June 23, 2021
Reveals Diamond Queens, Princesses, and Duchesses at Annual Jewel Tea
AUSTIN, Texas – In celebration of the 66th Annual Jewel Ball, the Women’s Symphony League of Austin (WSL) formally announced their Royal Court participants at the Jewel Tea on Friday, May 21st. The Court consists of the 2020 Diamond Queen, the 2021 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 Duchesses of the Visiting Jewel Court.
Hosted by the Past Presidents’ Council of the WSL, the Jewel Tea is a time-honored, annual tradition. This year, guests arrived at The Junior League of Austin’s Community Impact Center for the WSL’s first in-person event since the pandemic began. Members enjoyed a piano serenade from our very own Austin Symphony, a variety of delicious wines, and the exciting royal announcement of the two courts. Tea boxes of gourmet finger sandwiches, fruit, and petits-fours were provided to all party-goers.
The 2020-2021 Royal Court includes the following outstanding young women and men:
Diamond Queen of the 2020 Royal Court, Queen Mary Catherine Dickerson, daughter of Knight and Mrs. Charles J. Dickerson and escorted by Mr. Stefan Marlowe Bentzin, son of Ms. Joanie Schoener Bentzin and Mr. Benson A.E. Bentzin;
Diamond Queen of the 2021 Royal Court, Queen Annabelle Grier Hubert, daughter of Vice Chancellor and Mrs. Martin August Hubert and escorted by Mr. David Maguire Willson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Frederick Willson;
Princess Caroline Merritt Passfield Brigham, daughter of Knight and Mrs. Henry Hanna Brigham V and escorted by Mr. Cooper Joseph Tyler, son of Knight and Mrs. Marvin Craig Tyler;
Princess Robin Lea Brinkmann, daughter of Knight and Mrs. Johannes Brinkmann and escorted by Mr. William Markes Balliette IV, son of Mr. and Mrs. William M. Balliette III;
Princess Virginia Kathaleene Dolce, daughter of Knight and Mrs. Christopher Dean Dolce and escorted by her brother, Mr. Charles Henry Dolce;
Princess Gabrielle Anne Jabour, daughter of Knight and Mrs. David Michael Jabour and escorted by her brother, Mr. Raphael George Jabour;
Princess Madeleine Rose Johnson, daughter of Knight and Mrs. Michael Brian Johnson and escorted by Mr. John Edgar Melton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Leon Melton;
Princess Allison Elaine Kemmerer, daughter of Ms. Tina Secord Kemmerer and Mr. Jonathan Edward Kemmerer and escorted by Mr. Valens Michael Toomey IV, son of The Honorable and Mrs. Valens Michael Toomey III;
Princess Mary Elizabeth Powell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Craig Powell and escorted by Mr. David Michael Jabour II, son of Knight and Mrs. David Michael Jabour;
Princess Kayla Louise Salisbury, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Mark A. Salisbury and escorted by Mr. Dillon Patterson Breen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sean E. Breen;
Princess Grace Ann Toomey, daughter of The Honorable and Mrs. Valens Michael Toomey III and escorted by Mr. John Luke Powell, son of Mrs. Rebecca Lee Powell and the late S. Mark Powell.
2021 Visiting Jewels to the Royal Court include:
Duchess Brianna Rachelle Beasley, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Craig Clark Beasley (Abilene) and escorted by Mr. Bryan Alan Taylor, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael L. Taylor;
Duchess Lella Sue McClane Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stanton Boyce Brown (Waco) and escorted by Mr. Thomas Charles Felton, son of Ms. JoAn Taylor Felton and Mr. Mark Preston Felton II;
Duchess Claudia Elizabeth Bush, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jon Damon Bush (Amarillo) and escorted by Mr. John Alexander Gualy, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Fernando Gualy;
Duchess Claire Michelle Clifton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Andrew Clifton (Midland) and escorted by Mr. Wade Hammond Noelke, son of Ms. Claire Carter and Mr. Hal Noelke;
Duchess Isabella Sonnet Littlejohn, daughter of Ms. Nancy Littlejohn and Mr. Erik Littlejohn (Houston) and escorted by Mr. Markos Aurelio Salisbury, son of Dr. and Mrs. Mark A. Salisbury;
Duchess Alice Caroline McWhorter, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. John B. McWhorter III (Dallas) and escorted by Mr. Spencer Ford Hardin, son of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Alan Hardin;
Duchess Alexandra Noel Shropshire, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Victor Shropshire (Lubbock) and escorted by Mr. Adam Chandler Turbeville, son of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Turbeville;
Duchess Chandler Frances Wallace, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Shay Wallace (Lubbock) and escorted by Mr. Mason Cordell Neal, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Neal.
In keeping with 66 years of tradition, the 2020 and 2021 Jewel Committees, chaired by Molly Benson and Julie Baselice, respectively, had the privilege of selecting this year’s Royal Court.
Baselice remarked, “The young women and men that will be announced today as members of the Austin Royal Court 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,”
Jewel Ball festivities are held in September beginning with the annual Soirée Dansante, a semi-formal dance that will be attended by area high school students. This year’s event, the “Beads and Boots Bash” will take place on September 5th, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, at the Junior League of Austin’s new Community Impact Center. Chairs for this year’s event are Julie Lee and Shannon Meroney.
WSL’s Fashion Luncheon, “Crescent City Couture,” will take place on Friday, September 17th at the JW Marriott featuring famed fashion designer and best-selling author, Isaac Mizrahi as the keynote speaker. As a tribute to her long-standing commitment to the WSL, Mrs. Sarah Butler has been named as the honorary chair of the event. Jennifer Piskun Johnson, Elizabeth Kemp Rose, and Lisa Simpson Tully are the event chairs.
The 66th Annual Jewel Ball, “Crescent City Celebration,” will take place at the Fairmont Austin on Saturday, September 18th where WSL members and guests will gather to celebrate one of the most unique, historic, and beloved places in the world: New Orleans. During the course of the night, The Royal Court will be presented, we will dine, dance and raise funds for our treasured Austin Symphony Orchestra. This year’s Jewel Ball events are chaired by Stacey McLeod Brewer and Meredith Presley Wood.
Tickets for the Jewel Ball, WSL Fashion Luncheon and Soireé Dansante will be available online at wslaustin.org. For 66 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.