HGO Guild History

1955Guild organized: members were "contributors" to HGO.
1959Opera CUES began. The name is credited to Noel Tyl, bass, and for a time Houston Grand Opera Association Business Manager.
1961A big year for the Guild: reorganized with an emphasis on education; dues set; and 500 people became charter members; Betty Lou (Mrs. James) Bayless, now Mrs. Carter, chaired the first HGO Guild Opera Ball; pilot program for Opera in the Schools was begun by Genevieve Demme.
1968Hospitality Committee established.
1972The Guild began Volunteers for Opera to help with routine work in the HGO office.
1973Guild president and Cues editor attend conference of one-year old Opera Guilds International.
1974Men's Committee of the annual ball is introduced, especially to fund the opera docent program. Connie Hill organized the program with funds from Hooker Chemical Crop. and proceeds of the Guild garage sales. Participants included Terrylin Neale, Lillie Fontenot, Connie Hill, Britt Tita, Bette Carpenter, Pat Sagenkahn and Marta Foster.
1977First publication of Guild Directory underwritten by Guild; charter underwriters for Opera Cues instituted.
1978Beverly Sills was honoree of Guild Ball co-sponsored by March of Dimes.
1981Guild published the 25-year history of HGO.
1982First of Guild's Picnics in the Park
1983Guild made first attempt at merchandising with "Craft Boutique."
1984Affiliated Artist Program was initiated through Columbia Artists Management to offer "informances" to the community; HGO Guild hosted Tenth Conference of Opera Guilds International.
1985Guild sponsored first Sneak-a-Peek program in Jones Hall.
1986With Houston Ballet Guild, HGO Guild established first Wortham Tour Guide program; Guild implemented "Open Up Opera" enrichment program.
1987Guild Boutique established.
19971997 "Opera for Kids", targeting a new audience of children and their parents was launched at Barnes and Noble, Vanderbilt Square on October 11. Programs in this series resulted in more than $400 in donations in the first year.
1997 "Insights" partnership presentations with KUHF and Barnes and Noble, supported by HGO Marketing and the Studio, spread the message of upcoming opera to more than 700 attendees and directly resulted in an additional $2240 in ticket sales. HGO Marketing reported a 25% increase in sales for each of the promotions. Six docents, Al Berkowitz, Cathy Cox, Renee Dollinger, Barbara Johnson, Cynthia Johnson, Jo Lyday, and Patsy Martin made presentations. Adelma Graham, Mary Klapperich, Kris Lytle, and Marianne Cooley assisted in answering questions and providing Guild information.
2001 HGO Guild launches its adult education program with When The Show Must Go On But The Voice Is Gone with speaker Richard Stasney, M.D. The program at the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science was coordinated by Life Trustee Jesse Weir.