Support SASO

 Southern Arizona – Help support YOUR orchestra

The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra was founded by musicians with the enjoyment of music as its foremost mission. Since 1979, this orchestra has grown to be an essential Tucson tradition — an organization that unites performers and audiences through a mutual love of music.

We are an important community resource, bringing together student, amateur and professional musicians with exceptional soloists, composers and conductors. Together we delight in exploring the full spectrum of classical music — from traditional favorites and seldom-heard gems to contemporary innovations.

This vibrant all-volunteer organization has continued to thrive thanks to significant support from guest artists, audiences, other arts groups, advertisers and — our most significant source of income — donors who share our vision. Thank you for supporting YOUR orchestra, Southern Arizona!

Artistic Fund

This annual fund is essential to support SASO’s on-going expenses, including honoraria for soloists, music purchase, hall rental, printing, insurance and much more. The Artistic Fund also supports special projects – making it possible for the orchestra to commission new works, purchase instruments and equipment, go on tour and meet other challenges.


Endowment Fund

This fund has the principal protected and the interest income is used according to the determination of the SASO Board of Directors. This can be a wonderful way to include the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra in your estate planning and to provide for the future of this fine community orchestra.


**Please include information for donation recognition, including those made “In Honor” or “In Memory” of a loved one**
On the final online form, you will see a box that reads In honor/memory of (enter info here). Please type directly into the box exactly how you would like your donation listed. For example:

  • John and Jane Doe
  • John and Jane Doe, in memory of Mary Smith
  • John and Jane Doe, in honor of Mary Smith
  • Anonymous

Any printed or verbal recognition of your donation will appear/be read exactly as requested on form. We are grateful for your support and want to recognize you correctly!

Other Opportunities to Support SASO

Earn SASO Donations While You Shop

When you shop through’s Smile portal or buy groceries and other goods with your Fry’s V.I.P. card, those companies will donate a small percentage of your purchase prices to the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra—at no extra cost to you!

Amazon makes its donations through the Amazon Smile Foundation. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, you need to enter the site through its special portal, designate the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Association as your charity of choice, and always shop through that portal for your purchases to be counted. Sign up for the Amazon Smile program today!

The Fry’s Community Rewards Program will also donate to SASO based on your purchases using your Fry’s V.I.P. account. No extra charges are added to your bill. You’ll need to enroll in the Fry’s V.I.P. program if you haven’t already. Just go to this page to sign in or register for an account, then click the Enroll Now button and choose the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Association (or find us using number 91132) as the beneficiary of your food foraging.

Fry’s requires everyone to re-enroll annually. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on ‘Sign-In’.
  3. Enter your email and password, and click on Sign In.
  4. Click on your name (top right hand corner), then under Account Summary scroll down to Community Rewards.
  5. Click on Edit under Community Rewards.
  6. Under Find Your Organization, enter SASO’s NPO number (91132) and select Search. (You could also find us by typing “Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra.”)
  7. Under Select Your Organization, click on the circle next to SASO.
  8. Click on Enroll. If you have re-enrolled correctly, you should see a green box with “Your enrollment in the Community Rewards Program has been updated. Thank you for participating!” You will also see the information listed under Community Rewards on your Account Summary page.

Volunteer Your Time

Want to help behind the scenes? You can learn more about what goes into every performance – and help this all-volunteer orchestra grow. Please contact us if you wish to help with fundraising, events, outreach or have other skills you’d like to share!

For more information, email

The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Association is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. Your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law. Please consult your tax advisor if you have any questions or concerns.

Order Our Latest CD!


Listen up. SASO’s new CD features the premiere of two viola concertos written for and performed by the acclaimed Brett Deubner. Composers Amanda Harberg and Max Wolpert are known for their appealing styles full of engaging melodies and vital rhythms. Linus Lerner, SASO’s artistic director, prepared the orchestra and conducted the recording sessions. This groundbreaking CD was just released by Naxos, the world’s leading classical music label based on the number of new releases and the extent of its catalog. Order online now. The price is $10.00 plus $3.50 for shipping and handling.


SASO “Celebration!” CD


Celebration! is SASO’s first CD, presenting attractive music by Tucson composers Pete Fine, Bruce Stoller, Jay Vosk, Richard White, Brian Goodall and A. F. Schultz. Linus Lerner conducts the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra in pieces that are alternately exciting, soothing, engaging and moving. This is the only disc where you’ll find such intriguing music as Bruce Stoller’ s Open Spaces for yucca shakuhachi flute (played by the composer) and Richard White’s tenderFor Patte– A Simple Song, written in memory of a beloved longtime SASO musician. The price is $10.00 plus $3.50 for shipping and handling.


Buy now

SASO’s Story

The most colorful performance was a Halloween concert in Nogales—a ghoulish event where the conductor was a clown and all the musicians were in costume.
In December 1995 SASO was the first to present a concert at SaddleBrooke. This was the brainstorm of concertmaster Sam Kreiling. The concert sold out, as did a four-concert series the following year. SASO has performed there ever since.
Turkish maestro Orhan Salliel, after guest-conducting SASO in the fall of 2012, wrote to us, "The time in Tucson I shared with you in SASO for me was so special. I felt the real love of music from the bottom of everyone's hearts. It was something I do not feel often—never, ever in the professional world anymore. Please keep it, save it, try to build everything from this power of love for music."
One spring SASO proved it has animal attraction. When it played at the Reid Park Zoo, some of the critters sang along with the music
SaddleBrooke is home to many of our loyal donors and the place where we’ve held our gala celebrations—first a black-tie dinner with music from "Phantom of the Opera" and later our annual StarStruck Gala evenings from 2008 through 2013.
The first concert was Oct. 28, 1979, conducted by former University of Arizona music professor Henry Johnson, featuring Jonathan Kramer in a Boccherini cello concerto.
Alan Schultz became music director in Year 2 and continued leading SASO for 15 seasons. He frequently conducted from the keyboard—organ or harpsichord. He also composed several works premiered by SASO.
The largest event SASO has produced was Berlioz Te Deum, presented at the Tucson Community Center Music Hall with the Tucson Civic Orchestra, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and Pima College Singers.
Composer, pianist and conductor Warren Cohen served as music director for eight seasons, routinely commuting from his home in Phoenix, but one year all the way from Hawaii. His wife, coloratura Carolyn Whitacre, was a favorite soloist.
The visionary founders of SASO were Barbara and Bill Chinworth, Scott Bracher and Janet Lombard. Barbara has played with SASO through its entire history, originally in the horn section, now on bass.
Brazilian-born Linus Lerner, in his first year as music director, challenged the orchestra to learn his native Latin rhythms by playing Villa-Lobos. This proved surprisingly hard to do. We finally got it, but not until the week of the concert.
Early audiences had to be loyal followers of this itinerant orchestra, which performed all over the city, frequently in churches. In the 1980s SASO rented the Temple of Music and Art for a concert. The City of Tucson condemned the building the morning of the dress rehearsal and the concert was canceled.
Adam Boyles was the music director for three seasons, bringing bountiful youthful energy and a passion to serve the music. Then the Tucson native moved East to brave the snow and conduct the orchestra at MIT in Boston.
Our most famous alumnus is Rico Saccani, associate conductor of SASO our inaugural year and piano soloist for the second concert. He later conducted opera companies and orchestras around the world and was music director of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra from 1985 to 2005.