Join the SYMPHONY GUILD today!


The Tuscaloosa Symphony Guild began on January 24, 1984, in the living room of Elizabeth and George Hamner. Those present at the organizational meeting were Dr. Terry Gates, TSO conductor, Echo Aycock, “Sis” Baernstein, Jean Hinton, Jerry Hughey, Doris Leapard, Frances Huffman MacMurdo, Torrey Smitherman, Marly Thomas and Stella Wellborn, along with Elizabeth and George Hamner. The following officers were elected: Frances Huffman MacMurdo, President, Elizabeth Hamner, Vice President, and Echo Aycock, Secretary-Treasurer.

Dues were set at $20, and projects were discussed, beginning with a series of “pyramid luncheons.” By April of that year, there were 119 members. In a congratulations letter to Elizabeth Hamner, Dr. Gates wrote, “I was thrilled to be a part of this historic event. If the TSO exists ten years from now, we will be able to trace its success directly to what you and George are doing this year.”

Now, more than 30 years later, the Guild is a strong and integral part of the Symphony.

Today the Guild includes more than 130 members. The group hosts the Instrument Petting Zoo as well as Cheers & Chat, an hour of wine and hors d'oeuvres held before concerts in the Recital Hall of Moody Music Building. Cheers & Chat costs $10 and is open to the public. Catering for Cheers and Chat is arranged by Hotel Capstone, and Spirits generously provides the wine. The Guild also receives support from Angela Hamiter from Jamison, Money and Farmer, who provides assistance each year in filing the Guild’s tax return.

The Guild has awarded $11,200 over the past six years through the Hamner Scholarship. Past recipients of the Hamner Scholarship include John McGuire, Daniel Sweaney, Jenny Gregiore, the Cavell Trio, Diane Boyd Schultz and Jonathan Whitaker. In addition, the Guild has given the Symphony over $18,000 in support in the past six years.

Many dedicated people over the years have given their time and talents to support the TSO through the Tuscaloosa Symphony Guild – we salute and thank them all!



Elizabeth Aversa, President

Regina Noland, Director of School Outreach

Martie Sample, Secretary

Betsy Graham, Treasurer