2021 Texarkana Symphony Orchestra Celebrity Conductor Contest


Heading into the 2021 Holiday Seasons the Perot Theatre has a fantastic line-up of shows including the seasonal favorite, “Christmas at the Perot”. So, it is time to pick this year’s “Celebrity Conductor”!

We get to talk about the competition with Andrew Clark, Kyle Delaughter, and Jason Williams at a recent Bourbon Tasting to benefit the TSO on the Texarkana FYI Podcast:

Texarkana FYI the Podcast. Time for the seasons, not just the hunting seasons that we rundown on the website, but the Holidays season. With that, a Texarkana tradition is all of the events with the Perot Theatre in downtown Texarkana. It’s exciting to know that this year, the Nutcracker Suite returns to the Perot, and some great performances by the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra.

At this moment the 11th annual celebrity conductor competition is underway. Four community leaders are competing for the honor to conduct the orchestra for one number at the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra Christmas at the Perot. Will it be Kyle Delaughter, Ashley Goodman, Marjorie Slimer, or Russel Sparks?

Anyone can vote to support their favorite candidate and support our orchestra in the process. Each vote is $20, you can vote for as many candidates as you want, as many times as you want.


Russell Sparks is the owner and operator of Hightech Signs in Texarkana. Originally from Nashville, Arkansas, Russell graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Southern Arkansas University.

Spending time with family is the biggest joy of his life. Teaching his boys how to be boys, watching them grow and learn new things still amazes him every day. When he is not being chased by his boys, he does enjoy spending time chasing a golf ball around the course or spending time in the woods hiking or hunting.

As a Young Professional in the Sign Industry, Russell has excelled to the top of his field and serves as an Executive Board Member for the Texas Sign Association. Locally, Russell serves as the Chairman for the Greater Texarkana Young Professionals, as a board member of the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, and as a board member of the Texarkana Oaklawn Rotary. Giving back to his community is something he believes in and strives to do every day.

Celebrity Conductor Candidate – Marjorie Slimer
Marjorie Slimer is the owner of a catering business, Slice of Slimer, and is opening a new local restaurant “Franklin’s kitchen + catering”.
Marjorie attended a year at Texas Christian University, and then came back home to study culinary arts at Texarkana College. She is involved in the community with Opportunities Inc., with animal rescues, and is on the committee for the Alzheimer’s Alliance Wine Festival.
She is thrilled to be a part of this year’s Texarkana Symphony Orchestra Celebrity Conductor Competition to raise support and to continue to grow our downtown events!
Celebrity Conductor Candidate – Kyle DeLaughter
Kyle DeLaughter is the owner of DeLaughter’s Grocery in Maud, Texas, Highway 8 Liquor, and DeLaughter Decorative Concrete (which started out as a hobby but has grown to something much larger through word of mouth). He serves as a board member of the Bowie County Emergency Services District 1 and the Maud Beautification Group.
Kyle lives in Maud, Texas, and is a graduate of Redwater High School and Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Jillian, is a graduate of Pleasant Grove High School and works as a dental hygienist for Dr. Randy Ellis. They have one son, Thomas Kyle, who will celebrate his first birthday in September 2021. Thomas attends Williams Memorial Christian Preschool. The DeLaughters are members of the Lord’s church and attend Maud Church of Christ.
Each fall Kyle and Jillian donate $25 for every touchdown that the Maud Cardinal football team scores. They take that money and award it to one senior boy and girl at the end of the year as the DeLaughter Scholarship. It’s a lot of fun, and it makes watching the games very exciting!
Kyle spends his time working alongside his 35 employees at the grocery store, helping his wife raise their new son, and playing golf – lots of golf.
Celebrity Conductor Candidate – Ashley Huckabee Goodman
Ashley Goodman is the owner of Goodman Group Realty, a hyperlocal real estate brokerage. A Texarkana native, Ashley is now proud to be living in her hometown raising a family of her own with her husband of 10 years, Josh. Their two kids, Reagan and Gabbi Goodman, attend St. James Day School and when they aren’t all working in the family real estate business, they like to spend their time traveling, trying new restaurants, and enjoying family movie nights!

About Author

After more than 30 years with radio and TV stations, I decided to do my own thing by blogging. It affords me the ability to stay super involved in the community, but still, have plenty of time with my 3 new granddaughters and other local projects.

Leave A Reply