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ACSO Offices Relocated to Los Angeles

The Association of California Symphony Orchestra's offices relocated to Los Angeles the first two weeks of October. ACSO will maintain a presence in Sacramento as we are committee to being the statewide voice to advocate to policymakers the importance classical music and the arts have in our communities and people's everyday lives.

What members should know:

  • The new ACSO mailing address is: PO BOX 71439, Los Angeles, CA 90071 (the address on the current membership renewal forms).
  • Our phone number will remain the same (916-484-6744); however, the line may be down between Friday, October 7 and Tuesday, October 11.
  • Our main email address will remain the same ( and we will respond as quickly as possible to all messages.



ACSO Membership Elects Director Emerita and Executive Director Emerita

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to announce that Kelly Ruggirello, executive director of the Long Beach Symphony, has been elected an Emeritus Director of the ACSO Board of Directors. In its 43-year history, Ruggirello becomes only one of 9 other elected Emeritus Directors. Ruggirello has served with distinction on the Board for ten years, three of them as its president. Prior to her appointment to the Long Beach Symphony in 2013, she was the executive director of Pacific Chorale. A sought-after arts consultant and early in her career an elementary school teacher, Ruggirello has created a culture of inclusiveness and thoughtfulness in her professional career. The ACSO membership has been the fortunate recipients of her stewardship. Ruggirello states, “There is no greater honor than being recognized by your professional colleagues, so I am humbled by and deeply grateful for this recognition by such an esteemed state-wide organization.

Kris Sinclair, retired executive director of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) has been elected Executive Director Emeritus, the first such designation in ACSO’s history. Before being hired in 1985, Sinclair was president of the Santa Rosa Symphony League and then on its Board of Directors in the 80s. She moved ACSO World Headquarters to Sacramento in 1987. Sinclair understood what the membership needed from its service organization and built ACSO’s services and programs accordingly. “Working at ACSO has not been so much of a job as a calling – and one that gave me joy each day. I leave this position with the richest store of memories that one could ever imagine,” Sinclair said.

Both votes occurred at the Annual Meeting of Members during the Annual Conference on Thursday, August 4, 2016.

ACSO Announces New Executive Director

by ACSO Office on June 1, 2016

June 1, 2016 - The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) today announced that Mitch Menchaca has been named the new executive director, succeeding Kris Sinclair who is retiring at the end of September after thirty-one years at the helm.
Mr. Menchaca was selected as a result of a nationwide search which began in January. He has most recently served as vice president of services and chief operating officer for Chorus America, the national membership association of more than 2,000 professional, volunteer, symphonic and children/youth choruses. Prior to that, he was the head of local arts advancement at Americans for the Arts where he designed and executed programs that provided support and resources to the 5,000 local arts agencies across the United States. Before his time in Washington, D.C., he was the senior director of programs for the Arizona Commission for the Arts, where he administered an extensive portfolio of grants from all artistic disciplines, with budgets ranging from $1,000 to more than $10 million. Over the years he has served on numerous boards of directors including The Association of American Cultures, the Robert E. Gard Foundation, and has served on many statewide, regional, and national grant panels including the National Endowment for the Arts. He earned a degree in public administration at Arizona State University, and completed a festival and event management certificate at the University of Minnesota Tourism Center.
“I am honored to follow Kris Sinclair who has built a highly successful model of service for the field,” remarked Mitch Menchaca. “I am excited to work with the ACSO board of directors and membership both to honor her legacy and to build new opportunities for our members that match their growing needs for leadership, skills training and year-round networking, and continue to be the statewide voice to advocate the importance classical music and the arts have in our communities and people’s everyday lives.”
President of the ACSO Board of Directors and executive director of the Long Beach Symphony, Kelly Ruggirello said, “We knew it would be hard to find Kris’ successor, and we couldn’t be happier with Mitch. He will bring us new energy and a ready understanding of the optimal tools for our members. His experience with associations and his passion for classical music are pitch perfect for ACSO.”

Read the Full Press Release Here

League of American Orchestras to Honor ACSO Executive Director Kris Sinclair with the Gold Baton

New York, NY (May 4, 2016) – At the League of American Orchestras’ Conference in Baltimore, June 9-11, the League will present its highest honor, the Gold Baton, to Kris Sinclair, executive director of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO). Sinclair, who is retiring this year after thirty-one years at ACSO’s helm, will receive the award at the League’s Annual Meeting, June 10, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.

“Over three decades, Kris Sinclair has been a staunch advocate for orchestras, creating a model state orchestra association through her exemplary leadership,” said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen.

Given annually since 1948 for distinguished service to America’s orchestras, the Gold Baton recognizes individuals and institutions whose far-reaching contributions to the field serve to champion and advance the cause of orchestras and symphonic music throughout the country. 

Click here to read the League of American Orchestras' press release announcing the award.

AB 2855 Passes in Reconsideration

It was previously reported that the bill that would harm nonprofits had been stopped.
Unfortunately the bill has passed the Assembly Privacy & Consumer Protection Committee, and will next be heard in the Appropriations Committee.

AB 2855: Help ACSO Withdraw This Harmful Bill

Introduced by Assemblymember Jim Frazier, AB 2855 would require disclosure of administrative and overhead expenses and a copy of the most recent Internal Revenue Service Form 990 filing on a nonprofit's webpage. The bill goes on to propose that violating any of these requirements would be a crime subject to suspension or revocation of the nonprofit's tax-exempt status. It would authorize the Attorney General to take any other enforcement action within its existing powers and duties.

Join ACSO and CalNonprofts in our push to have this harmful bill withdrawn.

Here's how you get help:
1. Call Assemblymember Frazier's office at 916-319-2011 with this message: Withdraw this bill.
2. Send a letter to Assemblymember Frazier's office at the California State Capitol. CalNonprofits is allowing use of their letter as a base.
3. Pass this information on to your nonprofit colleagues and ask them to oppose AB 2855.

Together we can stop this bill.

ACSO Executive Director Sinclair to Retire in September 2016

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) announced on October 1, 2015 that Kris (Saslow) Sinclair will retire from her position as Executive Director after a 31- year tenure leading the organization. The ACSO Board of Directors will begin the search for a new Executive Director in January 2016.

"On behalf of ACSO and its members, partners, and advocates, I would like to thank Kris Sinclair for her incredibly meaningful contributions to making ACSO the network, the voice and the forum for classical music in the West," said Debbie Chinn, President of the ACSO Board. "Her work has always been about bringing people together and creating a vibrant community, and she has advocated tirelessly for music's ability to do the same. The entire Board of ACSO joins me in a heartfelt standing ovation for her three decades of work advocating for music and those that make it, connect us to one another, and inspire us through a shared vision. We wish her much happiness and much great music in her retirement."

"I am deeply honored and privileged to have served in a field for which I have so much passion," said Sinclair. "For me, ACSO has always been about people; the incredible members of ACSO and the passion they have to build, innovate and strengthen their own connections. I have had the great pleasure of being able to nurture a spirit of family and community in everything we do, from our conferences, training, mentoring, and advocacy. I believe we have elevated the awareness of the value and presence of classical music in the state greatly in this time, and we have been blessed with wonderful partners who clearly see the value and necessity for ACSO members' work and service."


ACSO "Ask an Expert" Webinars

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. PST/PDT

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 Canceled

Introducing a new California Legislation Tracker!