Dallas Teens to Party With Musical Purpose

Junior Symphony Ball gears up for January fundraiser dance

By: Payton Blalock

The Junior Symphony Ball (JSB), the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League’s longest-running fundraiser in its 64th year, attracts high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from over 35 area schools throughout Dallas.

Their purpose: to have fun while helping many North Texas students attend concerts, purchase instruments, and receive musical instruction.

“I think I heard about JSB from upperclassmen when I became a freshman in high school,” St. Mark’s School of Texas senior Nicholas Koch said. “I thought it was just a dance, but I didn’t realize there was such an important cause behind it,”

Koch has been a member of the event’s steering committee since his freshmen year, and this year he decided to take his commitment to JSB a step further by becoming one of the seven co-chairs that organize and run the event.

The co-chairs aim to raise at least $200,000 for music education programs serving disadvantaged youth throughout North Texas.

Junior Symphony Ball Steering Committee Kickoff event drew students from across Dallas to the Meyerson Symphony Center in late October. (Photos: Carol Vig)

“We all really liked the cause and thought it was important to support and spread the word,” said co-chair Ava Harberer of Highland Park High School.

Other co-chairs represent the Episcopal School of Dallas, Hockaday School, Jesuit Preparatory School of Dallas, Parish Episcopal High School, and Ursuline Academy.

Last year, profits from the dance exceeded the goal. The hope is that this year will be no different as chairs aim for a sellout.

To that end, the Steering Committee Kickoff event on Oct. 24 at the Meyerson Symphony Center served as an opportunity for students from different schools to get more involved and spread the word about the ball.

Over 600 students signed up for the Steering Committee, a potential gateway to becoming a co-chair.

Committee members receive community service hours, and the kickoff event was worth up to five hours for those who brought canned food donations.

“Sophomore year, I joined the steering committee and also did it last year,” co-chair Anne Rubi of Hockaday said. “I wanted to get involved in this way to be a part and impact even more.”

The ball will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2022. Guys should wear Texas tuxes, while the girls’ attire includes party dresses and cowboy boots.

The co-chairs are looking forward to the dance, but more importantly, to making a difference in their communities, Koch said. “JSB is not a party with a cause, but a cause with a party.”


If you go:

What: State of the Arts! Junior Symphony Ball, an evening with a DJ, live entertainment, dancing, raffles, and refreshments

When: 7:30-11:30 p.m. Jan. 29, 2022 (doors close at 8:30 p.m.)

Where: Gilley’s Dallas, 1135 Botham Jean Blvd. (southside ballroom)

Who: High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors for the 2021- 2022 school year

Tickets: $325 includes Steering Committee membership, an Underwriting ticket, and parents’ DSOL Membership; $125 general admission tickets go on sale after Jan. 1.

Online: Visit jsbdallas.com or email [email protected]


Payton Blalock, a sophomore at the Greenhill School, runs track, plays soccer, and is the managing editor of multimedia and a columnist for her campus newspaper.

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