SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present its 21st annual benefit concert, “The 2014 Meadows at the Meyerson,” at 8 p.m. on April 9 in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. in Dallas. Held each spring, the concert features the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honors a community leader. This year’s honoree is noted arts and civic leader Bess Enloe. The 2014 event chairs are Janie and Paul Cooke, and the honorary chair is Dr. Bobby Lyle.

Under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, the Meadows Symphony will perform three Italian-themed works known for their beauty. The concert opens with the short overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers by Giochino Rossini, a comic opera that was a huge success when it debuted in 1813 and remains popular today. It’s followed by Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, or “Italian” symphony, which was inspired by the composer’s grand tour of Europe from 1829 to 1831. The work “strives to convey a series of impressions of Italy – Mediterranean sunshine, religious solemnity, monumental art and architecture and open countryside,” as writer John Mangum noted, and is considered one of the composer’s masterpieces. Following intermission, the symphony will perform Church Windows (1926) by Ottorino Respighi, one of the most popular modern Italian composers. The work is a full orchestration of his earlier composition Three Piano Preludes on Gregorian Melodies and reflects his enduring interest in Italian art history and early music. Each of the work’s four movements evokes religious events portrayed in church windows throughout Italy, including “The Flight into Egypt,” “St. Michael Archangel,” “The Matins of St. Clare” and “St. Gregory the Great.”  

“The Meadows at the Meyerson is the perfect demonstration of our values as an arts organization in Dallas: we take one of the country’s finest student orchestras into the heart of our city and raise money for scholarships to bring even more talented students from around the world to Dallas,” said José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “There is no one better to celebrate for this event than Bess Enloe, who has been a champion for arts and cultural excellence in our city. A number of these smart-artists, our ‘smartists,’ have chosen to stay in Dallas after they graduate, building on Dallas’s momentum as one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the U.S.”

Event honoree Bess Enloe has been an energetic leader and supporter of numerous Dallas arts groups through the years.  A graduate of SMU, she served as chair of the executive board of the Meadows School of the Arts from 2010 to 2013. She is a life trustee of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, where she was also the founding president, and a life trustee of the Dallas Theater Center.  She served on the boards of TITAS and the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, is a past president of Charter 100, and is a member of many other organizations including The Crystal Charity Ball, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Symphony League, and the Dallas Opera Women’s Board, among others. Ms. Enloe has received several awards in recognition of her work, including the TACA Silver Cup Award in 1993, the TITAS Award for Excellence in Arts Leadership in 2007, and the Dallas Historical Society’s Award for Excellence in Community Service – Arts Leadership in 2009.

The Meadows Scholars program was inaugurated in 2008 to recruit the brightest and most talented students nationwide to the Meadows School of the Arts, and is targeted to applicants who are accepted to Meadows and who meet both stringent academic and artistic/leadership criteria. While such high achievers automatically receive SMU academic scholarship awards, many of them are still unable to afford full tuition. The Meadows Scholars program offers an additional annual scholarship, plus an exploration grant that can be used anytime during their years at Meadows for a creative project, providing a significant incentive for them to choose SMU and Dallas. The program has greatly helped SMU compete successfully against such schools as Northwestern, Juilliard and Yale for top creative talent. 

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For tickets, contact the Meadows Box Office at 214-768-2787.

For SMU alumni, a combination happy hour/concert ticket is available for $50, and a concert ticket that includes a post-concert dessert and champagne reception is available for $100; a portion of the ticket price supports student scholarships. Call the Meadows Development Office at 214-768-4189 for alumni ticket information.

Patron and corporate sponsorships with special benefits and seating packages are available from $1,500 - $10,000.  In addition, the Meadows Scholars level recognizes those who either permanently endow a Meadows Scholar at $150,000 or who make a $30,000 commitment to fund an individual Meadows Scholarship over four years. For more information, call the Meadows Development Office at 214-768-4189.

Information provided by Meadows School of the Arts. 

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