Staff Bios

Matthew Herren, Executive Director

Matthew Herren was appointed Executive Director of SoNA in 2014, after serving as SoNA’s Orchestra Personnel Manager and Associate Principal Cello.  He has over twenty years of experience in the classical music industry as a performer and arts administrator. He previously served as Operations Manager of the Helicon Foundation, of New York, NY, which presents an annual subscription series of chamber music concerts. As a member of The New York Chamber Soloists and Trio Fedele, Matthew toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, with performances at major venues including Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, The National Gallery in Washington, and Philadelphia's Academy of Music. With Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, Matthew has played and recorded, often as principal cello, under many of today's most distinguished conductors, including James Conlon, James Levine, Roger Norrington, André Previn, Simon Rattle, Gerard Schwarz, and Michael Stern. In the world of popular music, Matthew has performed with Metallica, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Billy Joel, James Taylor, and Vanessa Williams, among others.  He has held teaching positions at Pittsburg State University and Cottey College, and was an officer of The Lawrence, Kansas Cultural Arts Commission. Matthew received Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School.  

Kristen Salinas, Education Director

Kristen serves as Education Director and Associate Principal Flutist with SoNA. She received her B.M. at Northwestern University and her M.A. from the Royal Academy of Music in London, England with an emphasis in Creative Music Education. Her experience in educational workshops involves work in the UK elementary school systems, alongside the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the City of London Sinfonia, and outreach for the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. She has received training with Animateurs from the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebeow, and Wigmore Hall. As a flutist, Kristen has played under the baton of distinguished conductors such as Yan Pascal Tortelier and Thierry Fischer. Solo engagements include the Noonday Concert Artist Series: Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, Young Artist: Nova Scotia Festival of Music, and the Limelight series with the LPO’s Foyle Future Firsts. She is Adjunct Professor of Flute at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR.

Jarrett Bastow, Personnel Manager

Jarrett Bastow serves as Personnel Manager and Principal Bass of SoNA.   In addition, Jarrett is section bassist and Assistant Librarian with the Tulsa Symphony and frequently performs with the Fort Smith, Arkansas, Signature, and Bartlesville Symphonies.  He is the Orchestra Assistant for the Bartlesville Public School District, maintains a private teaching studio in Bartlesville, and is on the faculty of the Bartelmes Conservatory in Tulsa. Jarrett works as an assistant to Jacob Mehlhouse at Tulsa Strings Violin Shop, where he is the low string specialist.  Originally from Albany, New York, Jarrett studied bass performance at Ithaca College where he received his Bachelor of Music.  He earned his Master of Music at Northwestern University.       

Ben Harris, Operations Director

Ben Harris is a professional musician, college music professor and booking agent. Originally from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Ben studied classical guitar at Western Kentucky University and jazz at the University of Arkansas (Little Rock) where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Music Composition from the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) in 2008. Ben has an active teaching career with experience at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the Benton County School of the Arts, the University of Arkansas and currently, Northwest Arkansas Community College. He is an active member of the Fayetteville Jazz Collective and owns his own booking agency, Porter Jones Entertainment.

Courtney Ogden, Accountant

Courtney Madden Ogden is in her twelfth year with Garrison Financial and currently serves as Vice President of the Family Office. She is a graduate of Paragould High School and a 2004 graduate of the University of Arkansas, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Courtney has served as Treasurer of several organizations including the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas and Rebuilding Together Board of Directors. She is a Chapter Advisor for Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Arkansas, and a member of the Fayetteville Future Fund.  Through her role at Garrison Financial, she has served as the Accountant for SoNA since 2008.


Paul Haas, Music Director  Read Bio

Terry Hicks, SoNA Singers Director  Read Bio