Young Texas Artists to Present Unforgettable Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue Gala March 9

Man in cowboy hat and woman at Texas gala

Guests can expect a foot-stomping fine night

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – February 28, 2024 –Young Texas Artists (YTA) is known for its internationally respected classical music competition for emerging musicians, but that doesn’t mean the arts nonprofit shies away from embracing its Lone Star heritage. Every March, YTA throws a big, dazzling party that celebrates all things Texas.

This year’s Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue, set for Saturday, March 9, will be no exception.

Ron Liston with daughter Ashley Lutonsky and her husband, Dr. James Lutonsky, at the 2023 Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue celebration. Photo by David Hopper.

The “jeans to jewels” gala will begin with a 5 p.m. reception in YTA’s Grand Pavilion, directly in front of Crighton Theatre at 234 N. Main St. in the Downtown Conroe Cultural District. The celebration will continue with a barbecue dinner with all the trimmings, classic country music by Bill Mock and His 105 Band and a live auction led by Lady Lyn Howard. The gala master of ceremonies will be Craig Stephan.

Man in cowboy hat and woman at Texas gala
Ron and Marty Saikowski at the 2023 Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue celebration. Photo by David Hopper.

The “Bach and Beethoven” elements of the evening come a little later, at 7:30 p.m. that evening, during the Young Texas Artists Music Competition Finalists’ Concert & Awards. Gala attendees can walk to Crighton Theatre, just across the sidewalk, to enjoy it.

Two women and man talk and laugh at Young Texas Artists' Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue Gala.
Former Montgomery County Judge Alan “Barb” Sadler and wife Mimi Sadler chat with a friend at the 2023 Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue celebration. Photo by David Hopper.

“Our gala is an opportunity to experience some of the best facets of the Texas arts scene, from its unique culture and country music roots to the state’s next generation of classical musicians, gifted artists who are just launching their professional careers,” YTA President/CEO Susie Moore Pokorski said. “And by attending Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue, guests make it possible for YTA to continue our mission of supporting emerging classical musicians, both through our competition and the YTA Career Development Program.”

YTA’s celebration goes well into the night. After the concert, guests are invited to return to the Grand Pavilion for an after-party sponsored by the Conroe Service League. That portion of the night includes Champagne toasts to the competition finalists, desserts, dancing, and the Lone Star Bar with wine and longneck beers.

Also this year, YTA is recognizing Conroe native Joyce Musselman as its 2024 Honorary Gala Chair and recipient of the YTA Inspiring Excellence Award.

Woman in navy suit
Joyce Musselman

“Joyce has been a steadfast YTA supporter since YTA got its start in 1983,” Pokorski said. “She has been there to encourage and inspire us, and other area arts organizations, through sunshine and shadow. Joyce truly is beloved in our community. She is a role model of timeless refinement, elegance, and enduring quality, just like the classical music she loves.”

Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue features complimentary valet parking. Currently, the gala is nearly sold out. Make your reservations now. For more information, call (936) 756-7017.

Major donors as of February 27, are Dr. Douglas and Carol Aycock; the City of Conroe,; Nancy Dossey; Carol Fletcher; Annette and Ken Hallock; Lynda and Dan Kain; Ron and Myra Liston; Texas Commission on the Arts; and UBS Financial Services, along with an anonymous donor.

About Young Texas Artists:

Young Texas Artists, founded in 1983, is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit presenter of music competitions and events, career development programs and cultural enrichment outreach. The nationally acclaimed Young Texas Artists Music Competition and the YTA Career Development Program provide professional guidance, mentoring and highly sought performance experience. An Official Music Competition of the State of Texas, it is one of the few competitions in the nation with four performance divisions: Voice; Piano; Strings; and Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp and Guitar. The YTA contest is open to classical artists, ages 18-30 (20-32 for Voice), who are Texas residents or affiliated with a Texas music school.  Over the years, Young Texas Artists has helped produce many distinguished professionals who have gone on to join orchestras, opera companies, universities and music schools around the world.


Young Texas Artists is a member of the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance, the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Cultural Trust and Texans for the Arts.

Young Texas Artists, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded and headquartered in Conroe, Montgomery County. 

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