Debutants, Families Bond with Symphony and Community

The 32nd annual Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball on Feb. 17 featured three generations of involvement for the Duncan-Beutel family.

Nancy Duncan was a proud debutante mom to daughter Denise Duncan Beutel in 1991, and then together they co-chaired the Presentation Ball in 1996. This year granddaughter Caroline Beutel made her debut.

Nancy and Denise share their experiences and the impact on the community in this Q&A:

Give us a brief overview of the DSOL Presentation Ball:

Nancy: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Presentation Ball honors DSO debutantes and their families through memorable experiences that bond young adults and their families with the community and the symphony.

How does this help in the community?

Denise: The presentation ball provides one more way to honor our wonderful symphony and increases the awareness of the symphony outreach programs. The funds raised through the ball provide children across Dallas, regardless of economic status, access to concerts, music programs and outreach projects such as Young Strings which is a nationally recognized program that discovers, develops and promotes the musical talents of underrepresented string students.

What is your personal connection and why is this important to you?

Nancy: My husband and were fortunate to be a part of the fundraising efforts and the formal opening of the Dallas Symphony Hall many years ago. Always a fan of musical performance we made sure that the symphony was a part of our lives while we were raising and educating our children.

Denise: As a young girl, I have such fond memories of attending the symphony with my parents while growing up. I remember when the Meyerson opened and the complete awe I felt when I attended a concert there for the first time. Later, when I was in college, I was a DSOL debutante. I fondly remember that year, the beginning of my own bond with the symphony – one separate from that of my parents and that as a child. As a parent, I have tried to instill the love of the symphony with our kids. I am so honored for Caroline to have the opportunity to be a DSOL debutante this year and for her to begin her own ties to the DSOL.

What compelled you to take a personal role and commit your time and energies?

Nancy: When I was asked to chair the 10th-anniversary symphony ball, I knew the value of community service work and the joy one derives from friendships made while volunteering for the symphony. Five years prior to that time our daughter, Denise Duncan Beutel, was a DSOL debutante and our entire family enjoyed the experience immensely. The Presentation Ball added another dimension by activities enjoyed by our son and our daughter. Not to mention what a pleasure it is for Fathers to be the first to present their daughters in a long white dress! I asked Denise to co-chair the ball with me and her presence was a tremendous help in organizing the presentation and events for our 42 debutantes that year. Moreover, my husband and Denise’s father became involved and were the Master of Ceremonies for the Ball introducing the debutants and their families. We all had a lot of fun and Lowell continued in that role for several years.

Denise: I grew up watching my parent’s active role they played in supporting the Dallas arts community, in particular, the Dallas Symphony. Their active involvement modeled not only an appreciation of the symphony but also the importance of supporting our community. As a family, we have thoroughly enjoyed the various ways in which we have participated in the ball from my mother’s active involvement with the DSOL, together co-chairing the ball, and the countless years my father announced the debutantes at the ball, as a family we have so enjoyed the special friendships and memories that were formed around this event. It is now so special for my daughter to be able to take a part in this celebratory event. I am so thankful for the work of the DSOL the many volunteers that work tirelessly to make this event memorable for our family.

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist and former Managing Editor of Park Cities People. She currently serves as a Senior Editor with D Magazine's D CEO publication. You can reach her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @Bianca_TBD. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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