History of the Oklahoma City Orchestra League

Created in 1948, the League was founded under the leadership of Mary Ruth Ferguson, Mrs. Hugh Johnson, and Lou Dudley as a fundraising and support arm of the Oklahoma City Symphony. Mary Ruth Ferguson served as the first President with a membership of fifty who called themselves the Women’s Committee.

In 1987, the Women's Committee was separately incorporated as the Oklahoma City Orchestra League (OCOL), Inc., and was no longer an arm of the parent orchestra. Like orchestras across the nation, labor disputes rendered symphonic music silent from June 1987 until January 1990. During this time, the Oklahoma City Orchestra League continued to function and eagerly embraced the new Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Joel Levine at its inaugural performance January 6, 1990.

The League enjoys a long-standing partnership with the OKC Philharmonic and proudly provides financial support with funds raised annually. Orchestra League volunteers work year round to carry out 8 award-winning educational programs and instrumental competitions that touch the lives of thousands of children and adults in the Oklahoma City area and beyond.  The Orchestra League plays an inspiring role in our city’s renaissance and sets the standard for orchestra leagues across the nation.

The Oklahoma City Orchestra League is the proud recipient of national, state and local awards:

• 2016 Harry A. Perry II Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management- Oklahoma Executive Service Corps of Central Oklahoma (ESCCO)
• 2015 Gold Book Award- League of American Orchestra’s Volunteer Council
• 2014 Gold Book Award- League of American Orchestra’s Volunteer Council
• 2013 Gold Baton Award- League of American Orchestra’s Volunteer Council
• 2006 Silver Award for Audience Development- League of American Orchestra’s Volunteer Council

Past Presidents

Mary Ruth Ferguson (Mrs. Gordon)
 Lou Dudley (Mrs. Paul)
 Katherine Kirk
 Aileen Frank (Mrs. Eirch)
 Maureen Anderson (Mrs. Charles)
 Gertrude Kennedy (Mrs. Donald)
 Lois Stuart (Mrs. Charles)
 Janelle Everest (Mrs. Jean)
 Jane Ward Porter (Mrs. Felix)
 Jean Gumerson (Mrs. Dow)
 Chris Anthony Browne (Mrs. John)
 Lael Treat (Mrs. Charles)
 Ann Dowling (Mrs. Matthew)
 Josephine Freede (Mrs. Henry)
 Jane Harlow (Mrs. James, Jr.)
 Jane Rodgers (Mrs. Leo, Jr.)
 Joyce Biship (Mrs. M. Lee)
 Ann Taylor (Mrs. John)
 Virginia Cerny (Mrs. Sam)
 Lil Ross (Mrs. William)
 Berta Faye Rex (Mrs. John)
 Sandra Meyers (Mrs. Stewart, Jr.)
 Mona Preuss (Mrs. Donald)
 Iva Fleck (Mrs. Lindsay)
 Priscilla Braun (Mrs. Jordan)
 Susan Robinson (Mrs. Malcolm)
 Minna Hall (Mrs. William)
 JoAnn Arneson (Mrs. Leslie)
 Ava Wheaton (Mrs. Theodore)
 Yvette Fleckinger (Mrs. Joseph)
 June Parry (Mrs. William)
 Nancy Apgar (Mrs. Horace)
 Marge Duncan (Mrs. Robert C.)
 Jean Hartsuck (Mrs. James)
 Grace Ryan (Mrs. Patrick)
 Judy Austin (Mrs. Sanford)
 LaDonna Meinders (Mrs. Herman)
 Dixie Jensen (Mrs. Donald)
 Lois Salmeron (Mrs. John)
 Glenna Tanenbaum (Mrs. Richard)
 Debbie McKinney (Mrs. Kenneth)
 Anna McMillin (Mrs. John)
 Sue Francis (Mrs. John)
 Peggy Lunde (Mrs. Marvin)
 Cathy Wallace (Mrs. Lonnie)
 Sharon Shelton (Mrs. John)
 Rhonda White (Mrs. Jesse)
 Cindy Raby
 Debbie Minter
 Deanna Pendleton

1948-1952
1952-1955
1955-1957
1957-1959
1959-1961
1961-1962
1962-1964
1964-1965
1965-1967
1967-1969
1969-1971
1971-1972
1972-1973
1973-1974
1974-1975
1975-1976
1976-1977
1977-1979
1979-1980
1980-1981
1981-1983
1983-1984
1984-1986
1986-1988
1988-1990
1990-1991
1991-1992
1992-1993
1993-1994
1994-1995
1995-1996
1996-1997
1997-1998
1998-1999
1999-2000
2000-2001
2001-2002
2002-2003
2003-2004
2004-2005
2005-2006
2006-2007
2007-2008
2008-2009
2009-2010
2010-2011
2011-2012
2012-2013
2013-2114
2014-2015