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Awards

The ACSO Awards program recognizes remarkable individuals and organizations for their meaningful contributions to the orchestra field. ACSO oversees four awards in its portfolio: 1) Executive Leadership Award, 2) Emerging Professional Award, 3) Kris Sinclair Leadership Award, and 4) MVP Volunteer Award. 
  
In the midst of this global health crisis and social movement for equity and justice, it is especially important to honor the ability to navigate and lead others through change, to find opportunity in challenge, and to step up and serve others. 
  
For questions about ACSO's Awards Program, contact us at [email protected].


Executive Leadership & Emerging Professional Awards

Launched in 2020, the Executive Leadership Award and the Emerging Professional Award are competitive awards that recognize individuals who represent two ends of the administrative spectrum – those who have demonstrated ability and impact early in their careers, and those who have been advancing in leadership roles for many years and whose calculated risks, acumen for strategy, and program-building have propelled their organizations to success. 

CLICK HERE to learn more and complete the Executive Leadership Award Nomination by May 14, 2021.

CLICK HERE to learn more and complete the Emerging Professional Award Nomination by May 14, 2021.

2020 Winners:
Executive Leader Awardee: Stephen Wilson, President & CEO, Fresno Philharmonic
Emerging Professional Awardee: Tara Aesquivel, Executive Director, American Youth Symphony
Emerging Professional Awardee: Connor Bogenreif, Manager of Operations & Education, Long Beach Symphony


Kris Sinclair Leadership Award (FINAL YEAR!)

The Kris Sinclair Leadership Award is a competitive award given to an ACSO Organizational Member that demonstrates recent and measurable leadership initiatives by its staff and/or board in one or more of the following areas: finance, governance, staff development, audience development, education, or community engagement. Learn more about the award and apply here by May 14, 2021.

This $5,000 award is made possible by the Kris Sinclair Fund for Professional Development that consists of contributions intentionally made in Kris Sinclair’s name to support professional development and technical assistance offered by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO). Sinclair was the executive director of the Association for 31 years and provided members with technical assistance, professional development opportunities, and consultation on myriad orchestra management topics. This is the final year for this award as the fund will be depleted after the 2021 award has been given, so don't miss your last chance to apply!

Winners

2020: Auburn Symphony
2019: San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra

2018: San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory
2017: Community Women's Orchestra


MVP Volunteer Awards

Initiated in 1996, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Volunteer Awards were created to recognize exemplary volunteers, volunteer projects, and volunteer organizations working for California’s symphony orchestras.

The MVP Volunteer Award is not a competition, but an opportunity for your extraordinary volunteer(s) to be recognized publicly. An administrative staff leader of an ACSO member organization may submit one completed nomination form, which constitutes the sole basis of the award being given. Nominations may be made for an individual volunteer, a volunteer committee, or a volunteer organization (such as a league or guild). ACSO will publicly announce the award winners in July 2021 and winners will be presented at ACSO's virtual Annual Meeting during the 2021 Annual Conference Online (Aug 2-13). The deadline to apply is Friday, May 14, 2021. Click here to complete the nomination form. You can preview the questions here.

Past Winners

2020:
Dr. Jay Fiene, Board Member, San Bernardino Symphony
Mary Ann Orr, Board & League Member, Santa Cruz Symphony

2019:
Grace Baldwin, Board Member, San Bernardino Symphony
Linda Burroughs, Board President, Santa Cruz Symphony
Business and Professionals Committee, Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates
Lee Rosen, Board President, Monterey Symphony
Anne-Marie Spataru, Board Member, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Sharon Stewart, Volunteer, Pacific Symphony
Autumn van den Berg, Board Chair, Tucson Symphony Orchestra

2018:
Elizabeth Dinsel, Mill Valley Philharmonic
Earleen Ferguson Dudley, San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra
Lee Duffus, Santa Cruz Symphony
Julie Han, Youth Orchestra of Fresno/FOOSA Festival
Carol McCormack, Sacramento Master Singers
Laurie Nelson, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera
Joon Shin, Berkeley Symphony
Fred Smith, California Symphony

2017:
Mary Jane Cooper, Santa Barbara Symphony
Pat and Sandy Gage, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Pat Hager, Mill Valley Philharmonic
David Hamilton, San Luis Obispo Symphony
Ronda Latham, Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra
Becky Novy, Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates
Joseph Svehla, Pacific Symphony
Judith Valles, San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra