For 67 years, the Women’s Symphony League of Austin has supported the Austin Symphony Orchestra and its educational programs with dedicated volunteers. During these unprecedented times, I have seen a renewed enthusiasm for fellowship among our members and a sincere interest in helping to support the Symphony in its special 110th Season.
In a time when many performing arts groups have temporarily closed their doors, the Austin Symphony Orchestra continues to entertain and educate our community. This summer, the Children’s Day Art Park program engaged children in the safety of their homes with free, streamed content in English and Spanish on their website at www.austinsymphony.org. The Symphony’s violist, Alex Smith, is featured in the two Sleeping Beauty videos.
The Symphony has planned an innovative season – starting with virtual concerts using smaller, chamber orchestras all while maintaining safety measures like COVID testing and social distancing. The second half of the season is poised to showcase the full orchestra with exciting concerts, but also remaining flexible as governmental restrictions may change during this pandemic.
The Symphony’s educational programming will also continue throughout the year. A special Halloween concert will be available so children of all ages can dress up and dance in their own home to the music of Harry Potter and Peter and the Wolf. The memorable Young Peoples Concerts are being planned in coordination with school district partners. The program is interdisciplinary with each school receiving a study guide prior to the concerts.
The Women’s Symphony League proudly stands alongside the Symphony, ready to fulfill our mission to provide service and financial support to the best of our ability. Member volunteer opportunities may look a little different this year, but we are prepared to be flexible and ready to serve when called.
Due to the pandemic, the Board of Directors canceled the 2020 Jewel Ball, but the tradition will continue on September 18, 2021 with eligible participants from both this year and next year. To make up for this cancelation, every WSL member will be encouraged to help the Symphony creatively raise funds in support of its 110th Season.
The Women’s Symphony League will continue to host the ASO’s Youth Leadership Council, which offers training to local high school students, with a kickoff event in November. The award-winning Red Haute Children’s Fashion Show has been pushed to the spring for this year – it will be a wonderful way to engage families and encourage them to support our efforts and join our mission.
Thanks in part to our members, Austin is the home of the longest continually running symphonic orchestra in the State of Texas. We continued to be amazed by our membership. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank each of you for your gifts of talent and generosity this year.