April 2021
From Your ASOG President, Susan Marsh
Susan Marsh
Dear Guild members and friends,
A year ago, Arkansas closed with restrictions placed on gathering together at churches, schools, concert halls, restaurants and in private homes. We were concerned about losing our community. If you were like me, perhaps, you wondered how the Guild could accommodate and survive in such an environment. What type of fundraiser would be possible? What would happen to the Children’s Concert? Would talented young musicians be able to participate in the Stella Boyle Smith Competition? We had many questions, and few answers.
Now we have the answers! The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild is a dynamic organization filled with creative and committed members who are not afraid of hard work and looking at new ways to accomplish our mission. I hope that each of you has been able to experience the thrill of seeing an idea come to fruition. We’ve explored new ways of accomplishing our goals and the results are amazing. 
Symphony of Flavors has been an outstanding success. It seems that every place I go I meet someone who tells me how much fun it was to watch. Even if you do not cook, it is fun to see people we know doing something they love. Some of us spend time watching people we don’t know on reality TV. Imagine how entertaining it is to see chefs from our own community while supporting a cause dear to our hearts. Truly a win/win experience.  
I can’t wait to learn the outcome of the Stella Boyle Smith Competition which has been adapted to this COVID era. It is affirming to support young talent and see them flourish. The Children’s Concert set a record for attendance this year. Although students did not travel to Robinson Center as in previous years, a phenomenal number of students were exposed to symphonic music through technology.
There were many challenges but Guild members triumphed. This is an exciting time to be a part of the ASOG. Renew your membership and encourage like-minded friends to join also. As we think about membership, plan to join the webinar (link provided in Camille’s article) provided by the League of American Orchestras to gain insight into membership strategies that complement current life styles.
Plans are underway to celebrate the year at a Spring Gathering in May. You will receive an invitation and information soon. Until then, remember that Confucius said “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”


Guild Spring Fundraiser Launches

The Guild kicked off its virtual fundraiser Symphony of Flavors on Thursday, April 8, at 7:00 P.M., with Variations on a Mexican Theme prepared by Trio’s executive chef and owner Capi Peck. The video, filmed by LOP videographer Taylor Jacks, featured Capi Peck and Brent Peterson in the kitchen of their home, as Capi demonstrated her cooking methods for “Legumbres en Pipian,” a hearty Mexican stew. In addition to enjoying good conversation and tasty stew, guests Susan and Jim Marsh, Gail and David Davis, and Larry West sipped on “Agave Fresca,” made with Mexican mezcal which is distilled from the Agave cactus. Capi quoted a favorite saying from Oaxaca: “Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, tambien,” or “For everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.” Ninety-five subscribers received some of the ingredients for the stew, such as spices, peppers, cilantro, and hominy, and a bottle of wine, paired with the entrée by Henrik Thostrup and Clark Trim of Colonial Wines & Spirits
On April 15, subscribers will watch chef Ricardo Rincón of Kemuri Restaurant prepare an appetizer, Ponzu Ribs, the entrée, Miso Glazed Cod, and for dessert, Cappuccino Jar. Among other things, you’ll receive a small container of Sake and two Sake cups in your gift bag. Chef and owner Eric Isaac of Ristorante Capeo demonstrates the technique of making pasta and Chicken Piccata on April 22. Listen as the Rockefeller Quartet performs and tour the Capeo wine cellar and sip on a glass of wine provided in your gift bag by Sherwood Beverage and 107 Liquor. 
On April 29, dinner is served at Clark Trim and Henrik Thostrup’s home.  Henrik will create dishes for A Springtime Sonata, including Roast Rack of Lamb Provence. Clark offers tips for selecting and serving wine and setting a beautiful table. While in Henrik and Clark’s home, you’ll be treated to music by Concertmaster Kiril Laskarov, violinist and John Krebs, pianist.
It is not too late to subscribe to for the up-coming videos and to receive a gift bag each Wednesday, containing wine and other surprises   Tickets are $75.00 per person for each video event. If you purchase a ticket and cannot watch on the Thursday night of the airing, you may access the video for two weeks after it first airs. Click on one of the following sites to purchase tickets: or If you have questions, call Tandy Cobb, Fundraiser Chair at 501-258-6149 or email
Many thanks to all of our sponsors for making Symphony of Flavors possible. They include 107 Liquor, Sherwood Beverage, Metro Appliances & More, Edwards Food Giant, Ben E. Keith, and McLarty Diversified Holdings/Franklin McLarty. Finally, we owe a debt of gratitude to Clark Trim and Henrik Thostrup of Colonial Wines & Spirits for their many contributions.
Tandy Cobb, Chair
Chef Eric Isaac of Ristorante Capeo makes his own pasta and gelato
Tandy Cobb, Symphony of Flavors Chair
Chef Isaac shows Mary Wildgen his technique for making Chicken Piccata in the Ristorante Capeo kitchen.
Patrick Osam and Charles Clogston watch closely as Chef Henrik Thostrup seasons a rack of lamb for roasting
Clark Trim, being filmed by Taylor Jacks, demonstrates the correct method for opening a bottle of sparkling wine. Tune in on April 29 at 7:00 p.m. to learn the secret
Before dining, sponsors Charles Clogston, Patrick Osam, Pat James, Jenn Cook, Teresa Osama and Elizabeth Clogston toast hosts Clark Trim and Henrik Thostrup
May 20
Outdoor Spring Luncheon
Wildwood Park for the Arts
Watch for More Details and Reservation Information
Coming Soon!

