Guide to the


4.5 linear ft.

Accession Number: 0001-111

Collection Number: 67

Prepared by Kevin Kendro
January 2010

CITATION:  Irving Symphony Orchestra Collection, Collection 67, Box number, Folder number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library. 

Historical Sketch

The Irving Symphony Orchestra originated as the Irving String Orchestra in 1961.  The original group was made up of nine musicians led by the Reverend George Ferenczy, a Cistercian priest who was a member of the original faculty at the University of Dallas.  The group performed several chamber music concerts for friends at the University.

The Irving String Orchestra held its first public concert in the auditorium of Irving High School on December 10, 1962.  For this performance, the orchestra had grown to twenty-three members made up of local musicians and music students, and University of Dallas faculty members.  Approximately eight hundred people attended the concert.

The Irving Symphony Orchestra and the Irving Symphony Orchestra Association were formed in January 1963 around the nucleus of the Irving String Orchestra.

Father George Ferenczy was the orchestra’s first conductor.  Father Ferenczy escaped from Hungary in 1952 and made his way to the United States.  He was trained in classical music and played four instruments.  He had a masters degree in piano performance, as well as a doctorate in literature.  In America, he studied music under Leonard Bernstein.  In 1957, he was assigned to the first faculty at the newly opened University of Dallas.

Through the years, the size of the orchestra grew as local musicians with a love of classical music volunteered their talents.  In 1966, the Irving Symphony Association held its first benefit ball to raise money for the symphony.  The ball became an annual event.  The Irving Symphony League was established in 1970 to assist the Symphony Association with fund raising.  The League helps with ticket sales, membership drives, study programs, and it has sponsored an array of fund-raisers for the symphony over the years.

At the end of the 1968-69 concert season, Father Ferenczy stepped down as director.  He was replaced by Yves L’Helgoual’ch.  L’Helgoual’ch, a native of France, attended the Paris Conservatory of Music.  In America, he worked with local orchestras while teaching music at St. Mark’s School in Dallas.

After nearly twenty years as musical director, Yves L’Helgoual’ch was replaced by Robert Carter Austin in July 1988.  At the time, many members of the orchestra left the group because they felt that the orchestra was moving toward guest performances and popular music and away from its roots in classical music.

As the symphony matured, its focus shifted from using local musicians to employing professional musicians.  It was during Austin’s tenure that the Symphony Association began paying the musicians a stipend for each performance.    

In 1991, Hector Guzman replaced Robert Carter Austin as music director of the symphony.  Guzman holds degrees from the Conservatory in Mexico City, the University of North Texas, and Southern Methodist University.  In addition to his duties in Irving, he also conducts three other symphonies and guest conducts orchestras around the world.  He is director of the Irving Symphony Orchestra as of 2010.

Scope and Content 

The Irving Symphony Orchestra Collection is arranged in five series and housed in three cubic foot boxes, three flat boxes, a manuscript box, a ½-manuscript box, and space for oversize items.

The collection consists primarily of scrapbooks put together by members of the Irving Symphony Association documenting the activities of the symphony and the association.  Items in the scrapbooks include newspaper clippings, photographs, Symphony Association and League information, mailers and other symphony publications.  The scrapbooks provide a comprehensive history of the Irving Symphony Orchestra, the Irving Symphony Association, and the Symphony League.

Series I is made up of scrapbooks covering the 1960s-1990s.  There are individual scrapbooks for each year of the 1960s and early 1970s.  The remainder of the 1970s and 1980s are covered by scrapbooks that span several years.  The materials representing the 1990s are not in scrapbooks.  These loose items, consisting of programs, fliers, mailers, and newspaper articles were in accordion folders, with what appears to have been the intent of creating scrapbooks.

Series I also contains four special event scrapbooks.  Three of the scrapbooks pertain to a fund-raising event called the “Red Stocking Follies” that the Symphony Association put on in 1973, 1978, and 1980.  The other scrapbook relates to the Irving Symphony League’s annual ball, 1982 and 1983.

Series II consists of two business-related notebooks.  The first is made up of the production and layout pages for the 1997 annual symphony ball program.  The other is a notebook of material pertaining to the production of the Independence Day concert in Williams Square, July 4, 1993.

Series III is made up of publications. The series consists of two Symphony League Ball programs, 1995 and 2000; membership mailers for the 2000-01 season; and a booklet explaining a collaborative effort among symphonies of the Southwest.

Series IV consists of photographs from a luncheon honoring the Symphony League’s past presidents, 1999.

Series V consists of display labels and mounted posters used as part of the symphony’s 35th anniversary celebration.

