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.


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.


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.

code on computer

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!

hard drive

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.

van getting loaded

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!

business card on desk