The Debutante Program of Sarasota & Manatee Counties
Tradition & Celebration
The Debutante Program has been celebrating young women for over 40 years. Last year, the program celebrated its 40th anniversary of honoring outstanding young women in our community. The Program began with the first Debutante Ball in 1982, and since that time, 615 young women have successfully participated in the program. The purpose of the program is to foster social and cultural awareness in a select group of young women to benefit this or any future community in which she will reside.
Benefiting the Orchestra
The Debutante Program is proud to support the Sarasota Orchestra, a unique, multi-faceted, 501 (C) 3 charitable organization that embraces a mission of engagement, performance, and education of live music. The Orchestra’s programs include the professional Sarasota Orchestra, four resident chamber ensembles, the Sarasota Music Festival, and an extensive educational program serving youth in the Sarasota and Manatee communities.
One of the primary goals of the Sarasota Youth Orchestra program has been to involve youth in great music, both as audience members and music-makers. Some participants now perform with symphony orchestras while others have entered the music profession as teachers or administrators. The success of the program is ultimately measured not in terms of performance, but in developing an appreciation for music. The philosophy underlying the Orchestra’s education programs is to serve all interested young people, regardless of ability or financial circumstances.
The Sarasota Youth Orchestra program consists of 7 ensembles of progressive skill levels. It is open to youth of all economic means with more than half receiving scholarships based solely on need. Scholarships cover part or all the cost of tuition, private lessons, instrument rentals and attendance at the Orchestra’s summer music camp.
Each spring, the Sarasota Orchestra holds the Sarasota Music Festival which attracts some of the finest college-aged, pre-professional musicians from around the world for three weeks of master classes, mentoring and performances.
Since its founding in 1982, the Debutante program has been an essential supporter of the youth programs of the Sarasota Orchestra. To date, the Debutante Program has donated over $1,500,000 to the Youth Programs of the Sarasota Orchestra.