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."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.