The Circle of Friends







The Memphis Symphony Orchestra will confer the inaugural EDDY AWARD to a community member who has made a transformative contribution to the enhancement of cultural awareness through the performing arts by using the power of music to foster intentional inclusion and community engagement for all people.

The presentation will at the Masterworks concert scheduled on March 18, 2023 at the Scheidt Family Music Center at the University of Memphis.

The award’s meaning is based on the metaphoric language used in the Circle of Friends’ 10th Anniversary teaching tale entitled

THE EDDY, The Current That Changed the Course of the River

To further clarify, an “eddy” is a circular current at variance with the main water flow that changes the course or trajectory of the river. Since the movement is often caused by a fallen rock such as referenced in the teaching tale, its meaning is fitting for this unique recognition of an individual who facilitated change through the power of music.

For over a decade, over 200 women (45% minority) from diverse backgrounds and life experiences have moved through the Circle of Friends and figuratively “jumped into the river” to manifest their shared vision to be instruments of intentional inclusion through the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Their unwavering commitment has been the catalyst that helped to change the organization’s core values to reflect more diversity, equity and inclusion in its audience, patrons, staff and ultimately the orchestra itself. Their mission is formidable, ever flowing, and never-ending, like an eddy changing the course of a river.


A special letter from Selection Committee Chair, Gayle S. Rose


Dear Friends,

As a former Board Chair of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and a Trustee of its Circle of Friends, I am pleased to lead the Selection Committee of the inaugural EDDY AWARD.   

The MSO’s Circle of Friends created the prestigious award as an annual recognition of a community member who has made a transformative contribution using the power of music to foster opportunity and enhance cultural awareness and engagement for all people. 

I am pleased to announce the esteemed committee members who will serve with me in this special video, explaining the importance of this significant recognition for an individual who embodies our mission.

Please help me make this first year a success by submitting a nomination for THE EDDY AWARD.


The deadline is December 31, 2022.

The EDDY presentation will be at the MSO Masterworks concert scheduled on March 18, 2023, at the Scheidt Family Music Center at the University of Memphis.  I cannot wait to see you there.

Thank you for participating in this exciting endeavor. 


Gayle S. Rose
The Rose Family Offices



CLICK HERE to nominate someone for the EDDY AWARD



The Story of the Eddy




MOVER - ($10,000)


SHAKER - ($5,000)

Marian and Mike Bruns

Rebecca Webb Wilson

DOER - ($2,500)


BELIEVER - ($1,000)

Helen and Chris Bird in memory of Gloria Nobles

Nelda and Tyrone Burroughs

Carolyn and Marino Hardy

Ellen Klyce in honor of Dr. Carol Johnson-Dean

Jocelyn Wurzburg