Our Mission

To provide high-quality musical experiences to a broad spectrum of the Austin community and surrounding areas.

The Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) is a non-profit civic organization that has been around since 1977. The ACO is devoted to bringing high quality music to the community and providing a musical outlet for professional and non-professional musicians alike. The ACO performs six to eight concerts each season, all of which offer programming to suit a wide variety of musical tastes, from traditional classics to pops and most everything in between. Presented at assorted convenient locations in the Austin area, the relaxed atmosphere and affordable cost have proven appealing to this community.

Interested in the ACO? There are many different opportunities to get involved and support our mission. Find out more today!


Lois Ferrari

Lois Ferrari is Professor of Music at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and has been a member of the faculty since 1993. Maestra Ferrari also serves as host and clinician for the bi-annual SU Conductors’ Institute in instrumental conducting. As ACO Music Director, Dr. Ferrari was awarded 2nd place in 2016 and 2012 for the American Prize in Orchestral Conducting. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting, Maestra Ferrari received a full doctoral fellowship and was appointed Assistant Conductor of the renowned Eastman Wind Ensemble. Originally a Long Islander, Dr. Ferrari now resides in Georgetown with her husband, Dr. Paul Gaffney, and their two cats, Buddha and Gandhi.

Assistant Conductor

W.P. Sterneman III

Gus Sterneman is now in his 3rd year as Assistant Conductor with the ACO. He holds a Master’s degree from Butler University in Indianapolis with a double major in Instrumental Conducting and Music History and a Doctorate in Opera Conducting from Arizona State University, where his dissertation focused on Benjamin Britten as a conductor and musical interpretation. A former member of the ACO, performing on horn from 2002-2007, he also has a Bachelor of Music in Music Theory from Southwestern University. Gus spends his days with his wife Mary teaching their two children the finer points of musical theatre.


Violin I

Carolyn Richards-Chacon | Concertmaster
Kelly Abplanalp
Bob Brockett
Raymundo Garcia
Sherri Marcus
Luis Morataya
Lynn Petro
Clint Plumlee
Shormila Sarkar
Dawn Smith
Julie Smith
Philip Smith
Sol Swords

Violin II

Dario Landazuri | Principal
Kyle Bryson | Assistant
Colin Bryson
Deborah Byers
Ferris Duhon
Dianne Eichenseer
Andrew Goolsbee
Carrie Houston
Gloria Lee
Evan Nave
Darren Schmidt


Eugene Gott | Principal
Geoff Carlisle | Assistant
Shelly Bowers
Mark Leger
David Kaplan
Liz Li
Art Monzingo
Brett Osburn
Ronda von Sehrwald
Amanda Tofflemire
Jocelyn White
Paul Zagieboylo


Jarrod Tuikka | Principal
Tani Barr-Kermani | Assistant
Ben Bachmeier
Sarah Crawford
Judy DeWitt
Linda Epps
Abby Fisher
Sandy Hayes
Cecile Morgan
Caleb Sebolt
Isabel Tweraser
John Whitney

Double Bass

James Sproat | Principal
Pablo Kennedy
Brendan Koeppen
Kathy Petheram
Gia Rocco Gallela
Lillian Young


Lisa Lamb | Principal



Sharon Davis | Principal
Mattie Kotsur
Marcia Gillespie-Norder (Piccolo)


Madeline Warner | Principal
Trish Olives (English Horn)
Margie Yankeelov


Kathleen Bohn | Principal
Laura Gorman
Caleb Martin


Amy Crandell | Principal
Aurel Garza-Tucker (Contra)
Melissa Vauk


French Horn

Chris Simpson | Principal
Ben Carroll
Kathy Nolen
Toni Powell
Matt Taylor


Jose Yznaga | Principal
Joshua Hannan
Randy Howard


Cara Olson | Principal
Jesse Nolen
Robert Tung (Bass)


Mike Lynch | Principal

Percussion and Piano


Ian Fry | Principal
Tim Shuster
Don Thompson


David Kaplan | Principal


Alan Smith | Principal


The Austin Civic Orchestra performs and operates under the leadership of the Board of Directors, Officers of the Board, and Orchestra Staff.

Board of Directors

The function of the Board of Directors is to oversee budget management, publicity, venue selection, and fund-raising. The following is a list of the ACO board.

Amy Crandell
Carolyn Richards-Chacon
Aurel Garza-Tucker
Melissa Vauk
Adam Drake
Alex Fife
Adolfo Gallela
David Kaplan
Darin Kleb
Technology Director
Mike Lynch
Kathy Murdock
Education Director
Trish Olives
Art Director
Amanda Tofflemire
Concert Director
Madeline Warner
Marketing Director

Orchestra Staff

The following key staff members bring high-quality classical music to the stage.

Lois Ferrari
Music Director
W.P. Sterneman III
Assistant Conductor & Equipment Manager
Kim Berger
Business & PR Manager
Erin Thomas
Development Coordinator
Jose Yznaga