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A Love Story Rooted In Beautiful Music

How Joe and Doris Polak Fell in Love

It all started with beautiful music during a symphony rehearsal in their college years. He was the new bassoonist on the scene and she was the clarinetist whose heart was a flutter over the new bassoonist. She had caught a glimpse of him earlier in the week in the practice room, and she was smitten.

During the rehearsal, when the conductor stopped for a bit to work with the strings, Doris quietly said to the new bassoonist that she was hungry and had missed dinner. No response. At the next brief pause in the music, she tried again. No response. Doris decided he must not be interested and anything but his double reed, so she gave 100% back to rehearsal and put the new bassoonist out of her mind.

To her surprise, at the next break, he looked over at her and asked, “Would you like to get a bite to eat or coffee after rehearsal?” That was their first date and six weeks later they were engaged! They moved to the Philadelphia area after graduation and were students of the principal clarinetist and bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. When Joe passed away in 2008 of pancreatic cancer, they had been married for forty-six music-filled fabulous years.

We are so grateful to have the lovely Doris Polak as part of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO) League, and we thank her for sharing her beautiful love story with us. Beautiful music and love really do go hand in hand. Why not join the CSO for Beethoven, Brahms and the Scotts on February 13th at 7:30 p.m.? It will be an evening to remember!

Carmel Symphony Orchestra Brings Music to All Ages with ‘Family Fun!’ Concert

The Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is hosting an interactive family-style concert, Family Fun!, on January 31, 2016 at 3 p.m. at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind..Children will have the chance to sit on stage during the concert with CSO musicians as they play excerpts from some of the world’s greatest classics. After the concert, an instrument petting zoo will be set up throughout the Palladium for children to try out various instruments. Additionally, CSO’s 2015 Young Artist Competition winner), 16-year-old Lydia Rhea, will perform during the concert.

The Family Fun! concert is one of my favorite concerts each season. We delight in being able to inspire children with beautiful music, because we know that making music changes lives,” says David Bowden, artistic director of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra. “I’ve made it my life’s musical mission to spread that message and help children and parents understand that no matter what your age, anyone can make music.”

Family Fun! is sponsored by the CSO League and the Young Artist Competition sponsor is Steinway Piano Gallery. Concert tickets can be purchased by visiting CarmelSymphony.org or by calling the Center’s Box Office at 317.843.3800. Discounts for students are available for all CSO concerts: the $5 YouthPASS for High School and younger, and the $10 CollegePASS for College students. Additionally adult tickets for the Family Fun! concert are only $20. For more information, please visit CarmelSymphony.org.

CSO Announces 2015 Young Artist Competition Winner – Cellist Lydia Rhea

The Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO) proudly announces the winner of its 2015 and 35th Young Artists Competition. 16-year-old Lydia Rhea, a homeschooled junior, who has played the cello and danced since age four, took first place honors in this year’s competition. She also was last year’s CSO Young Artists Competition runner-up.

“We are pleased to present first-place winner, Lydia Rhea, at our Family Fun! Concert on January 31. Talented players such as Lydia are an inspiration to children who attend this concert each year.  In addition to seeing Lydia perform, children are invited on stage by age groups to experience great classical music and then try various instruments in the lobby following the concert,” says Dr. David Bowden, artistic director of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.

Rhea made her debut at the age of nine with the New World Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and the Fishers Indiana Chamber Players. She is a scholarship recipient fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy and studies with artist faculty member Hans Jorgen Jensen. Her previous teachers include Dr. Kurt Fowler and Susan Moses.
Rhea has received numerous awards competing across Indiana. She is a first prize winner in the Indiana University David Popper Competition and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Young Artist Competition. Additionally she placed second in the Carmel and New World Symphonies Young Artist Competitions during the 2014/2015 season.

She has served as principal cellist in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Side-by-Side program, and principal cellist of the Indianapolis-based New World Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Susan Kitterman. During her summers, Rhea has studied at the Meadowmount School of Music, Sewanee Summer Music Festival and the Indiana University String Academy. She has participated in master classes with and played for Sharon Robinson, Daniel Morgenstern, Peter Stumpf, Paul York, Anthony Kitai, Peter Opie, Amir Eldan, Richard Hirschl, Jonathan Koh, Merry Peckham and Richard Aaron.

