New Look, New Location and Beethoven Birthday Bash at Young Texas Artists Gala

Evening culminates in concert showcasing talents of rising classical musicians

CONROE, Texas – Guests can look forward to a new, convenient location; dazzling décor; and a sensational 250th birthday bash for Ludwig van Beethoven at the Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue benefit gala for Young Texas Artists (YTA) on Saturday, March 14.

“Our Grand Pavilion this year will be right in front of the Crighton Theatre, where the YTA Finalists’ Concert and Awards is held,” YTA President and CEO Susie Pokorski said. “That will make the flow of the evening smoother and easier. Guests can enjoy a fantastic gala reception, delicious barbecue, dancing and auction in our pavilion, walk a few steps to see the Finalists’ Concert and Awards, and return to the pavilion for our fabulous After-Party.”

The Crighton Theatre is located at 234 N. Main St. in downtown Conroe. The Grand Pavilion will be in front of the theatre’s main entrance.

Heading up the Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue team this year are Gala Co-Chairs Allyson Ayton of Lake Conroe and Terry Husbands Giles of Conroe, who are returning after successfully organizing the 2019 Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue gala. Mimi Sadler of Montgomery is this year’s Dinner Chair, and Annie and Mike Bradbury of The Woodlands are the YTA Young Professionals Chairs. Serving as After-Party Chairs are Scott and Katharine Giles Galindo of the Houston Heights.

In one evening YTA is presenting two amazing events—the Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue gala and the Finalists’ Concert and Awards.

“Nowhere else can you get such a fun evening with spectacular entertainment, a great dinner, a big dance and delicious desserts,” Terry Husbands Giles said. “Our trademark jeans to jewels event is ultra fun and exciting, and it only happens once a year.”

Also unique, the 2020 Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue will have a stunning new décor, along with special surprises in honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

YTA is anticipating an especially captivating Finalists’ Concert and Awards this year.

“Audience members always rave about the high caliber of classical musicians who appear at our Finalists’ Concert,” Pokorski said. “This year, we received an especially high volume of applications from talented young artists. All of our divisions are full, and we have a large waiting list for each of them. After three days of preliminary competitions, the best of the best will take the stage March 14 for what promises to be an unforgettable evening.”

Musicians compete in four divisions, Voice; Piano; Strings; and Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp and Guitar, for a share of $20,000 in monetary prizes and performance opportunities.

Excitement about the competition has been building since YTA hosted its kick-off party, Classics At The Glade, last October at The Woodlands’ Glade Cultural Center. The evening featured distinguished YTA alumni, including Grammy Award-winning soprano Jessica E. Jones, a 2012 YTA contestant; pianist Artem Kuznetsov, the 2019 YTA Grand Prize Winner and Gold Medalist in Piano; and clarinetist Zhi-Yuan Luo, the 2019 YTA Audience Choice Award Winner and a Silver Medalist.

The 2020 Bach, Beethoven and Barbecue events line-up will begin at 5 p.m. with a reception and live music in YTA’s Grand Pavilion.

Dinner, sumptuous Texas barbecue with all of the fixings, will begin at 5:45 p.m., along with dancing to live Texas music by Bill Mock and the Highway 105 Band.

Next is YTA’s popular auction with Lady Lyn Howard, auctioneer, and Craig Stephan, program host.

The Concert of Classics, the 2020 YTA Finalists’ Concert and Awards, will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Crighton Theatre. Jade Simmons, an emerging artist expert, well-known concert pianist and one-of-a-kind personality, will serve as mistress of ceremonies and interview the competition finalists onstage.

Gala guests are invited to return to the Grand Pavilion at about 9:45 p.m. for the evening’s grand finale: the After-Party. The celebration features live Texas music, dancing, drinks, a dessert buffet provided by the Conroe Service League, Beethoven’s birthday cake and champagne toasts to the winners and special guests.

Gala proceeds help support the Young Texas Artists Music Competition, an Official Music Contest of the State of Texas, which provides performance, growth and career development opportunities for exceptionally talented artists from around the world. The competition is open to classical artists ages 18-32 (20-32 for Voice) who are Texas residents or affiliated with a Texas music school.

Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue is part of the Fourth Annual Rising Stars & Legends of Texas, a celebration of the arts to be presented by the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance ( March 12-21.

Tickets to the gala and the concert are going quickly. Both are available online at

Young Texas Artists sponsors and supporters this year include Houston Public Media (, Lynda and Dan Kain, Annette and Ken Hallock, Carol and Dr. Douglas Aycock and the Conroe Visitors Bureau (

For sponsorship information, contact Susie Pokorski, President/CEO of Young Texas Artists, at 936-756-7017 or e-mail

About the Young Texas Artists Music Competition
An official music competition of the State of Texas, Young Texas Artists has, since its founding in 1983, encouraged excellence in young musicians, inspired their audiences and helped further the careers of thousands of classical musicians. It is one of the few competitions in the country that features four divisions: Voice; Piano; Strings; and Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp and Guitar. This Texas competition for Texas artists has helped produce many distinguished professionals who have gone on to join orchestras, opera companies, universities and music schools around the world. The Young Texas Artists Music Competition 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.


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