2022 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees
2022 Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award
Saturday, May 28, 2022
The St. Regis Houston
Darlene Clark loves music and has chosen to fill her life with it by supporting many of the venerable Houston institutions that share the art form with the community.
A native Houstonian, Darlene earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Technology at the University of Houston. Now retired, she enjoyed a thirty-year career with Southwestern Bell.
An ardent supporter of the Houston Symphony League, Darlene is a past president. In 2011, she chaired the Ima Hogg Music Competition, which is designed to identify outstanding young instrumentalists and support their pursuit of careers in music. In 2020, she was in the process of chairing the competition for a second time when the pandemic struck, and it had to be canceled. She has also served on the symphony’s Wine Dinner and Collector's Auction committee for many years.
One of Darlene’s greatest joys is working with children. Over the years, she has escorted hundreds of schoolchildren into, and out of, Jones Hall for student concerts. Volunteering at Houston Symphony’s Instrument Petting Zoo, where children are encouraged to experiment with orchestral instruments, Darlene teaches them how the instruments make their sounds. It has also been her great pleasure to help raise money to purchase violins for children at Lewis Elementary School.
In appreciation for her tireless work with the Houston Symphony League, the group has honored Darlene in a number of ways. In 2014, she received the Ardyce Tostengard Crystal Cello Award, and in 2015, she was recognized as the Ellen Kelley Volunteer of the Year.
As an active member of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of Greater Houston, Darlene chaired the 2019 Reflections on Style Luncheon, which raised over $900,000 for Salvation Army projects. She also served on the grant committee that worked with local Salvation Army locations to provide funding to send underserved children to summer camps, cheerleading classes, and music lessons, and which ensured they had toys at Christmas.
Darlene is the incoming president elect of the Moores Society Board at the University of Houston, which is involved with raising money for music scholarships for worthy students. Recently, Darlene was invited to join the boards of the Texas Association for Symphony Orchestras, the League of American Orchestras Volunteer Council, and Third Space Music. The latter is a chamber music and charitable organization made up of Houston Symphony musicians.
An accomplished musician herself, Darlene plays the flute and the piccolo, and is currently taking lessons from the pianist and piccoloist with the Houston Symphony. She has been a member of the Gulf Coast Concert Band since 1983 and has performed at Miller Outdoor Theater, on the Battleship Texas, and on the Jones Hall stage.
Darlene is married to Edwin Friedrichs, a civil engineer. They have two married children and three grandchildren, all of whom bring them joy and add further music to their lives.
It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Darlene Clark has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2022.