Provenance Statement

Accession 0001-111, The Irving Symphony Orchestra Collection, was donated to the Irving Archives on May 14, 2001 by Marguerite Korkmas of the Irving Symphony League.  Prior to its donation to the Irving Archives, the material was kept at the office of the Irving Symphony Orchestra.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish from the Irving Symphony Orchestra Collection must be obtained from the Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Container List
Series I. Scrapbooks, 1962-1995

Box 1

Scrapbook, 1962-1963
Scrapbook, 1963-1964
Scrapbook, 1964-1965
Scrapbook, 1965-1966
Scrapbook, 1966-1967
Scrapbook, 1967-1968 (these pages were loose and were placed in a binder by the processing Archivist)
Scrapbook, 1968-1969
Scrapbook, 1969-1970
Scrapbook, 1970-1971

Box 2

Scrapbook, 1971-1972
Scrapbook, 1973-74 and 1974-75

Scrapbook, 1975-1986
Scrapbook, 1986-87; 1987-88; and the fall of 1988

Box 3

Scrapbook, Jan. 1989 - May 1990
Scrapbook, 1990-91

Scrapbook, 1999 (photos from Irving Symphony League luncheons and other events)

Series II. Business Files

Binder containing the working pages of the rough layout of the program for the 1997 Symphony Ball, “Evening in Paris.” Also includes two 3½″ floppy disks containing typescript and images for use in the program.

Binder containing material relating to the preparation for the July 4th concert, 1993.  The items include: budget, meeting agenda, agreements, forms, contracts, certificates, thank you letters, memos, and faxes.

Folder containing National Endowment of the Arts and Texas Commission on the Arts grant material, 1991.

Folder containing material relating to companies that conduct concert- oriented tours, 1991-92.

Box 4

Series I. Scrapbooks (continued)

Scrapbook – Red Stocking Follies, 1973
Scrapbook – Red Stocking Follies, 1978

Box 5

Scrapbook – Red Stocking Follies, 1980
Scrapbook – Irving Symphony League Ball, 1982 and 1983

Box 6


1 Loose Scrapbook Items, 1971
Contains clippings and correspondence relating to the 1971-72 concert season. The items were in a large envelope marked “Irving Symphony, 1971.”  It appears to be material that was set aside for inclusion in a scrapbook.

2 Loose Scrapbook Items, 1977-78
Contains clippings, correspondence, and programs relating to the 1977-78 and 1978-79 concert seasons.  The items were in a large envelope marked “Symphony League, 1977-78.”  It appears to be material that was set aside for inclusion in a scrapbook.

3  Loose Scrapbook Items, 1987-88 and 1988-89
Contains material that appears to have been kept for inclusion in a scrapbook.  The items were in one of four accordion-style folders.

4  Loose Scrapbook Items, 1990-91; 1991-92; and 1992-93
Contains material that appears to have been kept for inclusion in a scrapbook.  The items were in one of four accordion-style folders.

5  Loose Scrapbook Items, 1993-94 and 1994-95
Contains material that appears to have been kept for inclusion in a scrapbook.  The items were in one of four accordion-style folders.

6  Loose Scrapbook Items, 1995-96; 1996-97; and 1997-98
Contains material that appears to have been kept for inclusion in a scrapbook.  The items were in one of four accordion-style folders.

7  Miscellaneous material
Contains a program from a Dallas Symphony Orchestra performance; three playbills from the Dallas Summer Musicals, 1988-89; a list of Irving Symphony Orchestra corporate donors through the years, 1985-1991; and a fact sheet about the Zale Corporation.  
Box 7

Series III. Publications, 1995 and 2001


1  Contains the Symphony League Ball program, “Winter Wonderland,” celebrating the 29th anniversary of the ball and the 33rd year of the symphony, 1995; the Symphony League Ball program, “An Affair to Remember,” celebrating the 34th anniversary of the ball and the 38th anniversary of the Symphony, 2000; a booklet explaining the establishment of a collaborative group called the Symphonies of the Southwest Tuning Up for the Year 2000; and membership mailers from the 2000-01 concert season.

Series IV. Photographs

2  Photographs and negatives, 1999
Contains photographs taken at a luncheon honoring the past presidents of the Irving Symphony League.  The event was held at the Heritage House on May 14, 1999.

Box 8

Series V. Labels and Posters

Included are four large (34″ x 46″), glossy, mounted and framed, posters made up of pictures from symphony performances, association and league fund-raisers, and individual members through the years.  The posters were created as part of the symphony’s 35th anniversary celebration. 

There are also large mounted labels listing the presidents of the Irving Symphony Association, 1963-2001, and the Irving Symphony League, 1970-2000 and mounted newspaper pages from a 1999 series in The Dallas Morning News entitled The Road to 2000.  The series focuses on events in the past one hundred years of local, state, and national history.  The symphony used these items in its 40th anniversary celebration.