According to Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Co-Chairs Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld,
We hope you and your loved ones are well as we all continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
This year, we were honored to serve as Chairs of the annual Dallas Symphony Gala. However, due to the ongoing health crisis, we must share the unfortunate news that the 20/21 Gala has been cancelled. The event was to be held at the iconic Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center and feature a dinner, a tour-de-force performance by the Dallas Symphony, its new Music Director Fabio Luisi and an array of principal soloists from the orchestra and the legendary after party. It is a wonderful celebration that we look forward to each year.
More importantly, the Gala is one of the DSO’s largest annual fundraising events of the year, and it benefits many of the DSO’s community-based initiatives. These include the Southern Dallas Residency, Parks Concerts and numerous artistic and organizational collaborations that allow the orchestra to share the joy of music with an ever-expanding audience.
One of the newest initiatives is the DSO Young Musicians program. During its first year in 2019, the Young Musicians program provided lessons and performance experiences to more than 500 first through sixth graders in musically underserved areas of Southern Dallas. Although the school year ended abruptly, the DSO education staff jumped into action and got programs up and running virtually only 10 days into the statewide shutdown. By the end of March, the Young Musicians program was being offered remotely, providing 8.5 hours of learning during the spring semester, including general music classes, group lessons and private lessons for each student. With the help of dozens of DSO musicians, the private lessons were able to continue throughout the summer.
As the staff of the DSO looks at the future of this program, they aim to grow the opportunities within the Young Musicians, including socially distanced youth concerts, in-person master classes and more opportunities for mentorship by DSO musicians. However, this strongly depends on the support this program receives over the next few months. While many of the DSO Gala attendees have generously opted to donate the price of their tickets back to the DSO in support of the causes above, because of the event cancellation we have not yet reached our vital financial goals.
We hope you will join us in supporting these amazing and life-changing initiatives of the Dallas Symphony. Your help will not go unnoticed and will solidify a future for programs like Young Musicians for many years to come.
* Photo credit: Barbara Luisi