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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

Jan Hundley, Chair
Richard P. Wheeler, M.D., Immediate Past Chair
Rick Adkins, Governance Committee Chair
Ellen Gray, Secretary, Personnel Committee Chair
John Rowland, Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair
Katherine Williamson, ASO Player’s Association President
Marion Fulk, Audience Development Chair
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
Lee Ronnel, At Large
Patrick O’Sullivan, At Large
Martin Thoma, At Large


Elizabeth Andreoli
Debi Barnes
Phyllis Barrier
Ed Bennett
Robert Chandler
Alan Cochran
Denise Compton
Jane Cornish
Joe W. Crow
Nancy Crow
Matt De Luca
Byron Eiseman
Dora Jane Flesher
Barry Goldberg
Dr. John Hayes
Diane Jonsson
Jeanne Joyner
Philip Kaplan
Philip Kenney
D. Dean Kumpuris
Joseph Lampo
Lauriann Lines
Supha Mays
Dr. Robert Moore
Lynn Parker
Dr. Steve Shirm
Dr. Jan Shorey
Belinda Shults
Elizabeth Stinnett
Melanie Taylor
Ryan Underwood
Chris White
Carolyn Witherspoon

Guild Representatives

Ouida Keck – ASO Guild
Mary Davis – 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

Herren Hickingbotham
First Lady of Arkansas Susan Hutchinson
Jake Eddington
Mayor Mark Stodola
Mayor Joe Smith

Board of Advisors

Harriett Phillips, Chair


Denise Compton
Chris Barrier
Glenn Beasley
Peyton Bishop
Luana Bracy
Bob Cabe
Cindy Conger
Nancy Crow
Rick Dimond
Patricia Edstrom
Victor Ellsworth
Charlie Fuller
James Graham
Chuck Hiller
Cyril Hollingsworth
Catherine Hughes
Ron Hughes
Suzanne Kuch
Craig Lair
Brock Martin
Steve Metzer
Carl Moneyhon
Susan Petty Moneyhon
Marita Nazarian
Sarkis Nazarian
Alvah Nelson
Fran Nelson
Jennifer Peper
Kater Reynolds
Joanna Seibert
Robert Seibert
Gene Shelby
Steve Shirm
Martha Smither
Amy Taylor
Kent Taylor
Bill Tedford
Pat Torvestad
Helen Vanlandingham
Charlie Watkins
Camille Williams

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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