Auburn Community Orchestra

  1. Parks and Recreation
  2. Parks and Facilities
  3. Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center

Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center

222 E Drake Ave

  1. Email: [email protected]
  2. Phone: (334) 501-2930
  3. Hours:  M-F: 8AM-5PM

Sara Hand Custer

Cultural Arts Director

  1. Phone: (334) 501-2947
  2. Email: [email protected]

The Auburn Community Orchestra's (ACO) mission is to continue to build on tradition by showcasing excellent performances for the Auburn, Opelika and East Alabama area in order to immerse Alabama communities in orchestral concerts. The group is comprised of musicians in the community including public school and university students, professors, as well as both amateur and professional musicians.

This year, ACO welcomes back Music Director and Conductor Dr. Richard Prior for the 2021 - 2022 season. A native of Great Britain, Dr. Prior has been directing and conducting orchestras in Georgia for over 25 years. Dr. Prior’s musical training began in his native England, where he received degrees from Leeds and Nottingham Universities. For 25 years, he taught composition and related areas extensively and built notable symphony programs at several universities and colleges in the United States before moving exclusively to professional conducting engagements and composing. From works written as a child and presented in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II to his professional debut in 1988 at London’s Westminster Abbey, Dr. Prior’s music has been performed, recorded, and broadcast widely in Europe and North America. With his induction into ACO, Prior stated, "Preparation, planning, community engagement and reciprocal support will continue to be the hallmarks of success as we bring programs of quality that serve our patrons, fee the artistry of our musicians and enrich our collective musical experience."


The ACO partners with the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center to provide orchestral concerts in the community. The ACO is governed by a board made up of local musicians, artists and business persons in the community. Chris Rodger, ACO Board President, encourages membership to anyone, individual, student, senior, family, benefactor and corporate sponsors. If you would like to become a member, volunteer or sponsor the ACO, please contact him at [email protected]

Interested in playing with the ACO? Contact Dr. Bill Schaffer, ACO Board Vice-President, at [email protected]


Make sure to check out the ACO Facebook page. For more info, contact the JDCAC at (334) 501-2963.

Upcoming Orchestra Concerts

Please check back for upcoming Auburn Community Orchestra concerts.