As the first place winner, Rhea will perform January 31, 2016 with CSO at the Family Fun! Concert sponsored by the CSO League at the Palladium. She also receives a scholarship award of $1000, made possible by the generous sponsorship from the Steinway Piano Gallery.

Family Fun! Concert tickets can be purchased by visiting CarmelSymphony.org or by calling the Center’s Box Office at 317.843.3800. Discounts for students are also available: the $5 YouthPASS for High School and younger, and the $10 CollegePASS for College students. Additionally adult tickets for the Family Fun! Concert are only $20. For more information, visit CarmelSymphony.org.

About Young Artist Competition:

The CSO Young Artist Competition encourages and affords student musicians from Central Indiana the opportunity to compete with their peers at the highest level of artistic excellence. This year’s event marks the competition’s 35th year.

Meet CSO Flute Principal Karen Sheely

An IRS CPA with a Heart for Beautiful Music

Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Flute Principal, Karen Sheely, has had a lifelong love for music. She started playing the flute at nine years old, and it’s always given her a great place to land and good friends along the way. There are not many afterschool activities that you can say that about. Music is something you can do forever.

Karen’s deep love for music led her to Butler University, where she would have loved to major solely in music and flute, but her wise father guided her to a business administration major, along with music. While at Butler, she was invited by a French Horn musician to come explore CSO.
Karen instantly fell in love. It was a different experience than any symphony she had been involved with previously. All the musicians were so nice and supportive of one another, and the audience was so engaged. Moreover, at CSO “Hoosier hospitality” really shined through, and she 100% felt at home.
Fast-forward to 2015, and even with a busy and full life as a Technical Advisor for IRS, Karen still savors her evenings with her fellow musicians playing beautiful music at Carmel’s The Palladium. “At each performance I love the interaction with the audience. You can just feel that they are pulling for us,” said Karen. “But I still am afraid when it’s quiet that they’ll hear my heartbeat from sheer excitement!”

Join Karen for a Family Fun Concert

As a champion for the arts and beautiful music, Karen would like to encourage area families to come explore CSO on January 31st at the Family Fun concert (link to page). Families will be able to delight in excerpts from some of the world’s greatest classics, sit on stage among the musicians and enjoy an instrument petting zoo! As Karen puts it, Artistic Director, David Bowden, has the heart of a teacher, and the extremely affordable event is wonderful experience for young and old alike.

Musician Fun Facts:
Orchestra Position: Principal Flute
Sponsored By: Michael C. & Kimberly W. Donahue
Lives In: Broad Ripple
Favorites: Comedy Shows

CSO Indiana University Health Holiday Concert with Guest Artists The Wright Brothers

December 12th Carmel Symphony Holiday Concerts

One of Indiana’s best-loved vocal groups will be the featured artists during two special performances of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra in the “IU Health Holidays with The Wright Brothers.” The performances will be at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Palladium on December 12.

This celebration includes holiday favorites from the CSO like Anderson’s “Bugler’s Holiday,” Humperdinck’s “Evening Prayer and Dream Pantomime” from Hansel & Gretel and a Chanukah medley as well as a holiday sing-along. The Wright Brothers will take the audience on a “trip to Christmas Island,” rock around the Christmas Tree with “Jingle Bell Rock,” and even treat the audience to an original song, “Christmas Love.”

According to Artistic Director and Conductor David Bowden, the holiday concert is a bit unusual in that they rarely work with performers who have their own repertoire but no orchestra charts. “We have called on composer Daniel Powers to write the orchestrations for The Wright Brothers’ holiday concert show. It’s really going to be special,” he said. In particular, Bowden says the acoustic guitar-only arrangement of “In The Bleak Midwinter” – a favorite of Tim Wright’s — is sure to be moving.

Perhaps most special is the bond the audience will surely notice between The Wright Brothers and the Carmel Symphony. “The boys love the orchestra … you can feel the love. It’s a real sense of family shared among us all,” said Bowden.

Flex & Family subscriptions are available via the CSO office at 317.844.9717. Single tickets can be purchased by visiting CarmelSymphony.org or by calling the Center’s Box Office at 317.843.3800. Discounts for students are also available: the $5 YouthPASS for High School and younger, and the $10 CollegePASS for College students. For more information, visit CarmelSymphony.org.


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Season Subscriptions via CSO Office: 317.844.9717
Single Tickets via Palladium Box Office: 317.843.3800 

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Address: 760 3rd Avenue SW, Suite 102, Carmel, IN 46032