What: Dallas Symphony Orchestra League's 2023 Savor the Symphony Wine Dinner & Auction

DSOL Savor the Symphony 2023

Photo by Chuck Clark

Donna Arp Weitzman, Terry Loftis

Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas

The 411: Still basking in the success of the 37th Annual Presentation Ball, members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League gathered at a special wine-focused dinner on April 13 to clink glasses and raise even more funds for young musicians.

Guided by event chairs (mother-daughter super-duo) Laura Downing and Caroline Gahm, under the direction of DSOL president Cynthia Beaird, the elegant evening included a wine-tasting reception, dinner, entertainment, and auctiosn for individual bottles of wine and more.

Per tradition, this year's Savor the Symphony showcased one special winery - Coquerel Family Wine Estates. The winemakers, Brenda and Clay Cockerell, live in Dallas. Their daughter Lily flew in from California for the event. Read more about their story and their wines here.

During the tasting, which highlighted Coquerel's Sauvignon Blanc, guests browsed the auction items, including special bottles from the winery and an exciting new entry - transportation by AERO, the new exclusive private jet service launching flights this month from Dallas to Cabo and Aspen.

Guests then feasted on a lavish wine-paired dinner prepared by the Ritz-Carlton kitchen and enjoyed a musical performance by DSO violinist Lucas Aleman.

Proceeds from the evening benefit the Dallas Symphony Association and its education and community outreach programs, including the Kim Noltemy Young Musicians, Young Strings, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Series. These programs impact more than 35,000 local students, helping to promote brain development and increased high school graduation rates, and opening the door to a brighter future with more opportunities, the organization touts.

Who: Donna Arp Weitzman, Terry Loftis, Randy and Jennifer Marvel, Larry and Venise Stuart, Tricia and Michael Wortley, Carole Ann Brown, Deborah Brown, Maurice and Sharon Ballew, Kim Brannon, Barbara Averitt, Marena Gault, Don Averitt, Jill and Bruce Goldberg, Kay and Pete Weeks, and many more ardent supporters of the DSOL.

Photo by Barbara Luisi Photography

Dallas Symphony rings in 2023-24 season with world premieres and epic musical events

Season announcement

Time flies when you're having fun on the podium. The 2023-24 concert season will mark Fabio Luisi's fourth as music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Together, he and the orchestra have stacked the new season with five world premieres, 11 DSO first-timers, movies-in-concert, jazz and blues, holiday hits, and - oh yes - the teeny tiny commitment of a Wagner Ring Cycle.

“We are thrilled to share this upcoming season of programming with our subscribers and patrons,” says DSO president & CEO Kim Noltemy in a release. “These programs represent a stunning range of genres and combine beloved favorites, unique repertoire and bold new voices. We know that there is something for everyone, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.”

According to the release, the Texas Instruments Classical Series will see the return of some of the top artists working today, including Emanuel Ax, Eric Owens, Rudolf Buchbinder, Matthias Goerne, Karen Slack,Jan Lisiecki, Kelley O’Connor and Maxim Vengerov.

Other soloists will make their big DSO debuts, including Jeremy Denk(piano), Maximilian Hornung (cello), Alexi Kenney (violin), Isabel Leonard (soprano), Anthony McGill (clarinet), Golda Schultz (soprano),Inbal Segev (cello) and Tine Thing Helseth (trumpet).

Concerts to bookmark on the calendar include:

  • Saint-Saëns’s “Organ”Symphony, which will be performed with resident organist Bradley Hunter Welch and recorded on February 22-25, 2024.
  • For the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala on September 30, 2023, Luisi and the DSO will welcome guests Emanuel Ax, piano; Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano and the Dallas Symphony Children’s Chorus for an evening of Carmen, Chopin, and Ravel’s La Valse.
  • The DSO (along with solo singers, chorus, organ) will perform Franz Schmidt’s monumental oratorio The Book with Seven Seals on March 1-3, 2024.
  • The DSO will perform works by two Ukrainian women composers, Anna Korsun and Victoria Vita Polevá, under the direction of Ukrainian conductor Kirill Karabits, November 9-12, 2023.
  • Adolphus Hailstork’s JFK: The Last Speech is a DSO co-commission making its Dallas debut October 6-8, 2023, one month before the 60th anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy. The work features text from Kennedy’s speech at Amherst College in October 1963, which praises American poet Robert Frost, who had just passed away.

Ring Cycle
Luisi and the DSO will present an opera-in-concert version of Richard Wagner’s complete Der Ring des Nibelungen with internationally renowned singers. It will begin on May 1, 2024 with Das Rheingold and Die Walküre premiering on consecutive nights. The cycle will continue in the fall; Luisi and the DSO will perform Siegfried on October 5, 2024, and Götterdämmerung on October 8, 2024, followed by a week-long presentation of the full Ring cycle beginning on October 13, 2024.

“The Ring Cycle is one of the deepest and most complex musical works that has ever been written. It is all of humanity brought to the stage – family, love, sex, loss, consequences and the quest for power,” Luisi says. “Across the entirety of the story, with beautiful music and beautiful text guiding you, you are transformed at the end.”

