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, the ASO Big Band, and the E. Lee Ronnel Music Academy, providing education programs over 40,000 children each year including the ASO String Academy and the Arkansas Symphony Youth Ensembles, comprised of two full orchestras and a string-only ensemble.

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
Lisa Brumley, 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
Meredith Catlett, EDI Task Force Chair
Phil Peters, At Large


Elizabeth Andreoli
Teresita Angtuaco
Suzanne Babbie
Phyllis Barrier
Nick Brown
Clif Christopher
Denise Compton
Cindy Conger
Barry Coplin
Jane Cornish
Mary Frances Cotham
Jay Cranford
Courtney Crouch
Joe W. Crow
Nancy Crow
Matt De Luca
Jack East, ex officio, Board of Advisors
Dr. John Hayes
Melissa Henshaw
Kim Hillis
Philip Kaplan
Philip Kenney
D. Dean Kumpuris
Drew Kumpuris
Christi Lemery
Timothy MacDuff
Julie Marshall
Lynn Parker
Bert Price
Mike Richardson
Dale Ronnel
John Rowland
Carlton Saffa
Joanna Seibert
Dr. Steve Shirm
Elizabeth Stinnett
Judyth Swingen
Jim Wallis
Chris White
Carolyn Witherspoon
Jeremiah Wood
Dan Young

Guild Representatives

Tandy Cobb – ASO Guild
Sue Ann Strait – Russellville Symphony Guild
Donna Toney – Hot Springs/Hot Springs Village Symphony Guild

Life Members

Sybil J. Hampton
George K. Mitchell, M.D.
Susie Morgan
Gus M. Vratsinas

Honorary Members

Mike Mayton
Shannon Heard (City of Little Rock)

Emeritus Board Members

Byron Eiseman
Robert B. Moore
Martin Thoma

Board of Advisors

Jim Hudson, Chair
Harriet Phillips, Immediate Past Chair


Karen Barnwell
Glenn Beasley
Peyton Bishop
Luana Bracy
Dr. Marico Bryant-Howe
Dr. Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith
Caitlin Campbell
Chuck Cliett
Patty Crabbe
Nancy Crow
Dr. Jennifer Dillaha
Jack East
Maryann East
Doris Freshour
Ken Gould
James Graham
Dr. Chuck Hiller
Cyril Hollingsworth
Ron Holmes
Jim Hudson
Lillian Jones
Dr. George Keck
Dr. Ouida Keck
Anne Marie Maddox
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
Darius Nelson
Fran Nelson
Elizabeth Nyhus
Paul Nyhus
Ron Oberlag
Tricia Peacock
Pat Compton Pearcy
Lynne Phillips
Katherine Reynolds
John Robbins
Sally Sedelow
Dr. Joanna Seibert
Dr. Robert Seibert
Gary Shires
Martha Smither
Victor Snyder
Ann Squyres
Bryan Stanbridge
Lauren Stanbridge
Pat Torvestad
Judy Trice
Karron Wages
Dr. Charlie Watkins
Terri Watkins
Camille Williams


Current as of 3/21/2023

Concerts for Only $9/month!


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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League of American Orchestras

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