Each high school girl waltzes into the ballroom dressed in her sleek black dress with each high school boy wearing a matching tuxedo jacket and a bow tie. However, glancing from the waist down, these students are also paying tribute to their Texas roots by completing their look with classic cowboy boots. This attire and spirit can only be found at the Junior Symphony Ball fundraiser event in Dallas.
Although most Dallas high school students know exactly what JSB means—live music, dancing and boots—does anyone really know what the point of the Junior Symphony Ball really is?
At its core, JSB is a fundraising event held for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to support the Dallas Symphony Orchestra community outreach and education programs. This cause is less emphasized and known, but provides a significant impact.
The JSB website says, “The DSO Young Musicians program provides free instruments and lessons to students in Southern Dallas during summer camps and after-school programming.”
The event does, in fact, earn plenty of support for the cause as 35 participating schools send students at $100-$200 a ticket to the dance.
However, the event not only earns funds from ticket sales, they also raise thousands of dollars in donations through the “chairs” of the event. The JSB chairs are a group of students from multiple high schools including Ursuline, Jesuit and Highland Park who donate a certain amount to the cause. These specific students are featured on the JSB website and in other forms of media such as letters and invitations.
Despite the hefty price tag, students around the city prepare months in advance for this dance, buying dresses and tuxes, without realizing that their ticket is donating to a worthy cause.
When considering JSB, one can agree that it is one of the most worthwhile dances of the year, as students from around the city come together “to celebrate an evening filled with live music, dancing, professionally staffed gaming tables, raffles, prizes and refreshments,” but all the while assisting a charitable cause.
The highlight of the night comes when the concert begins, as JSB is not a high school dance with a teacher as the DJ, but an event that includes live music from well-known artists.
The past few years have included artists like Cherub and COIN, both music groups known for their popular indie or alternative music genre. These two groups provide great live music performances, and students get to enjoy the show up close.
This year, however, the organization has booked an artist from the hip hop side of the music genre spectrum and announced Famous Dex as this year’s live performer.
In regards to the fundraising focus of the event, students pay less for a performance, party, refreshments and experience worth much more, all the while providing for a foundation’s good cause.
So as everyone pulls on their cowboy boots and walks into the ballroom, they can remember what they are supporting while they listen to great music and celebrate with their friends.
Image courtesy of Kate Giebler ’21