Dallas Symphony Orchestra Rounds Out All-Star Roster with New President Bill Lively

Fans of music and mimosas huddled up in the Meyerson Symphony Center foyer for a very special mystery announcement this morning -- and with Roger Staubach and Mayor Tom Leppert slated to make an appearance, and with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra still short a CEO, you could guess where this one was going.

The honors, though, were saved for Dallas Symphony Orchestra maestro Jaap van Zweden, who beamed in to announce from a TV screen that Super Bowl XLV host committee president Bill Lively would be suiting up as the DSO's new president and CEO this spring.

DSO's interim president and back-to-COO Paul Stewart and board chairman Ron Gafford helped stir the sports metaphors, the former announcing they'd found a "franchise quarterback, like a Roger Staubach," and the latter riffing on having found a teammate for Van Zweden, "who is literally our shot heard round the world."

Staubach related how he'd made such a clutch completion connecting Lively with the DSO, calling it "one of the best things that's happened to me....You're a lucky group to have such a great man."

Then, in the feel-good moment of the morning, Staubach closed his remarks with a feigned sort of fumble, introducing "Senator Leppert," and sending the crowd wild with laughter as Ron Natinsky looked on, Rudy-like, from the sidelines.

Leppert said this was no lateral for the DSO -- "Bill's gonna take all of these skills that he's acquired, and he's gonna elevate it," Leppert said.

Lively emerged from the tunnel behind the podium to hearty handshakes and double-clutches from the speakers, before telling the audience what an honor the new gig was, calling it a return to his musical roots, and saying he'd be getting started this spring, once Super Bowl cleanup had wrapped.

"Dallas is emerging to be a cultural giant," Lively said. "What happens in this building with this orchestra can redefine how we define Dallas."

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Patrick Michels
Contact: Patrick Michels