May 2016 Press Release

MAY 24, 2016

Contact: Molly Benson

Women’s Symphony League of Austin Announces Royal Court
Reveals Diamond Queen, Princesses, and Visiting Jewels at Annual Jewel Tea

AUSTIN, Texas — In celebration of this fall’s sixty-second annual Jewel Ball, the Women’s Symphony League of Austin (WSL) formally announced their Royal Court participants at the Jewel Tea on Thursday, May 19. The Court consists of a Diamond Queen and several Princesses from Austin, honoring the support of local families for the Austin Symphony Orchestra. The WSL also invites outstanding, college-aged young women from across the state to represent their communities as members of the Visiting Jewel Court.

Hosted by the Past President’s Council, the Jewel Tea is a time-honored tradition occurring each spring. This year, guests arrived at the lovely West Austin home of Mary Ellen & Roger Borgelt in supreme fashion, donning colorful spring ensembles, hats, and of course, tiaras.

The 2016 Royal Court includes the following outstanding young women and men:

Diamond Queen of the 2016 Royal Court, Queen Catherine Anne Powell, daughter of King Brio XLVIII
and Mrs. Daniel Powell and escorted by Mr. Alex Gurasich, son of Mrs. Jill Carey and Mr. William Gurasich; Princess Audrey Sophia Abbott, daughter of Governor and Mrs. Greg Abbott and escorted by Mr. John Cowen Baizer, son of Knight and Mrs. David Baizer; Princess Monika Elizabeth Brinkmann, daughter of Knight and Mrs. Johannes Brinkmann and escorted by Mr. Samuel Maverick Hillhouse, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Hillhouse; Princess Madeline Elise Odom, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tres De La Paz and Mr. and Mrs. Eric Odom and escorted by Mr. Isaac Wells, son of Ms. Suzan Stewart and Mr. James Wells; Princess Alexandra Hudson Sherwood, daughter of Knight and Mrs. Taylor Sherwood and escorted by Mr. Sam Garrison, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Garrison; Princess Luciana Christina Tiblier, daughter of Knight and Mrs. Eric S. Tiblier and escorted by Mr. Miles Hirschfeld, son of Ms. Melanie Hirschfeld and Mr. Wendall Hirschfeld; and Princess Mary Hannah Eulon Wells, daughter of Ms. Suzan Stewart and Mr. James Wells, escorted by Mr. Boland Wegener Ross, son of Chancellor and Mrs. Beau Ross.

2016 Visiting Jewels to the Royal Court include: Duchess Charlotte Elizabeth Blakemore, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Blakemore (Houston) and escorted by Mr. Michael Ellis Baselice, son of Chancellor and Mrs. Michael D. Baselice (Austin); Duchess Julianne Franklin Boss, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. James Boss (Waco) and escorted by Mr. Spencer Hopkins, son of Mrs. Cyndee Hopkins Jardeau and the late Mr. David Hopkins; Duchess Lindsey Nicole Elliott, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Elliott (Dallas) and escorted by Mr. Austin Franks, son of Mr. and Mrs. Craig Franks; Duchess Mackenzie Abbott Kopp, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Douglas Kopp (Lubbock); and Duchess Hannah Leigh Morrow, daughter of Dr. Julee Morrow and Mr. Joe Morrow (Fort Worth) and escorted by Mr. Jake Baird, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Baird (Boerne). Visiting Jewels that were honored, but unable to attend were Duchess Margaret Hill Powell (Virginia), Duchess Olivia Viroslav (San Antonio), and Duchess Caroline Marie Wied (Beaumont).

In keeping with 62 years of tradition, the 2016 Jewel Committee, chaired by Julie Baselice and Eledith Falk, had the privilege of selecting this year’s Royal Court.

“The young women and men that will be announced today were chosen based on the dedication of their mothers, grandmothers, and their families, displayed through leadership and support of the Women’s Symphony League of Austin, the Knights of the Symphony, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra,” Falk said.
Jewel Ball festivities begin this fall with the WSL Luncheon & Fashion Show, “Texas Women — Past, Present, & Future,” on Friday, September 23rd at the JW Marriott, chaired by Sharon Wilson and Tina Kemmerer. The WSL proudly presents a keynote discussion with famed designer Brandon Maxwell, the award-winning red carpet stylist and fashion designer from Longview, best known for his work with Lady Gaga.

The Jewel Ball presentation and gala, “Stairway to Heaven,” will take place at the Palmer Events Center on Saturday, September 24th where guests will be whisked away to a night of blissful fundraising, celebrating music and the Royal Court. Jewel Ball events this year are co-chaired by Barbara Crockett and Martha Bell Liner.

The WSL also includes Austin teenagers in the festivities with their own dedicated event, the annual Soirée Dansante, a semi-formal fundraiser for teens from across the city. This year’s event, Soirádical 2016, will take place on September 4th, the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at the Brodie Homestead. Chairs for this year’s event are WSL members Stacey Brewer and Karen Temborius.

Tickets for the Jewel Ball, WSL Luncheon & Fashion Show and Soirádical 2016 will be available online at

For 63 years, The Women’s Symphony League of Austin has dedicated its energy, talents and volunteerism by providing service and financial support to the Austin Symphony Orchestra and its education programs. The Women’s Symphony League is the largest annual financial supporter of the Austin Symphony Orchestra educational programs for children. Over 65,000 children benefit from the innovative educational programs of the ASO every year.