aerial view of building under construction

ASO Stella Boyle Smith Music Center - In Progress!

architect's rendering of symphony building
aerial view of building under construction

ASO Stella Boyle Smith Music Center - In Progress!

rendering of lobby with people
aerial view of building under construction

ASO Stella Boyle Smith Music Center - In Progress!

rendering of lobby with people

Building for the Future: The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Stella Boyle Smith Music Center

ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME MILESTONE FOR THE COMMUNITY

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra broke ground on August 10, 2023 on its new $11.75 million Stella Boyle Smith Music Center in Little Rock’s East Village, creating a first-of-its-kind music-focused headquarters for the state. The new 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, slated to open in September 2024, is the Symphony’s first permanent home in its 58-year history.

kids playing stringed instruments outside with trees in the background

“Our new music center represents a defining moment for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and for the state. Countless individuals in the community have dedicated their time, effort, and passion to raise funds and meticulously plan for how this center can be accessible to all and a source of joy. We embrace the promise of this landmark home as it enriches the arts in our community and serves Arkansans for many generations to come.”
- Brigita Gardner, Chair of ASO’s Crescendo Committee

The new music center will be a radically-welcoming hub of musical activity for all Arkansans, serving youth and adults of all ages with an array of musical offerings. The building will provide access to music education, music performances, and music making to residents of all corners of the state through new spaces and a broadcast and recording studio.

The new music center will boast state-of-the-art features for children and adults that participate in the programs of the E. Lee Ronnel Music Academy, including music classrooms and practice spaces, ensuring a conducive environment for musical growth and creativity. The space will include Morgan Hall, named in honor of long-time ASO supporters Susie and Charles Morgan, which will serve as a versatile space for rehearsals and concerts, fostering an immersive musical experience.

Geoffrey Robson speaking at a press conference

“Live music serves as a unifying force that connects us all, transcending all walks of life. Arkansas has a rich tradition of music creators, including Florence Price, Johnny Cash, William Grant Still, the Ozark Folk Tradition, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and many more. As we embark on this exciting journey, our vision is that this new center will inspire appreciation for all kinds of music-making, be an accessible resource for those learning the craft, and help to cultivate the next generations of music creators. We look forward to ushering in this new era of possibilities.”
- Geoffrey Robson, ASO's Music Director

The new music center’s facilities will include

  • Grand Hall for rehearsals and concerts
  • Multiple on-site practice spaces
  • State-of-the-art music classrooms
  • Dedicated streaming studio to serve students across the state
  • Climate-controlled instrument storage
  • Additional flexible space to serve future generations of Arkansans
kids in orchestra performing outside

Thank you to our design and contracting partners

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra would like to recognize that the Stella Boyle Smith Music Center, and it’s activities, are located on the ancestral lands of the Opaxpa (Quapaw) and Osage peoples. The ASO acknowledges the history of this land and invites visitors to join them as they pay their respect. We honor the fortitude, commitment and dedication the Quapaw people demonstrate to maintain their culture, develop new communities and overcome challenges after being removed to a new land. We acknowledge the benefits we receive through the use of land that the Quapaw people were dispossessed of and the negative effects this loss had on the people. This land acknowledgment challenges us to learn about the Quapaw people, their history, culture, contributions to and continued presence in our community.