Pops series
There will be nine pops concerts, three of which will be conducted by principal pops conductor Jeff Tyzik.

Pianist, vocalist and composer Ben Folds will make his long-awaited return with the DSO after canceling performances in fall 2021 due to the rate of COVID-19 infections in the city. He'll have a two-night stand, October 20 and 21, 2023.

Grammy Award-winning singer Lila Downs and singer-songwriter Amos Lee both will make their debuts with DSO, on September 15-16, 2023 and March 22, 2024, respectively.

Movie fans will be intrigued by award-winning film composer Danny Elfman joining the DSO on the stage for Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton; and three films screened in the Meyerson with scores performed live by the DSO: Amadeus,Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban, and The Polar Express.

For more information on the new season, subscriptions, and tickets, visit the DSO website.

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Spectacular new drive-thru Light Park will electrify Frisco for 2023 holidays

Merry & Bright

A dazzling new holiday lights experience is coming to Frisco, and the lights are switching on very soon.The Light Park, an immersive drive-thru attraction that claims to have "the longest light tunnel in the world," will debut at Riders Field on November 3 and run through January 1, 2024.

It'll be the second Light Park in Dallas-Fort Worth this season; the popular location at Hurricane Harbor in Arlington also will return on November 3. There are also Light Parks in the Texas cities of Selma, Katy, and Spring.

The Light Park is a described in a release as "a mile-long drive-thru spectacular" during which guests "witness millions of lights synchronized to an electric mix of music by DJ Polar Ice from the North Pole’s #1 Hit Radio station, K-GLO."

"Everyone (pets, too) can experience the magic of traveling through the longest holiday light tunnel in the world, rocking out to the coolest tunes, and kicking off the holiday season with the most Instagram Reel-worthy shots, for just one admission fee,” says Matt Johnson, co-creator of The Light Park, in the release.

That admission fee starts at $29 per vehicle (not per person). Tickets must be purchased online, in advance, with a reserved entry time. Admission varies per showtime (weekdays and weekends).

Although DFW has some longtime favorite drive-thru light experiences (such as Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie and and Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway), they became a hot trend during the "socially distanced" holiday season of 2020. Visitors to The Light Park must stay in their cars the entire time while visiting the park and while on the park property, organizers say. Guests are encouraged to bring their snacks to enjoy while in their cars or can pre-purchase some snacks and souvenirs.

The Light Park will be at Riders Field, 7300 Rough Riders Tr., Frisco. Hours will be: 5:30-10 pm (weekdays), and 5:30-11 (weekends and Christmas week).

More information and early-bird tickets are available on the website.

Where to play pickleball in Dallas-Fort Worth

Pickle Mania

In case you missed it, pickleball is big news in Texas. Rockwall hosted a televised tournament this summer and the national championships, scheduled for November, are now located in Farmers Branch. You can even rent people's private pickleball courts by the hour.

If you have yet to get on the court — or are looking for a spot to share your obsession with friends on a night out — here's a quick list of places to play in Dallas-Fort Worth:

Food and fun

Chicken N Pickle
Really amp up the social aspect of the sport with this hybrid, a chef-driven restaurant, multiple bars, lawn games, and several courts. Grapevine and Grand Prairie already have locations, with one planned for Allen next fall.

Courtside Kitchen
The first in Fort Worth, its motto is "carpe drink 'em." You can purchase a membership for priority court booking, or just kick back with some apps and watch others at play — especially during happy hour.

Fieldhouse USA
Find a little bit of everything here indoors in Frisco, including open play pickleball Monday through Friday with a $5 pass.

At Fault
Technically it doesn't open until the spring, but make a mental note now for this "elevated" indoor-outdoor facility that will boast 40,000 square feet of entertainment space.

Just here for the sport

Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas
Indoor and outdoor courts are available for both members and non-members of this JCC, which also has lessons and clinics. It's bring-your-own-gear, as a heads up.

Cole Park
A little Uptown gem of a park, it has converted some tennis courts into six pickleball courts (that are also lit for night play). You can't reserve the courts, so either get there early or be prepared to wait.

Fretz Tennis Center
Three outdoors courts feature open play Tuesday through Friday, with games on Saturday. Reservations are $5 per person for 90 minutes. The Dallas Pickleball Club also plays games here, if you're looking to join a league.

LB Houston Tennis Center
Another facility where reservations are $5 per person for 90 minutes, but it also offers an unlimited monthly membership and several leagues you can join.

McLeland Tennis Center
Don't let the name fool you — there are two dedicated pickleball courts and four hybrid courts at this Fort Worth faciity, plus free entry-level paddles and only $3 for professional demo paddles.

Oasis Pickleball Club
With 42 outdoor courts, eight covered courts, and two championship courts, it's no wonder this Rockwall club hosts lots of pickleball tournaments.

Samuell Grand Tennis Center
Clinics and open play abound on these four outdoor courts near White Rock Lake, and a family of four can purchase an unlimited multi-club membership for only $36 a month.

