News & Events

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ACSO Announces New Executive Director

June 1, 2016 - The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) today announced that MitchMenchaca 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

Youth Orchestra Auditions

 The Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra will hold auditions for their 56th concert season in July and August. Register at!

Register for ACSO's 48th Annual Conference in Oakland

Save the Date! August 4 - 6: Attend ACSO's 48th Annual Conference "Disruption: Creating Opportunities Through Change", hosted by the Oakland Symphony.
Navigate over to the Conference section on ACSO's website to find out more!


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.