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ACSO is pleased to announce that the Awards Program for 2020 has re-opened and applications for all four awards are now due August 21, 2020 with public announcements of award winners to be made in late September.

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.

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. Nominations close on Friday, August 21, 2020.

Learn more about the Executive Leadership Award and find the application here.
Learn more about the Emerging Professional Award and find the application here.

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. Applications for the 2020 Sinclair Award close on Friday, August 21, 2020. Learn more about the award and find the application 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.


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. Nominations for the 2020 MVP Awards will close on Friday, August 21, 2020.

Submit MVP Nomination

2019 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

Past Winners

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]