Dear ASO supporter,
Thank you so much for your outpouring of community support for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and its musicians. June 30 was the end of our fiscal year and, for the 11th consecutive year, ASO finished its season with a balanced budget. This was only possible because of your generosity. Thank you!
These are strange days. For decades, I’ve been told the only constant is change, but these days, it seems to me the only constant is walking through the unknown searching for something familiar, something unflappable.
I am so thankful that the steady care I found in this pandemic is our community’s support of ASO and our musicians. This year almost 1000 households donated to the annual fund to make sure we have an orchestra ready when this crisis is over. Leading the giving was one of the orchestra’s founders, the Stella Boyle Smith Foundation, and 98% of the ticket holders who chose to donate their tickets or get vouchers for next season.
Just as ASO musicians found a way to play and teach this spring and summer, ASO is committed to serving our community somehow, some way in the upcoming concert season. When we had to cancel our first concert in March, Concertmaster Andrew Irvin spearheaded the creation of a musician-led online series he called Bedtime with Bach. The series garnered national attention reaching more than 220,000 people in the first month, with more than 35,000 people reached internationally in more than 40 countries. Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Sturgis Music Academy continued its operation conducting virtual group and private lessons and virtual recitals for hundreds of students, plus a summer music camp for over 40 kids.
As we look to next concert season, ASO is committed to safety, community service and financial stability. We are looking at possible new concert dates, free outdoors events, and on-line presence. Because of your donations this year, we have been able to keep everyone employed and can now focus on how to best serve the community in the 20-21 season.
Katherine Williamson speaks for all of us when she says, "Thank you to our outstanding board, donors, and patrons for funding this great orchestra and keeping us financially stable for 11 years in a row. This sends an important signal to the musicians, the public, and most importantly to our students that music is an essential part of what makes this city and this state a wonderful place to live. It is my privilege to serve as the ASO's Assistant Concertmaster and Director of the Sturgis Academy as we navigate these unprecedented times ahead. The future may look a little different, but there will still be music for our community. "
Thank you again. I feel so fortunate to be here in Little Rock, Arkansas during this time. Because of you, I can find that firm foundation in this pandemic and know we will get through it together and once again be able to hear our ASO perform together live for us.
Chief Executive Officer
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra