Each year the Brazos Valley Symphony Society holds its annual meeting in May and reports on the events of the past season. This has been going on for twenty‐seven years since the inception of the society. The meeting is an enjoyable event, but not usually filled with the unexpected. However, on May 18, 2009, Rose P. VanArsdel was surprised and bestowed with the title of Lifetime Honorary Member of the Brazos Valley Symphony Society.
“Rose VanArsdel has been a strong supporter of the Brazos Valley Symphony Society since its formation. She has generously shared her time in leadership roles in the society, as well as in our support organization . . . She is a true steward in every sense for the Symphony Society,” said 2009‐2010 President Bill Ward, who presented the award that evening.
Only four other times in the history of the society has a Lifetime Honorary Member been named. As the fifth honoree, VanArsdel now joins the ranks of Ann Wiatt (1992), Gilbert & Thyra Plass (2000), Ruth Samson (2004), and Florence Ham (2006). According to Brazos Valley
Symphony Society by‐laws and operational procedures, a society member may be awarded this honor in recognition of extraordinary services to the organization over an extended period of time. VanArsdel certainly fits this bill.
Rose is a charter member/founder of the Arts Council of Brazos Valley, OPAS, Brazos Valley Symphony Society, and the Friends Association of the Symphony Orchestra and has served as president and/or board member of each of these groups. She played a key role in starting the
Children’s Concerts now performed by the symphony each year to thousands of area elementary school students. VanArsdel reports that she also contributed to the beginnings of the Brazos Valley Chorale as well as the orchestra program at Bryan ISD. Rose has additionally
served the community through involvement with the Bryan Business Council, First Presbyterian Church, and the University Summer Performance Series. This is truly a lifetime of contributions and selfless work in our community.
“It’s been gratifying to see the growth of arts in our community. Years ago, we had almost nothing—now thereʹs great music, lots of visual arts, good theater. The arts are important for our youth to have a well‐rounded education and for adults who recognize the value of cultural
pursuits,” said VanArsdel. She added, “I was surprised and humbled at getting the Lifetime Membership. Thatʹs a tremendous honor, and Iʹm truly grateful.”
The society is fortunate to have individuals so dedicated to the advancement of the symphony orchestra and the performing arts. Our community would not be the same without the hours of voluntarism and more than generous gifts provided by members such as Rose VanArsdel, the other Lifetime Members, Board Members, and volunteers. There are no words to describe the society’s gratefulness and appreciation—we can only stand in awe of these many blessings.
About the Brazos Valley Symphony: The Brazos Valley Symphony is a non‐profit performing arts organization with the mission to maintain a symphony of high artistic standards, and to promote the musical arts for cultural and education purposes in the Brazos Valley. For more information about the Symphonyʹs 2008‐2009 Season, please visit the Brazos Valley Symphony Web site at www.bvso.org.