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The ACSO Awards program recognizes remarkable individuals and organizations for their meaningful contributions to the orchestra field. 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 change and lead others through, to find opportunity in challenge, and to step up and serve others.

2020 Award Winners Press Release
2020 Award Announcement from ACSO

NEW IN 2020! Executive Leadership & Emerging Professional Awards

ACSO is pleased to launch two additions to our Awards Program that will be inaugurated at the 2020 Annual Conference. The Executive Leadership Award and the Emerging Professional Award 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. 

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

Kris Sinclair Leadership Award

The Kris Sinclair Leadership Award is 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 here.

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.


2020: Auburn Symphony
2019: San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra

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

MVP Awards

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

2020 Winners

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

Past Winners

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

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

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

For more information contact us at [email protected]