Mission and History

The mission of the Yavapai Symphony Association is to provide high-quality classical music performances for and to develop, promote, and enhance classical musical appreciation in Yavapai County.

The Association will achieve the Mission by

  • Contracting annually with The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra for seven or more concerts.
  • Co-sponsoring with musical and theatrical organizations for additional high-quality musical entertainment for Yavapai County residents.
  • Creating exposure of classical musicians and artists to school music programs through the Association’s Youth Committee.
  • Developing revenue streams in support of music scholarships for the advancement of classical music appreciation and talent development for young musicians.
  • Assisting in the purchase of musical instruments and related needs of young musicians in their development and delivery of classical music.
  • Continuously reviewing ways to expand classical music appreciation and understanding among all segments of the Yavapai County communities.

A Historic Account of the Association

Entering our 51st season in September, 2017, the Yavapai Symphony Association was formed in 1966 by a group of community leaders committed to bringing classical music concerts to Prescott.

This followed the lead of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women who brought the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra to Prescott for a concert in 1964.

The Founding Officers & Board of 1966

    • Mrs. Mary Brooke (founding President)
    • Ted W. Liese (founding Vice President)
    • Mrs. Lester Ward Ruffner (founding Secretary)
    • Mrs. Harold J. Wolfinger (founding Treasurer)
    • Mrs. Frederic B. James
    • Raymond Henderson
    • Mrs. Harold James
    • Mrs. Charles Orme
    • Mrs. Thomas Zabriskie
    • Mrs. Harriet T. Whitehouse
    • Charles E. Weltzheimer
    • Mrs. James J. Coughlin


The initial purpose of the association was to sponsor, provide and promote musical concerts and programs, and cultural activities and events of every character intended to enrich both individual and community life and enjoyment, primarily for the citizens of Yavapai County.

The First Concert in 1964

The first concert in 1964 was held in the Hendrix Auditorium of Prescott High School (now, Prescott Mile High Middle School). The auditorium served as home for the concerts until 1992 when the Yavapai College Performance Hall was completed.

The Yavapai Performing Arts Center now hosts our seven classical music concerts a season, all by the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra.

Through the years, the association has underwritten several concerts in addition to its normal season featuring special artists. Several outdoor “Pops” concerts have been held at Embry Riddle University. The association has partnered with Yavapai College Community Events to bring opera productions to the community including, most recently, Carmen and Madame Butterfly.