As a freshman in high school, I became a member of Les Jeunes Amies. My father, who was my hero, was an estate planning and tax attorney, but also a musician. He played many instruments including the saxophone, drums, and upright bass. As life got too busy for him to play, he not only attended and admired the Baton Rouge Symphony, he also brought his family along. So I learned an appreciation of great music at a young age, and it was an honor to serve at wine and cheese receptions and other symphony functions. Being escorted by my father at the Arts and Science Museum was something I had seen both my older sisters do, and I remember being elated walking down the steps with dad and then he and mom and all of us dancing the night away and laughing a lot.
After attending medical school and dermatology training both in New Orleans and Shreveport, I am fortunate to not only have returned to Baton Rouge, but to continue my support of the Symphony here. Besides attending the concerts and functions benefitting the Symphony, I am so happy to be a league member and to watch my daughter Sarah participating in LJA. She has already made new friends from other schools and is developing an appreciation for the fine music as well as all the hard work that goes into each and every practice and performance. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this fine organization for many years and plan to continue well into the future.
In 1979, I was invited to be a part of Les Jeune Amies de la Symphonie. It was a great experience for me. I made friends from many other high schools and together, we volunteered for ushering concerts, fundraisers and other projects we supported as an LJA member. Many of these friendships remain strong today. Our LJA leader was Betty Berry. I was presented in December, 1982 of my senior year in high school. Our ball was at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum. We were escorted down the split stairwell by our fathers. There was an Oscar de la Renta fashion show at the ball. It was as special of a presentation as it is now. My mother, Sandra Crake was an active member of the Baton Rouge Symphony League.
This organization and my connection came full circle to me when I moved from a twenty year life in California to my home town of Baton Rouge in 2007. My step mom, Marilyn Crake, suggested I join the League. I joined and saw her involvement in this organization and all that the BRSL was doing in our community. I enjoyed being the co-chair and chair of the Mad Hatters Fundraiser fashion show and luncheon as well created the marketing support materials for many BRSL events including Mad Hatters. My older son, Brent Threadgill was a part of the Louisiana Youth Orchestra under the direction of David Torns. This made my membership even more personal to be able to help in our fundraising efforts to support children in the performing arts as well as place instruments in their hands.
The League really knows how to get things accomplished! The organization has grown and Mad Hatters is the longest running fundraiser of its kind in Baton Rouge. That takes a lot of great women to continue growing this organization.
I am proud of my former presentation in Les Jeune Amies de la Symphonie. As an active member and board member of the Baton Rouge Symphony League, I am excited to see the League and LJA program grow.
I encourage others to join and get connected to our community and support The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra through the Baton Rouge Symphony League.