Premiere Market: Sip, Shop & Support the Symphony

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Compiled by Katie Canales

With shopping, sipping, and noshing all on the schedule, the Premiere Market will offer plenty of new attractions in April. However, the most important thing has not changed.

“Every cent of [Premiere Market’s proceeds] goes straight to the Brazos Valley Symphony,” say Executive Director Mary Koeninger. “When you’re out there shopping, you’re also shopping for a nonprofit that’s been around for 34 years.”

The Brazos Valley Symphony Society brings high-end merchants and shoppers with discerning tastes together again for the fourth annual market fundraiser at The Brazos County Expo on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 15-17. Specialty gift items, unique home accessories, designer fashions for adults and children, custom designed and heirloom jewelry, gourmet foods, and much more will be on sale with proceeds benefitting the cultural and educational programs of the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Lou Ellen Ruesink is merchant coordinator and a symphony volunteer. “Many of our customer favorites will return with their bestselling fashions, jewelry, and gift items,” says Ruesink. “New products this year include grill mats, barbeque sauces and rubs; loose teas and teapots; men’s dress shirts and sophisticated neckwear; as well as new gourmet items and pampering products.”

Market organizers are gearing up for three days of shopping, beginning with an exclusive Sneak Peek Party on Friday, April 15. Eager shoppers get “first pick” at the selections while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres, champagne and musical entertainment from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $35 per person or $65 for two, and reservations are requested by April 8.

On April 16-17, the community is invited to “shop in support of the symphony” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Delicious “tea room” menu selections will be available to shoppers. Individual passes are $5 per person and include both Saturday and Sunday entry.

“Muffins, Mimosas & More” is a special VIP Shopping Event on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Morning guests will receive VIP treatment with a complimentary mimosa (or nonalcoholic alternative for those under age), gourmet muffins and other breakfast goodies, a coffee bar, and private shopping for VIPs only from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Admission will be $15.

For the first time, the Friends Association of the Symphony Orchestra will be holding the “Dressed To A Tea” fashion show during the Premiere Market. “Dressed To A Tea has had a makeover!” says Gail Henry, FASO president. “This year the fashion show and luncheon will present the latest fashion ensembles expertly put together, and all available from the merchants at Premiere Market.” Admission is $55 for the event on Saturday, April 16, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Also new will be “Bacon, Bloody Marys, and Bargains” on Sunday, April 17, featuring bacon-themed food as well as Bloody Marys sold by concessions. There is no entry fee to shop from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Premiere Market Co-Chair Jennifer Fredericks encourages everyone to come out and shop the Market. “For the first time, we are offering buy one get one free admission to students with a valid student ID,” says Fredericks. “We are having bargain shopping hours Sunday morning, and on both days of the market we will have mini-seminars from our merchants featuring everything from cooking a 15-minute meal, to taking an outfit from day to night with accessories, to packing for the weekend in one small hanging bag.”

All special event reservations and pricing information is available on the Premiere Market website For tickets or more information, visit or call the symphony office
at (979) 696-6100.