As President of the Women’s Symphony League of Austin, I am honored to celebrate our 66th year of supporting the Austin Symphony Orchestra and inspiring a love of music in the next generation. Our diverse membership unites to support the ASO, an Austin treasure providing dynamic educational programs vital to the children of Central Texas.
We begin our year with the 64th Jewel Ball An Austin Tradition and its signature events: Soirée and the Fashion Luncheon. For decades, Austin-area 9th and 10th graders have celebrated Soirée on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. A few short weeks later, luncheon attendees will enjoy featured speaker Tim Gunn and a fashion preview by Neiman Marcus. Mrs. Jane Sibley, a pillar of the Texas arts community, will serve as honorary chair for these events. These festivities have something for everyone. I personally invite you to join your fellow patrons in celebrating everything you enjoy about the arts in Austin. And if you are new to the Jewel Ball events, there is a vibrant community waiting to welcome you.
The WSL’s programs and opportunities for community involvement extend far beyond the Jewel Ball. Looking forward to another inspiring year, the Austin Symphony Orchestra Youth Leadership Council will provide Austin-area high school students with the training and inspiration to become the civic and philanthropic leaders of tomorrow. In addition, preparations are already underway for our nationally-recognized, award-winning Red Haute Valentine’s Party and Children’s Style Show, taking place in February. These signature events and programs allow the WSL to consistently stand as the largest contributor for the Austin Symphony Orchestra – the oldest continuously performing symphony orchestra in Texas, now in its 107th season.
This year, we will also provide crucial volunteer support for a variety of programs assisting the ASO, its musicians, and its educational mission. Programs such as Children’s Day Art Park, the Halloween Concerts, and the Young People’s Concert Series are facilitated by the WSL’s volunteer presence, and our financial support allows the ASO to continue its in-school educational programs for children of all ages. WSL members will visit Central Texas schools through Simon Símonitas, our award-winning, bilingual music education program for elementary-aged students. We will also participate in the Sarah and Ernest Butler Pops Concerts, a beloved Austin tradition made festive and more memorable by the efforts of WSL volunteers. Finally, our gratitude for the ASO’s wonderful musicians is at the heart of one of our most treasured programs: WSL members providing and serving supper at the Masterworks Series dress rehearsals.
We are able to accomplish all of this solely through the gift of our volunteers. I invite all who share our enthusiasm for the arts to bring their talents and ideas to our organization. From women who are interested in facilitating a child’s first interaction with a trumpet at our Instrument Petting Zoo to those who enjoy planning events which raise vital funding, the WSL values every member’s contributions.