SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present its 19th annual benefit concert, The 2012 Meadows at the Meyerson, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 10 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 honorees are noted arts and civic patrons Gloria and Jack Hammack. The 2012 event chair is Tincy Miller, and the honorary chairs are Sharon and Mike McCullough.
Under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, the Meadows Symphony will perform Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. Completed in 1909 after the composer had been diagnosed with a fatal heart condition, the work seems to reflect Mahler’s acceptance of impending death while affirming the beauty of life. The eloquent and poignant symphony is Mahler’s last, and is considered one of his greatest.
“Since its inception, Meadows at the Meyerson has been our most important fundraising event,” says José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “Thanks to the generosity of many supporters, it has raised more than $2.6 million to benefit our students, our programs and our educational mission. For the past four years, it has served as an important source of scholarship funds for our Meadows Scholars program, enabling us to recruit the most outstanding arts and communications students from across the nation to Dallas and SMU. We are now proud to support 60 Meadows Scholars at the university, thanks to the generosity of our Meadows at the Meyerson benefactors.”
Event honorees Gloria (SMU ’52) and Jack Hammack are long-time supporters of the Dallas community and of the Meadows School of the Arts. Jack Hammack is chairman emeritus of Safer Dallas Better Dallas, a nonprofit organization he founded to “make Dallas safer for all of our citizens and not just those who can afford private police forces.” Safer Dallas’s mission is to assist the Dallas Police Department by purchasing new equipment, improving recruiting results, motivating the Dallas City Council to provide more resources toward crime prevention by offering matching resources, and lowering the rate of recidivism of parolees. A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Hammack is a former mayor of Highland Park and former president of the “100” Club of Dallas. He currently serves on the boards of The Meadows Foundation and the Meadows School of the Arts and on the advisory council of the Meadows Museum.
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 a $1,500 travel/research stipend that can be used anytime during their years at Meadows, 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.
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.
The 2011-12 season sponsor of the Meadows Symphony Orchestra is WRR 101.1 FM.