Presentation Ball
Where: Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
The 411: The DSOL introduced 48 debutantes at the annual glamorous ball on Saturday, February 12. This year's event was chaired by Elizabeth Gambrell, with Venise Stuart as DSOL president and Sherwood Wagner serving as honorary chair.
Upon their presentation on stage, each deb showed off her best "Texas dip" in front of the appreciative crowd. After being escorted offstage by members of the Honor Guard, the young women celebrated with their families at an elegant dinner-dance in the Meyerson's lobby.
“The ball was the culmination of a season of events which started in May 2021,” says Stuart. “It has provided an opportunity for these young debutantes and their honor guard escorts to experience the excitement and beauty of our world-class Dallas Symphony Orchestra and become our city's next generation of symphony and arts supporters.”
The Presentation Ball, first staged in 1987, is the largest fundraiser for the DSOL. More than $12 million has been raised for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through the annual event. It was the vision of long-time League member Tincy Miller, who also chaired the first event.
Founded in 1946, the DSOL supports the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through service, education, and fundraising activities. It has contributed more than $20 million to the association to date.
Who: The 2021-22 debutantes were (in alphabetical order) Nora Arnold, Virginia Baker, Bailey Beaird, Cambridge Bender, London Boscamp, Abigail Brannon, Riley Cheek, Grace Condon, Amelia Cox, Erin Daugherty, Eliza Davis, Katherine Downing, Katherine Edwards, Katie Elliott, Virginia Fielder, Sydney Goodiel, Katherine Hancock, Emily Hea, Reva Henderson, Ava Heppner, Julia Hicks, Stephanie Hirschbrich, Sophie Hung, Madigan Jacoby, Grace Judin, Claire Koonsman, Story Langston, Ashley Laughlin, McKinley Lawson, Brooke Marvel, Ashlyn Meuse, Anna Mikeska, Kate Murray, Ashlee Newton, Abbey Perry, Mary Tarver Reid, Anna Robinowitz, Annie Sawers, Bella Scott, Sarah Smith, Lydia Szuwalski, Margaret Thompson, Samantha Ungerman, Ella Varel, Annie Walker, Elizabeth Walsh, Tory Wicklund, and Kelsey Wittmann.
They were supported by their families, many of whom have second- and third-generation honorees in attendance. Janie and David Condon’s daughter Grace, for example, was the third debutante in the family to be presented.
And then there's this cute story: Margaret and Barry Hancock’s daughter Katherine made her debut this year. Daughter Mary Margaret made her debut in 2016 and son James was an Honor Guard in 2020. However, their history with the Presentation Ball dates even further, to the first ball held in 1987, when Barry was an Honor Guard. He met Margaret the next year when she made her debut and they were married a few years later. With Katherine’s debut, all the family members have participated.
“The Presentation Ball brings families and friends together, with friendships old and new creating a Camelot experience to carry you a lifetime,” says Miller. “We do not remember the days, we remember the moments. This is a Camelot moment.”