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
Carolyn Witherspoon, Personnel Committee Chair
John Rowland, Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair
David Gerstein, ASO Player’s Association President
Phil Peters, Development Committee Chair
Susan Marsh, Education Committee Chair
T. Martin Davis, Joint Committee on Orchestra Affairs Committee Chair
Terri Erwin, Opus Advisory Committee Chair
Brigita Gardner, Guild Liaison Committee Chair
Ellen Gray, Secretary, At Large
Lee Ronnel, At Large
Patrick O’Sullivan, At Large
Martin Thoma, At Large


Elizabeth Andreoli
Debi Barnes
Phyllis Barrier
René Bressinck
Lisa Brumley
Meredith Catlett
Alan Cochran
Denise Compton
Jane Cornish
Mary Frances Cotham
Jay Cranford
Joe W. Crow
Nancy Crow
Matt De Luca
Lorraine Duso Kitts
Byron Eiseman
Barry Goldberg
Dr. John Hayes
Jeanne Joyner
Philip Kaplan
Philip Kenney
D. Dean Kumpuris
Joseph Lampo
Christi Lemery
Lauriann Lines
Supha Mays
Dr. Robert Moore
Lynn Parker
Mike Richardson
Joanna Seibert
Dr. Steve Shirm
Dr. Jan Shorey
Belinda Shults
Ernie Skyrme
Nan Squire
Elizabeth Stinnett
Jim Wallis
Chris White

Guild Representatives

Nikki Lawson – ASO Guild
Kathy Westmoreland – Russellville Symphony Guild
Suzanne Babbie – Hot Springs/Hot Springs Village Symphony Guild

Life Members

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

Honorary Members

John Casey
First Lady of Arkansas Susan Hutchinson
Mike Mayton
Shannon Heard (City of Little Rock)
Harriett Phillips

Board of Advisors

Harriett Phillips, Chair


Dr. Teresita Angtuaco
Chris Barrier
Glenn Beasley
Peyton Bishop
Luana Bracy
Dr. Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith
Cindy Conger
Patty Crabbe
Nancy Crow
Dr. Jennifer Dillaha
Rick Dimond
Jack East
Maryann East
Patricia Edstrom
Dr. Charlie Fuller
Dr. Chuck Hiller
Cyril Hollingsworth
Lillian Jones
Suzanne Kuch
Craig Lair
Brock Martin
Dr. Jay Mehta
Dr. Paulette Mehta
Dr. Steve Metzer
Carl Moneyhon
Susan Petty-Moneyhon
Ryan Mooney
Marita Nazarian
Dr. Sarkis Nazarian
Dr. Alvah Nelson
Fran Nelson
Elizabeth Nyhus
Paul Nyhus
Dr. Loverd Peacock
Tricia Peacock
Lynne Phillips
Katherine Reynolds
Bob Roberts
Dr. Joanna Seibert
Dr. Robert Seibert
Gene Shelby
Martha Smither
Ann Squyres
Amy Taylor
Kent Taylor
William Tedford
Pat Torvestad
Dr. Charlie Watkins
Terri Watkins
Camille Williams


Current as of 2/8/2019

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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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