The audience began to trickle in to the Meyerson Symphony Center about an hour before the 8 p.m. show time on Tuesday, March 30, 2015. While the musicians began to warm up their instruments, the four balconies and lower level section filled with an excited crowd. On this night, Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts presented its 22nd annual benefit concert, “Meadows at the Meyerson.” The scholarship, of which this evening honored, is the Meadows Scholar Program; which has helped lure the most gifted students, both academically and artistically, to choose SMU. In addition, the concert honors a community leader, whom exhibits generous qualities. This year’s honoree was Caron Prothro, whom is an active supporter of the arts and the SMU community in general.
Meadows Dean, Sam Holland, made an announcement at the beginning of the show, “For the big reveal, tonight we have raised $1,074,681.00, benefitting our future scholars.” The crowd held a steady roar of applause to admire the success of the evening.
While the orchestra patiently and presently sat awaiting their debut, conductor Paul Phillips, and renowned opera singers Michaela Martens and last minute addition Thomas Studebaker made their way to the stage. Initially, SMU’s own Meadow’s faculty member Clifton Forbis was supposed to be Tenor, but unfortunately became ill and had to be replaced.
With a swish of Phillips’ right hand, the symphony began. Together, SMU Meadows Symphony Orchestra accompanied with Martens and Studebaker, performed Mahler’s hour-long work, Das Lied von der Erde (“The Song of the Earth”). In result, their presentation of this musical masterpiece received a standing ovation.
As Present Gerald Turner of Southern Methodist University said, “What an opportunity for our students to share their expertise with the community of Dallas.”