The Belles and Beaus program grew out of a desire for the Philharmonic Guild to honor the hard work of their members by providing a program for their sons and daughters. This program would enrich their children’s lives by instilling the parents’ love for volunteerism and providing them the needed hours of community service now required by colleges today. It is a program that requires a sustained time and financial commitment and also promises great rewards.
The Symphony Belles and Beaus program is open to eighth-grade sons and daughters of the Abilene Philharmonic Guild. The program does require a 5-year commitment. A prospective youth and parent or Guild sponsor will be invited at the end of their 7th grade year. During their 8th grade year students and their parents learn about the Guild and Philharmonic and are welcomed into participation in the program. Throughout the year belles and beaus serve as concert ushers, distribute programs and assist with concerts. They also help with Abilene Philharmonic Holiday Home Tour.
The program functions on a point system where the Belle and Beaus, as well as their Guild parent or sponsor, accumulate required points and, in some cases, extra points during their years of service. During their senior year, the points are tallied to determine Gold, Silver and Bronze Medallion Scholarship winners. Special recognition and awards accompany these honors, such as a Certificate of Service from the Governor of Texas. This year the recipients of the scholarships were Straley Wyndam, Gold, Kaylie Denson, Silver and Megan McCaslin, Bronze.