The Courts of McKinney
Monday through Wednesday, anyone — both members and non-members — can play pickleball on the six painted courts and also take advantage of onsite instructors during open play.

Tower Club
This may be a private, members-only club located on the 48th floor of the 50-story Santander Tower in downtown, but non-members can rent courts by the hour on "the highest pickleball court in the world." A nice bonus is that part of the rental proceeds benefit Bonton Farms, which is committed to combating the effects of poverty in South Dallas.

Don't forget to check your local recreation center website — chances are your area has pickleball courts now!

These are the 8 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This Week in Gluttony

Embark on a culinary tour around the world this week with food events influenced by Italy, Germany, and Canada. A taste of Texas is also on the menu thanks to a two-day barbecue festival at AT&T Stadium. Wrap up the weekend with a modern Mexican Sunday brunch inspired by the flavors of fall.

Tuesday, October 3

Bendt Distilling Rye Release Pairing Dinner at Whiskey Cake Plano
Local Bendt Distilling Co. will be featured during this five-course whiskey pairing dinner, which will come with a sneak peek tasting of Bendt’s new release, Unbendt Rye. The menu is big on fall flavors with items like apple and shaved fennel salad with duck fat croutons, “High Society Thanksgiving” with roasted duck and sage stuffing, and a bone marrow luge with smoked tomato preserves. The dinner is $100 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 7 pm.

Thursday, October 5

Piroshky Piroshky Bakery Pop-up at Outfit Brewing
Bakery founded in Seattle will stop in Dallas on a Texas-wide tour, offering their signature Russian hand pies in delectable fillings such as beef & cheese, cabbage & onion, and vegan-friendly mushroom & potato. The full menu is online, and pre-ordering is required by October 3 at 4 pm. There's a minimum order of $50. Pickup at the brewery is 5-7 pm.

Saturday, October 7

Canadian Thanksgiving at Maple Leaf Diner
Canadian Thanksgiving is Monday and Maple Leaf Diner is celebrating all weekend long. Visit Saturday October 7 through Monday October 9 for holiday specials including a Thanksgiving plate with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, acorn squash, carrots, green beans, a sweet potato tart, and a roll ($17.99), turkey poutine ($12.49), and Thanksgiving pumpkin pancake wrap ($11.99). Dine-in hours are 7 am-4 pm on Saturday and Sunday, and 7 am-2:30 pm on Monday, but the Thanksgiving plate and bakery items will be available for pick-up until 6 pm.

Q BBQ Fest at AT&T Stadium
Arlington will get a little smoky when more than 30,000 pounds of brisket, chicken, pulled pork and ribs are dished out over two days at AT&T Stadium. Hosted by the Dallas Cowboys and Miller Lite, Q BBQ Fest will feature pitmasters from across Texas and throughout the nation. AYCE tickets start at $69 (alcohol not included). Or go VIP ($129) and enjoy an open bar along with access to exclusive lounge areas and VIP-only pitmasters. Tickets are $35 for young adults ages 13-20, and children under 13 get in free. The event runs from 11 am-8 pm on Saturday and 10 am-2 pm on Sunday. Note that tickets are sold in three- and four-hour time blocks.

Frisco Oktoberfest at The Star in Frisco
Fourth annual Bavarian celebration features stein-hoisting competitors in the Biergarten, brat-eating contests, keg rolling races, stein relays, live entertainment from authentic German groups and local talent, plus Oktoberfest favorites such as pretzels, sauerkraut, funnel cakes, brats, Bavarian sausages, kaiser rolls, apple strudel, baklava, and German bee sting cake, as well as selections from The Star eateries La Parisienne, Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar, The Common Table, and more. Plus Oktoberfest biers. 11 am-9 pm.

DFW Italian Heritage & Food Festival
An inaugural celebration of Italian culture with food, wine tastings, and musical performances, this festival will take place in Las Colinas at 5220 N. O’Connor Blvd. from 12-10 pm. Food for purchase from local vendors will range from New York-style pizza, parmigiano fries, and meatball sandwiches to arancini, tiramisu, and gelato. Patrons can also sip on frozen bellinis and Aperol spritz cocktails. The event is hosted by DFW Italians, a non-profit whose mission is to promote, celebrate, and preserve the rich heritage and culture of Italy. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for young adults 11-20, and children 10 and under get in free.

19th Annual Oktoberfest at The Sons of Hermann Hall
The historic German dance hall will host a 20-piece polka band to celebrate German culture with food, beer, and merriment. The $18 ticket price includes a traditional German brat dinner plate. The party will run from 5-10 pm.

Sunday, October 8

Basic B*#ch Brunch at La Neta Cocina y Lounge
The Las Vegas-based modern Mexican restaurant will dive deep into fall flavors with an autumn-themed activation featuring photo ops, fall décor, live music, and menu specials. Visit for pumpkin spice espresso pancakes with brûléed meringue, apple cinnamon French toast, and cocktails like apple cider mimosas, brown sugar espresso martinis, and pumpkin spice margaritas. Brunch will be served from 12-4 pm and reservations are recommended.