Toru Tagawa, Photo by Mindi Acosta

Our History

The University Foundation of Sierra Vista sponsored the debut performance of the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, August 26, 1995. The Buena Performing Arts Center was filled to capacity for this first performance! We owe a great debt of gratitude to our founders: Richard and Katheryn Zoller, Dan and Suzanne Howdeshell and Maestro Roger Bayes.

There were thirty-six orchestra members for that first concert. Roger Bayes conducted, and Beverly Wright served as concertmaster. The program included Rossini’s Overture to L’Italiana in Algeri, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Opus 21. 

The second season welcomed Debbie Dinkel as concertmaster. Programs included John Williams’ Olympic Fanfare and Theme, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Main Theme and excerpts from An American Symphony by Michael Kamen, music fromApollo 13 by James Horner, selections from Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schoenberg, selections from Cats and The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Entertainer by Scott Joplin,  An der Schönen Blauen Donau by Johann Strauss, Jr., and the traditionally popular finale, John Phillip Sousa’s Washington Post March.

The Orchestra Today

Phot Courtesy of Pauline Fredericks Photography

Phot Courtesy of Pauline Fredericks Photography

Currently, the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra consists of nearly 60 professional musicians. The upcoming 23rd Season will feature the reformation with Artistic Director and Conductor, Toru Tagawa.

In 2015-2016, a Conductor Search Committee comprised of Board members and community representatives chose Toru Tagawa from the three candidate finalists  be our Artistic Director and Conductor.  Our three 21st season concerts were each conducted by one of these candidates, allowing audiences and musicians to express their comments and preferences in a survey that was distributed at each concert.  In June 2016, the new Artistic  Director/Conductor,  was announced at the Annual Membership Meeting of the Sierra Vista Symphony Association.

Our Staff

  • Barbara Arsenault, Administrative Office Manager
  • Jeneanne Rabon, Personnel Manager
  • Marilyn McNamara, Librarian
  • Pam Collins, Bookkeeper

Our Board of Directors2016-2017 board

The Sierra Vista Symphony Association is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the ongoing mission of the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra. Comprising over 100 members, the Association raises over $100,000 each year in order to operate the orchestra. We have a dedicated Board of Directors who meet monthly to oversee the day-to-day operations and develop long-range plans and strategic goals.


Debra L Koltveit, President
Mary Mueller, Vice President
William Howard, Treasurer
Barbara Cayer, Secretary
Committee Chairs:
Steve Conroy, Advertising
Kevin Enright, House
Pamela Enright, Orchestra Rep
Bill Hess, Publicity
Kathy Marvin, Fundraising
Cristina Reinert, Nominating
Bobbie Moore, Education
 Mary Mueller, Grants
Zanetta Boughan
Cal Downey
Bill Hess
Larry Hampton
Renae Humburg
Richard Laszok
Barry Smith
Wafaa Smith
 Sierra Vista Symphony Association By-Laws
Annual Report FY 2015/2016