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Young Artists Concerts

The recital series, founded in 1978, was the vision of Elizabeth Bailey Geyer, a piano major from Beta Xi chapter, and Florence McCracken Vachon, a vocal major from Alpha Chapter. The two women met at a Dallas Alumnae Chapter meeting soon after their arrival in Dallas. As they got to know each other in discussions about the friends, teachers, colleagues, and performers they knew from SAI conventions and mainly the University of Michigan, they became close friends, performing together as vocal soloist and accompanist.

Florence, a soprano, knew the founders of SAI as a high school student, living in Ann Arbor. After receiving both bachelor's and master's degrees from the U of M School of Music, she taught at Interlochen and Ohio State University. Geyer's husband, Walter, (Phi Mu Alpha, clarinet player), received his Master of Music degree at U of M and Elizabeth was invited by Dr. William D. Revelli, who was also Florence's cornet professor, to accompany the wind students for juries, all levels of recitals, and for the wind faculty.

When the alumni clubs of Michigan and Ohio State met at Texas Stadium in Dallas in 1974, Ellis, Florence's husband, joined the three friends and and formed what became a life long relationship for the four, lasting until the death of the Vachons.

They began to prepare for the first Young Artists Concert in 1978. For three years, concerts were presented in Jonsson Center Performance Hall of the University of Texas at Dallas as part of the Dallas Alumnae Chapter's "Twilight Musicale" series. After each concert, the performers were presented with a special certificate by the DAC.

Over 250 students, winners of various area prestigious competitions, performed throughout the 35 year run of the concert series. Participants have included vocalists and instrumentalists representing more than 50 music teachers and professors, 45 accompanists, and 40 schools from around the area. Over the years, in addition to the UTD Jonsson Hall, recitals have taken place in the TWU Presbyterian Auditorium, Steinway Hall Dallas, private homes, and churches.

These same students have taken part in many other community related performance groups and activities, such as the Schubert Music Club, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Youth Orchestra, National Federated Music Clubs, Greater Dallas Youth Jazz Band, National Music Camp at Interlochen, and the Texas Flute Club. They also were the recipients of many awards and prizes including the John Phillip Sousa Award, the Rildia Bee Cliburn Scholarship, and the Lynn Harrell Competition.

--Excerpted from "30th Year for Dallas' Award-Winning Young Artists Recital Series", by Elizabeth Bailey Geyer

The programs, photos, and a variety of news articles from the event can be found here.