Society / Featured Parties

Violin Hunk, a Sea of Beautiful Ballgowns and Hall Power Make Dallas Symphony Gala a Dream

The Power of Music and Tuxedos

BY // 10.10.19
photography Kristina Bowman

The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center was a sea of tuxedos punctuated by the swans of Dallas in colorful gowns. It was the 2019 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala and everyone was eagerly anticipating heartthrob virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell taking the stage later that evening.

This year’s event was chaired by Don Daseke and his wife Barbara. Everyone knows when Barbara has entered the room given her penchant for wearing couture creations and the short platinum hair that only she can pull off. I spied her from afar and wanted to dash up and ask who she was wearing. But alas, she was surrounded by friends and fellow DSO supporters.

I did get a chance to chat with her at a recent Texas Design Week event and she shared that the dress she had been wearing was designed Peter Pilotto who she adores. The Dasekes are well-known philanthropists who also support Aging Mind Foundation, the Cattle Baron’s Ball (benefiting the American Cancer Society), the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Zoo and… well, suffice to say the list goes on and on to include all of the important organizations that serve the North Texas community.

The 2019 Symphony gala honorary chairs Kathryn and Craig Hall are well-known as well for the support of many Dallas charities as well as for the development they have done throughout the downtown Arts District. In 1977, Craig started the family’s foundation – today the Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation – which has the mission of supporting and encouraging the expansion of knowledge, the experience of arts and culture and the improvement of well-being.

Now, much of Dallas is eagerly awaiting the opening of the Hall Arts Hotel with its restaurant, Ellie’s, helmed by chef Eric Dreyer. Fingers crossed we’ll all be there taking in the art collection that will be shown throughout the building as well as indulging in the food at the restaurant named after Craig Hall’s late mother.

The lobby of the Symphony Center had been magically transformed by Todd Events with touches of pink and crystal illuminating the large room and yet making it seem intimate. The DSO Gala is always one of the most old school affairs of the Dallas social season and every detail, much like every lady in attendance, was pretty and poised.

From dinner guests entered the performance hall to experience Joshua Bell. The very definition of a prodigy, Bell took up the violin (a scaled to size one) at the age of four. At age 14, he had his debut performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra and then made his way to Carnegie Hall to play with the St. Louis Symphony at age 17. In 2000, at the age of 33, he was named one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful” people.

Among those showing their support for the 2019 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala were Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Diane and Hal Brierley, Katherine (who wins my award for best dressed that evening in a radiant sky blue Marchesa gown) and Key Coker, Lisa and Clay Cooley, Marena and Roger Gault, Kara and Randall Goss, Kim and Greg Hext, Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, Lisa and Bob Segert, Cece Smith and Ford Lacy, Anne and Steve Stodghill, and Sherwood Noël Wagner.

Bell’s performance just got everyone ready for some more early fall revelry with the after-party. Emerald City Band’s Elevation had late-night guests — including Clint Brandley, Javier Burkle, Charles Cascio, Zach Hess, Darin Kunz, Graham McCall, Mason McCleskey and Lucrecia Waggoner — on the dance floor well until the wee hours.

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