Darlene Buhl, a Lake Highland resident for the past 20 years, says she is “passionate about good business.” As a Richardson Symphony Orchestra patron for the past 10 years, she has become passionate about good music as well.

That’s why her recent appointment as board chairman for the Symphony, which allows her to combine her two loves, makes good sense. When asked what inspired her to take on the position, she cites the timing.

“I had been working (36 years with SBC) and retired last October. The opportunity came, and I respected the people who asked me and respected the need in North Dallas for cultural organizations,” she says.

As chairman of the board, Buhl’s main duties are advocacy, fundraising and expanding the reach of the Symphony into previously underserved areas of the region.

“My true intention is to secure the future of the Richardson Symphony, to set a firmer foundation by reaching a larger, broader audience base.”

As a woman with an extensive background in business and marketing, Buhl knows a large part of her success will depend on simply getting the word out.

“I want people to know that the Eisemann Center and the Richardson Symphony are cultural assets for the Metroplex. We are a symphony for all.”

Although the symphony has a loyal following of subscribers, Buhl believes many people don’t know all that the RSO has to offer.

“We may sound small, but we are really a professional orchestra performing six times in season and then for special events by request.” The 75-member symphony has been around for 43 years and is presided over by former Dallas Symphony Orchestra conductor, Anshel Brusilow.

Even with an established symphony, however, Buhl has her work cut out for her.

“The performing arts and all symphonies across the country are struggling. Competition for the entertainment dollar is stronger than ever before,” she says.

But Buhl knows exactly what she wants to achieve within the year. “My main goal is to have a surplus of funds by next July, to have enriched the endowment fund, expanded season subscription with loyal patrons, and to ensure the future for our extremely skilled professional musicians.”

Always optimistic and goal-oriented, she sees no cause for worry. “I have every confidence the community will rise in support of this symphony.”

The new season debuts with its opening performance of “The Glory and the Grandeur” on Oct. 9. It will feature Grammy-nominated musician Robert McDuffie playing a $4 million violin.

“I invite everyone out,” says Buhl. “I have a great belief that this symphony has a strong place in our cultural future.”