Dallas Symphony Orchestra announces “Your DSO – Excite, Inspire, Engage” – A $100 Million Campaign


DALLAS, TX (October 3, 2019) – Today the Dallas Symphony Orchestra publically launched Your DSO – Excite, Inspire, Engage, a $100 million philanthropic endeavor that will ensure that residents from all across Dallas have access to the DSO’s inspiring musical performances and life-changing education programs for generations to come. The $100 million goal is double that of the DSO’s last capital campaign and will position the DSO as a leader in artistic excellence, music education and social innovation in the community. The campaign will launch and sustain the key initiatives of the strategic plan, which was introduced in 2018 by DSA Chairman of the Board of Governors Sanjiv Yajnik and Ross Perot President & CEO Kim Noltemy. With generous support from close family and friends, $80 million has been raised to date. The Dallas Symphony is grateful to Diane and Hal Brierley, Linda and Mitch Hart, Mrs. Eugene McDermott and The Eugene McDermott Foundation, The Marcella Fund, the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family and Margot and Ross Perot for their leadership gifts of $2.5 million and above that were committed during the quiet phase of the campaign.

Dallas Symphony supporters Marena and Roger Gault are chairing Your DSO – Excite, Inspire, Engage, and Morton H. Meyerson is the honorary chair. The Gaults have a long history of commitment to the organization, beginning with their involvement with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League. Marena served as the DSO League President from 2011-2012 and is a member of the Dallas Symphony’s Board of Governors. Roger is a member of the Dallas Symphony’s Executive Board, and the Gaults served as the Chairs of the DSO’s 2016 Gala. Their efforts have led to record fundraising results and have had lasting benefits for the DSO in bringing new supporters and new audiences to the organization.

“In our vision to become one of the world’s greatest orchestras, the DSO is simultaneously ensuring that Dallas continues to cultivate a thriving classical music scene,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, DSA Chairman of the Board of Governors. “This initiative will impact the lives of people across the Metroplex for years to come, and I am honored that Marena and Roger will play leading roles in this work, as they have long believed in the power of music in transforming communities.”

“We are pleased to lead this campaign for the DSO,” said Marena Gault. “The organization has meant so much to us, and its musicians, staff and patrons are like family.”

“The growth of Dallas and the inspiration of those in this city depend on organizations such as the Dallas Symphony,” said Roger Gault. “It is our honor to work to secure its future and ensure the viability and impact of these important new programs for future generations.”

The top priorities of the campaign are artistic excellence and innovation – including audience building efforts and technology – as well as investments in equity, inclusion and diversity initiatives and education and community programs. Your DSO – Excite, Inspire, Engage will support the new strategic plan of the Dallas Symphony, launched in June 2018. At the heart of the new strategic direction are programs including the Southern Dallas Residency, which provides free instruments and lessons for students as well as opportunities for meaningful collaboration; the Women in Classical Music program and symposium, which creates pathways for women to succeed, lead and thrive in this industry; and activities designed to make the Dallas Symphony an orchestra that is accessible for everyone in the community.

As part of the campaign, the Dallas Symphony is endeavoring to name all orchestra positions, key positions in the administration and important gathering spaces in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. To date, The Marcella Fund has named Associate Concertmaster Eunice Keem’s position (Marcella Poppen Chair) and Norma and Don Stone have named Maria Schleuning’s position (Norma & Don Stone Violin Chair). In addition, the DSO named the President & CEO position in honor of Ross Perot.

Additionally, after year-long discussions, the Dallas City Council recently approved to transition the management of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center from the City of Dallas to the Dallas Symphony Association (DSA). As part of this contract, the DSA must raise $5 million in order to match the City’s investment in capital improvements. This $5 million will be raised as part of the public phase of the campaign.

“This is a period of tremendous change and incredible growth in Dallas and at the DSO,” said Kim Noltemy, DSA Ross Perot President & CEO. “We invite the citizens of Dallas to join us in building financial sustainability that will make the Dallas Symphony central to the musical life of the region and ensure music’s place as a vital part of education.”

About the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi, presents the finest in orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world’s premier concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 243,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives annually. The DSO’s involvement with the City of Dallas and the surrounding region includes an award-winning multi-faceted educational program, community projects, popular parks concerts and youth programming.

The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900 and is a cornerstone of the unique, 68-acre Arts District in Downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks; the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Dallas.