Children's concert
This year’s Children’s Concert was presented virtually on March 31. The ASO led the concert with Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’ accompanied by soloist Samuel Garcia on violin. Samuel took first place in the Stella Boyle Smith Young Artists Competition in 2018 when he was just 12 years old. At 15, he’s taller, an even more accomplished musician and a true inspiration to our young audience.
The program was rounded out by Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, a delightful introduction to the orchestra and the instruments that make it up. The graphics and narration made the program both entertaining and educational.
Our goal each year has been to fill Robinson with children so they can experience live symphonic music in a true concert hall. With this option not possible this year, the ASO recorded the concert and made it available to children all over Arkansas at no cost. Robinson holds around 2,500; so far the recorded Children’s Concert has reached almost 15,000 children, an astonishing success!
Last year the Little Rock Duplicate Bridge House made a charitable donation to the ASO Guild of $500 to enable 100 children to attend the Children’s Concert. Above, Barbara Burroughs gratefully accepts the check on behalf of the ASO and will apply it toward production expenses.
Membership Webinar Information from Camille Williams
On April 27 at 2pm, be sure to tune into the FREE, exciting, idea-filled ‘Re-Energizing Membership’ Webinar produced by the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras. Not only is it jam-packed with information relevant to every Guild member, it references the ASO Guild’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and the ASO’s Young Professional Sharp group as best practices.


The Stella Boyle Smith Young Artists Competition is just around the corner! As of now we have 15 entrants covering all four of the instrument divisions. We are pleased with this and are feeling very positive about the competition this year! As I’m sure you know, this is an adventure having a virtual competition. The entrants will be sending their preliminary performance via YouTube or Vimeo, which we will pass on to the judges to make the cuts for the “finals”. On May 8, the judges will view the finalist’s performances together, live via Zoom to choose the winners. Our distinguished judges are Geoffrey Robson, Carl Anthony, Kelly Johnson, Michael Underwood and Linnaea Brophy, all connected to ASO this year.
We SO wish that all of you could experience these talented young musicians live this this year, but please keep this great event on your minds for next year. If any of you would like to donate toward prize awards this year, you can get in touch with us.
Bob and Jeanne Fitzgerald, Co-Chairs

Stella Boyle Smith Young Artists Competition chairs Jeanne (pictured below) and Bob Fitzgerald have been homeschooling their first grader triplet grandchildren during the pandemic.)
By Barbara Burroughs, ASO Director of Education and Community Engagement
What a year it has been in Education at the ASO! Who would have thought we would still be teaching hundreds of students, maintaining our sanity and actually thriving in the midst of this pandemic! Our Sturgis Music Academy staff, the Youth Orchestra conductors, Rockefeller and Quapaw Quartets and all of the marvelous musicians who contributed to education content this year deserve our heartiest bravos!  Sturgis teachers have taught 75 students privately and in group lessons and have reached an additional 8 schools remotely! Youth Orchestras rehearsals and masterclasses, practice workshops and guest coaches have added new and exciting content for almost 140 students. The Drew and Friends Studio classes were a hit. The quartets and our harpist have spent countless hours streaming demos to schools and our Backstage Pass Program has made available harp, fiddle, saxophone and other instruments to all who wish to view. Peter and the Wolf was streamed to over 15,000 children throughout the state, many of whom had never before seen or heard an orchestra. While a lot of new, creative ideas were experienced, we are ready to move on and begin connecting with our kids live, and in person!
2021-2022 Membership Renewal
Although your ASOG Guild membership does not expire until the end of May, we are, once again, sending a reminder to renew your membership, either online or by mail, by June 1, 2021. We know this past year has been a bit of a disappointment for all of us, but we certainly appreciate the way our board has used imaginative ways to keep us connected. We fully expect the coming year to be much more interactive. We certainly are looking forward to reconnecting in person once again! 
To access the online membership form click here:
for a printable membership form to be mailed here

Mary Jo Lewno, Chair