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 more than 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, and a busy schedule of statewide touring and educational performances in numerous venues, along with collaborations with Ballet Arkansas and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Integral to the ASO's activities are its resident string quartets, the Rockefeller and Quapaw Quartet; The ASO Brass Quintet, ASO Big Band, and the Arkansas Symphony Youth Ensembles, which comprises two string-only ensembles and two full orchestras. Through ASO education programs over 40,000 children each year experience the magic of music.

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

Jan Hundley, Chair
Richard P. Wheeler, M.D., Immediate Past Chair
Rick Adkins, Governance Committee Chair
Dr. Jan Shorey, Personnel Committee Chair
Mary Frances Cotham, Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair
Ernie Skyrme, Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair
Erick Saoud, ASO Player’s Association President
Bob Roberts, Development Committee Chair
Susan Marsh, Education Committee Chair
T. Martin Davis, Joint Committee on Orchestra Affairs Committee Chair
Elizabeth Andreoli, Opus Advisory Committee Chair
Debi Barnes, Opus Advisory Committee Chair
Brigita Gardner, Guild Liaison Committee Chair
Ellen Gray, Secretary, At Large


Teresita Angtuaco
Suzanne Babbie
Phyllis Barrier
Nick Brown
Lisa Brumley
Meredith Catlett
Clif Christopher
Alan Cochran
Denise Compton
Cindy Conger
Barry Coplin
Jane Cornish
Jay Cranford
Courtney Crouch
Joe W. Crow
Nancy Crow
Matt De Luca
Jack East, ex officio, Board of Advisors
Barry Goldberg
Dr. John Hayes
Kim Hillis
Philip Kaplan
Philip Kenney
D. Dean Kumpuris
Drew Kumpuris
Joseph Lampo
Christi Lemery
Timothy MacDuff
Julie Marshall
Lynn Parker
Phillip Peters
Bert Price
Mike Richardson
John Rowland
Joanna Seibert
Dr. Steve Shirm
Pete Simpson
Elizabeth Stinnett
Judyth Swingen
Jim Wallis
Chris White
Carolyn Witherspoon
Jeremiah Wood
Dan Young

Guild Representatives

Tandy Cobb – ASO Guild
Kathy Westmoreland – Russellville Symphony Guild
Jim Gifford – Hot Springs/Hot Springs Village Symphony Guild

Life Members

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

Honorary Members

First Lady of Arkansas Susan Hutchinson
Mike Mayton
Shannon Heard (City of Little Rock)

Board of Advisors

Jack East, Chair


Karen Barnwell
Glenn Beasley
Peyton Bishop
Sally Blewett
Tim Blewett
Luana Bracy
Dr. Marico Bryant-Howe
Dr. Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith
Patty Crabbe
Nancy Crow
Arthur Dercksen
Dr. Jennifer Dillaha
Maryann East
Doris Freshour
Ken Gould
Dr. Chuck Hiller
Cyril Hollingsworth
Ron Holmes
Jim Hudson
Lillian Jones
Dr. George Keck
Dr. Ouida Keck
Judy Lansky
George Makris III
Dr. Jay Mehta
Dr. Paulette Mehta
Dr. Steve Metzer
Carl Moneyhon
Susan Petty-Moneyhon
Roberta Monson
Marita Nazarian
Dr. Sarkis Nazarian
Dr. Alvah Nelson
Fran Nelson
Elizabeth Nyhus
Paul Nyhus
Ron Oberlag
Tricia Peacock
Harriett Phillips
Lynne Phillips
Katherine Reynolds
Sally Sedelow
Walter Sedelow
Dr. Joanna Seibert
Dr. Robert Seibert
Gary Shires
Martha Smither
Ann Squyres
Pat Torvestad
Judy Trice
Dr. Charlie Watkins
Terri Watkins
Camille Williams


Current as of 6/30/2021


We're back in the concert hall for all subscription concerts! All ASO musicians, guest artists and staff, venue staff, and patrons are required to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth and show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or recent (within 72 hours) negative test for all ASO indoor concerts.

Click here for full details.

Welcome to the Robinson Center

New to the ASO, or just want to see a quick tour of entering the Robinson Center? Watch this short video!

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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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