top of page

Curious about the longest continuously running orchestra in Kansas?


Founded in 1914, the Hays Symphony Orchestra is the longest continuously running orchestra in the state of Kansas. As a joint community-university ensemble affiliated with Fort Hays State University, its approximate 60 musicians include FHSU students and faculty, Hays area volunteers, and guest musicians from throughout Kansas.

The Hays Symphony is supported in part by donations to the Hays Symphony Orchestra Guild.


The mission of the Hays Symphony Guild is to support the Fort Hays State University Hays Symphony Orchestra with financial and volunteer resources that strengthen the ensemble’s ability to provide high-quality symphonic performances in Hays and the surrounding communities.  The Guild’s volunteers reflect the Symphony’s membership: FHSU faculty, students and staff, community musicians and teachers, music lovers and supporters.


The Guild, an independent non-profit organization (501(c)3), has been in operation since 1984.

New Musicians Welcome

New musicians are welcome to join the Hays Symphony. Whether it’s for a single concert or the entire season, skilled musicians of all ages who want to keep music a vital part of their lives are always encouraged to join us. The Hays Symphony rehearses every Tuesday evening with a couple additional rehearsals during concert week.


Community Members

Contact our conductor, Dr. Brian Buckstead, regarding your interest and background by filling out the form below. The need for specific instruments fluctuates from year to year, depending on FHSU student participation and instrumentation of specific pieces, but string players are always needed. 


FHSU Students

Participation in the symphony is based on recommendations from FHSU music faculty and possible course enrollment. Contact our conductor, Dr. Brain Buckstead, for details by filling out the form below.

The Hays Symphony Guild welcomes volunteer help with various publicity and fundraising activities. Whether you’re a crack videographer who could create Facebook posts for us, a teacher who could help promote concerts to students, a music lover who wants to serves as an ambassador for the group, or simply someone with ideas for us to consider, we welcome your involvement. Contact Brian Buckstead ( or fill out the form below to learn how you can get involved.

Sandy Jacobs, President

Dick Werth, Past-President

Sandy Gottschalk, Vice President

Benjamin Cline, Secretary

Cathy Drabkin, Publicity

Andrew Taylor, Treasurer

Sara Doyle

Sara Bloom

Melissa Dixon

We'd love for you to join us

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page