History of the ASO

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc. exists to connect, enrich, inspire and advance Arkansas through the power of music.

Incorporated in 1966, the ASO now performs over 60 concerts per season, which includes the Masterworks and Pops Concerts. In addition, the orchestra has a Chamber Series, River Rhapsodies, at the Clinton Presidential Center, ASO, I.N.C.: Intimate Neighborhood Concerts, plus a busy schedule of statewide touring, chamber music, and educational performances in numerous venues and collaborations with Ballet Arkansas and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Intricate to the ASO's activities are its resident string quartets, the Rockefeller and Quapaw Quartet; The ASO Brass Quintet, ASO Big Band, The Arts Partners Quartets, and the Arkansas Symphony Youth Ensembles. Through ASO education programs over 40,000 children each year experience the magic of music. Now in its 50th, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is led by conductor, Philip Mann.

Distinguished guest artists including Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Mignon Dunn, Marilyn Horn, Andre Watts, Maureen McGovern, Bernadette Peters, Maya Angelou, and Doc Severinsen, among others, have appeared in concert with the orchestra in Arkansas.

Comprised of the state's most sought after professional musicians, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is heard by more than 165,000 Arkansans each year, and consistently plays to high critical praise.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Richard P. Wheeler, M.D., Chair
Jan Hundley, Development Committee Chair
Martin Thoma, Immediate Past Chair
Nick Brown, Vice Chair and Governance Committee Chair
Ellen Gray, Secretary, Personnel Committee Chair
John Rowland, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
Susan Marsh, Education Committee Chair
Marion Fulk, Audience Development Chair
Terri Erwin, Opus Advisory Committee Chair
David Gerstein, ASO Player's Association President
T. Martin Davis, Orchestra Affairs Committee Chair
Lee Ronnel, At Large
Patrick O'Sullivan, At Large


Rick Adkins
Elizabeth Andreoli
Phyllis Barrier
Ed Bennett
Jonathan Blitz
Jim Cargill
Robert Chandler
Joe W. Crow
Nancy Crow
Thomas Cummins
Matt DeLuca
Byron Eiseman
Dora Jane Flesher
Caroline Ford
Brigita Gardner
Barry Goldberg
Sally Graham
Dr. John Hayes
Diane Jonsson
Jeanne Joyner
Philip Kaplan
Dr. Robert Moore
Patrick O'Sullivan
Lynn Parker
Dr. Phillip J. Peters
Lynne Phillips
Raymond Remmel
Linda Riggs
Mike Rhoda
Michael A. Shelley
Dr. Jan Shorey
Belinda Shults
Elizabeth Stinnett
Ryan Underwood
Carolyn Witherspoon

Guild Representatives

Gail Davis, ASO Guild President
Jim Kelly, Hot Springs/Hot Springs Village Symphony Guild President
Ann Squyres, Russellville Symphony Guild President

Life Members

George K. Mitchell, M.D.
Susie Morgan
Lee Ronnel
Gus M. Vratsinas

Honorary Members

First Lady of Arkansas Susan Hutchinson
Michael Mayton
Mayor Joe Smith
Mayor Mark Stodola

Board of Advisors

Dr. John Hayes, Chair
Denise Compton , Advisory Board Chair-Elect
Dennis Kuo, Advisory Board Membership Chair


Jane T. Allred
Peyton Bishop
Debi Barnes
Chris Barrier
Bob Cabe
Rick Dimond
Lee Lee Doyle
Charlie Fuller
James Graham
John Greenfield
Suzanne Grobmyer
Rick Adkins
Catherine Hughes
Ron Hughes
Suzanne Kuch
Craig Lair
Brock Martin
Jennifer Peper
Steve Metzer
Harriett Phillips
Nan Plummer
Kater Reynolds
Jim Rule
Joanna Seibert
Robert Seibert
Steve Shirm
Martha Smither
Kent Taylor
Amy Taylor
Pat Torvestad
Charles Watkins
Terri Watkins
Dr. Ron Winters

Donate now

A donation to ASO puts instruments in the hands of children, makes live symphonic music accessible to all Arkansans, and makes it possible for world-class musicians to call Arkansas home. 

Every dollar counts, and each donation helps ensure a sustainable, thriving future for ASO.

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