Your Support Needed Now More than Ever

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.

ASO plans to honor the financial commitment made to the musicians as the musicians have always been there for the ASO and the community and now we want to be there for them.

Upcoming Concerts

SEP 26-27 The 2020-2021 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Season opens with Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World," and 2020-2021 Artist of Distinction: violinist Tessa Lark.

OCT 24-25 Get your dancing shoes on, head to the concert hall, and get ready to show your R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to the Queen of Soul!

NOV 14-15 Piano sensation Conrad Tao joins the Arkansas Symphony under the baton of Roderick Cox. The annual casual concert and street party features music from Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Brahms.

DEC 18-20 Kris Allen is home for the holidays! Arkansas' own Kris Allen joins the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for a program of holiday favorites and selections from the American Idol-winner's own music.

JAN 30-31 Guest conductor, Akiko Fujimoto, leads ASO and guest pianist, Martina Filjak, in a program featuring Hindemith, Mozart and Strauss.

FEB 6-7 Marvel at the extraordinary showmanship of world-renowned pianist Joseph Joubert and veteran Broadway singers featuring the timeless music of the Gershwin Brothers!

FEB 20-21 Superstar violinist, Gil Shaham, performs his signature concerto: Barber's Violin Concerto, with music from Florence Price and Tchaikovsky.

MAR 13-14 Your Arkansas Symphony Orchestra transforms the Robinson Center into a fantastic world of magic, heroes, dragons, and villains.

APR 10-11 Stravinsky's famous Firebird Suite under the baton of Stephen Mulligan, with works from Adams, Schumann, and Ravel, and guest cellist, Gabriel Martins.

MAY 1-2 Violinist Shannon Lee joins ASO under the baton of Andrew Crust for a program featuring Borodin, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky's popular Concerto in D Major for Violin.

MAY 8-9 Cirque de la Symphonie brings the magic of cirque to the music hall with an exciting adaptation of exceptional cirque programs choreographed to classical masterpieces and popular contemporary music.

Working Toward the New Season

Not so fast…

My name is Brandon Dorris, and I’m the Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the ASO. If anyone can suggest anything to add to my title, let me know, because I am set to win the hardest to read name tag award!

There are a lot of things I love about working for the ASO, but here are two at the top of the list: my job is to get great live music heard by more great people in Arkansas, and I get to continue my career as a woodwind player, too. Sometimes I even get to do it for the ASO! Here’s a photo from stage left at Robinson Center - I chose it because it’s my good side.

Side Orchestra

The nuts and bolts of my job in marketing are pretty easy to guess - I get a budget, I buy ad space in newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc., and try to get as many people as possible excited about the incredible musicians and music of the ASO. As I sifted through pictures of all of my budget spreadsheets and media contracts, I thought I would focus on some of the less obvious work that I do. Like:
Being both color-blind and not really a visual person, I rely on professional designers to produce our print materials, like our season brochure. The process is fun (for me) and grueling (for the designers), with a lot of little tweaks in many revisions as we try to get to the perfect piece.

brochure design

Figuring out how many people can fit in a venue, and how much revenue we can expect from a concert in that venue. I have to go to the venue, take a lot of pictures, measure a lot of things, and crunch the numbers.

church seating

I usually spend time in the summer to work on the ASO, Youth Orchestra, and musician’s websites. I just finished doing some work on the Youth Orchestra site that included me learning and writing some new code on our server.


In a related field, I am the closest thing the ASO has to a staff IT person. I buy and maintain all of our computers, servers, network equipment, and software. I like to get the most out of everything we buy, so when we replace a computer I generally salvage its parts for upgrading other machines or, for example, making a 320GB external hard drive for only $7!

computer before and after

One last thing I will share is a lot closer to the concert: getting our box office and signage to the event. We take a lot of stuff just for helping patrons get to the halls easily and find their way around once they get there. We hope to sell a lot of tickets to each concert, so we need the box office computers and associated gadgetry as well. I use the ASO van each concert weekend to move our front-of-house equipment to the concert.


As I am writing this blog post I realize it is time to head off to a meeting about security at our concert halls. We work with the local police to ensure safety and peace-of-mind for our patrons at all of our halls. I better not keep the people in blue waiting…see you at the hall!

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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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Season Sponsors

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2019-2020 Season Brochure

 2019-2020 Season Brochure - Page 1

2019-2020 Season Brochure - Page 2

League of American Orchestras

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