Event Producer Todd Fiscus was standing in the Meyerson Symphony Center’s Opus restaurant surrounded by the table settings and other decorations that will be used for the 2019 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. The Gala will be held in late September under the auspices of Co-Chairs Barbara and Don Daseke. Todd, who has designed the decor for roughly 15 previous DSO galas, was describing his approach to the upcoming extravaganza: “I worked a little Barbara into it.”
Todd’s muse—spiky-haired, colorfully clad Barbara—was just across the way on this Thursday, August 22nd afternoon. But Don, Barbara explained, was “stuck at an airport in Houston,” and so was unable to visit with the 45 or so Gala committee members, sponsors and friends who’d gathered for the event’s annual “sneak peek” ritual.
Guests like Nancy Bierman—she’s Underwriting Chair for the ’19 Gala—Greg Hext, Cece Smith and Ford Lacy, Lea Anne Laughlin, Ellen Marsau Burger and Kara and Randall Goss circled around the colorful bolts of tablecloth, tableware and flowers that were on display, hinting how the Meyerson will be transformed for the big evening on Saturday, September 28. One flower centerpiece, for example, consisted of a beautifully exotic mix of roses, orchids, protea and bromiliads.
Soon enough, Barbara, who works as an interior designer, took the microphone and thanked everyone for attending. “It has been so much fun,” she said of preparations for the Gala. “And, being a Debby Designer, I’ve had my nose in everything. Todd even let me think I made a difference.”
Then Todd returned the compliment, telling the group that Barbara’s style—”really bad-ass jewelry, shockingly white hair, and a nice balance of masculine and feminine in her design”—had inspired him. The result: “big, bold geometric prints;” “vibrant dirty colors;” and a blending of metal, glass and wood finishes, including 1,000 razor-thin wooden butterflies that will adorn the Meyerson’s walls. The overall feeling might be called “ilunabarra,” Todd went on, which is the Basque word for “sunset.”
DSO VP of Development James Leffler reported that the 2019 DSO Gala will feature violinist Joshua Bell with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and honorary Co-chairs Kathryn and Craig Hall. The Halls’ KMPG Plaza at Hall Arts, Hall Arts Hotel and Hall Arts Residences all sit just across Flora Street from the Meyerson, and the couple’s California vineyards will provide the evening’s wine. Kasie and Axel Ricart are co-chairs of the annual After-Party. The black-tie DSO Gala benefits the orchestra’s music and education programs.