The Elton B. Stephens Chair
Mr. Elton B. Stephens
Founder and Chairman in Memoriam Aeternam
Elton B. Stephens could be called the grandfather of the re-born Alabama Symphony Orchestra. In 1995 he was approached by Lant Davis, Joan Parker and Rae Trimmier and asked to help re-establish the bankrupt ASO. A man who loved a challenge, he accepted eagerly — his desire to help bring the orchestra back partly driven by his wife Alys Stephens' love of classical music. In January 1995, he initiated a $15 million campaign to restore the ASO to the stages and schools of the Greater Birmingham Area. Two years later, on September 11, 1997, the orchestra performed its first concert at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. By endowing the Music Director Chair with a major gift, Mr. Stephens led the way for other generous donors in the community to step forward. Today, the ASO benefits from an endowment fund of more than $12 million — a living memorial to its beloved Chairman, Elton B. Stephens. The ASO is deeply appreciative that he stepped forward and helped the orchestra regain its place in the heart of a grateful community.
The Beverly Head and Hugh Kaul Chair
Mr. Beverly Head & Mr. Hugh Kaul
The ASO proudly honors the accomplishments and leadership of Beverly P. Head, III and Hugh Kaul with the naming of the concertmaster chair in their honor. A Birmingham community and business leader, Mr. Head demonstrated his love of learning and a sense of intellectual curiosity through his many avenues of service. He was a member of the Hugh Kaul Foundation Distribution Committee, a President of the Rotary Club, a member of the Children's Hospital Board of Directors and a member of the Executive Committee of the ASO. A graduate from Yale College and Yale Law School, Mr. Head held numerous corporate and civic leadership posts during his life.
Hugh Kaul served four terms in the Alabama Legislature. He organized the Alabama Forestry Association with the goal of promoting conservation throughout the forest products industry in Alabama. As a philanthropist, he thought and acted on a large scale – supporting almost every charity in Birmingham. In 1989 he created the Hugh Kaul Foundation with a gift of timber rights. Since inception the Foundation has awarded more than $40 million to more than 250 local organizations.
The Mrs. R. Hugh Daniel Chair
Martha Stone Cobb Daniel
Martha Stone Cobb Daniel, affectionately known as "Stone," settled in Birmingham when her husband R. Hugh Daniel founded the Alabama division of Daniel Construction Inc. Mrs. Daniel and her family were active supporters of the cultural activities of the city, especially the old Birmingham Symphony and the Birmingham Museum of Art. In 1991, was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters by Birmingham-Southern College. She also served as Chairman of the Board of the Daniel Foundation of Alabama. Mrs. Daniel's enjoyment of and interest in the orchestra remained constant through the years. When the Alabama Symphony was reorganized in 1995, she endowed a chair for the position of the harpist in the orchestra. Her longtime love of the piano also led her to donate the Steinway concert grand piano that is used in Jemison Concert Hall.
The Symphony Volunteer Council Chairs
The Symphony Volunteer Council of the Alabama Symphonic Association, Inc. is the largest volunteer organization supporting the orchestra. During the rebirth of the ASO in 1995, the Symphony Volunteer Council committed to raise $2 million for the ASO's endowment fund. In recognition of achieving the first $1 million, the Principal Clarinet Chair was endowed by the Council. After a very successful 2010 Decorators' ShowHouse, the Council completed the second $1 million of its pledge and endowed the Principal Horn Chair. The Symphony Volunteer Council Chairs are Kathleen Costello and David Pandolfi.