LSM Newswire

Monday, November 30, 2009

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Held Annual Meeting on Nov. 16

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra re-caps artistic highlights of its 2008-2009 season which includes several world premieres in both classical and pops series

ISO’s Marsh Symphony on the Prairie posts all-time attendance record

ISO’s Learning Community reaches 123,000 people of all ages through a wide range of programs including the newly-adopted Metropolitan Youth Orchestra; MYO students perform at Annual Meeting

ISO releases financial data and makes commitment to endowment fundraising, earned revenue and controlling operational expenses for the next several years

Indiana Symphony Society elects new members to its Board of Directors

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana Symphony Society held its 2009 Annual Meeting on Monday, Nov. 16, at the Hilbert Circle Theatre and highlighted the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s artistic achievements, outreach into the classroom and community, its successes with several sell-out performances, and its commitment to attracting new audiences to concerts and programs during the Orchestra’s 2008-2009 season.

“The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is an organization that pursues incredibly high artistic ideals, embraces the needs of the 21st century audience and understands and steps up to meet the key issues of the city,” said Simon Crookall, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. “Although this has been a challenging year for us financially, we have tremendous optimism about our future.”

During the 2008-09 season, the ISO performed nearly 200 classical, pops, family and special concerts at the Hilbert Circle Theatre and at Marsh Symphony on the Prairie and at other locations throughout the central Indiana community. The ISO recorded a total attendance of more than 350,000. Highlights of the year included:

• Sell-out crowds for Opening Night Gala featuring violinist Joshua Bell; Guys and Dolls in October; Valentine’s Day Weekend concerts; Gabriela Montero playing Rhapsody in Blue in February; and André Watts’ performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and Cirque de la Symphonie in March.

• World premieres featuring composer Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto written for Hilary Hahn; composer Gabriela Lena Frank’s Peregrinos (Pilgrims) which brought to life the stories of Indianapolis’ Hispanic community; and the production Irving Berlin: From Ragtime to Ritzes as part of the Symphonic Pops Consortium founded by the ISO’s Principal Pops Conductor, Jack Everly.

• Collaborations with Dance Kaleidoscope for Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and the critically-acclaimed production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold with the Indianapolis Opera.

• The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra’s (MYO) adoption into the ISO’s Learning Community department. Led by founder Betty Perry, the MYO provides children with reduced-tuition music instruction and ensemble performance opportunities. The Learning Community also provides educational programs that specifically address state-mandated standards in the arts and other curricular areas and plans concerts, master classes, events and other educational programs that reached approximately 123,000 people this season.

• More than 40,000 patrons for the annual Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration, which featured Tony Award-nominated singer and songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway and special guests Daniel Okulitch and the Capitol Quartet.

• Capacity crowds for performances of Handel’s Messiah at Clowes Memorial Hall and the annual Classical Christmas concert led by ISO Conductor Laureate Raymond Leppard.

• A new all-time attendance record of 107,281 for its Marsh Symphony on the Prairie season, exceeding the previous mark of 107,245 set in 1999.

• In August, the ISO became one of only four orchestras in the country with its own iPhone application, which offers free and inexpensive downloadable music and information from the Symphony. The ISO also has the most extensive digital music library of any orchestra available through InstantEncore.com.

The Society announced financial data for the 2008-2009 fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2009. Crookall reported that fiscal year 2009 expenses exceeded revenue by $2.8 million on a budget of $28.3 million. Income was lower than the previous year in all categories, particularly from the ISO Foundation and from large, one-time gifts. However, through a series of cost-cutting measures affecting operational and department expenses, total expenditure was down from the previous year. More cuts in expenses, including a new agreement with the ISO musicians that represents $4 million in savings over the next three years, and salary cuts for ISO staff, were put in place in the beginning of this fiscal year. The endowment’s balance as of Aug. 31, 2009 was $85 million (down from $110 million in 2008). Since 2003, the ISO’s endowment draw amount has remained flat.

“Now more than ever, our financial future is reliant on companies and individuals buying tickets, sponsoring performances and supporting our activities,” said Crookall. “Moving forward, the ISO staff and musicians have already made significant contributions back to the organization through salary reductions. The next phase will be growing our endowment for long-term stability, growing our audience base and being good stewards of the generous support we currently receive by controlling expenses.”

“We have this valuable inspirational asset called the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, which adds so much to Indiana’s cultural and economic climate,” said Robert Kaspar, outgoing chairman of the ISO Board of Directors. “Even under these extraordinary economic challenges, management is making prudent business decisions now to address a new financial reality. Additional support from the community will be necessary in both annual gifts as well as significant contributions to its foundation to stabilize the ISO’s short term financial situation. The next two years will be critical in making progress.”

The Society elected the following new Board members for three-year terms:
Deborah Ware Balogh, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Indianapolis
Andrea Cranfill, Vice President, FlashPoint
John R. Gibbs, Co-Founder/Retired, Interactive Intelligence
Holly M. Pantzer, Tax Advisor, BKD
J. Daniel Philpott, Senior Vice President, Fifth Third Private Bank
Marcia Raab, Chief Marketing Officer, Defender Direct
Marianne Williams Tobias, Program Book Annotator, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Ralph V. Wilhelm, President & Founder, Wilhelm Associates

The following Board members were re-elected for a second term:
Don Altemeyer
Carolyn S. Hardman
Tomisue Hilbert
Alvin E. Kite Jr.
Kay F. Koch
Bruce C. McCaw
Alexander David Mih, M.D.
Kenneth L. Renkens M.D.
Christopher A. Slapak
Pete Ward
David E. Wilcox, P.E.

The following outgoing Board members were recognized for their service:
Robert A. Anker
Rollin M. Dick
Margot L. Eccles
Megan Fowler
Bradley S. Fuson
Kathy L. Humphrey

The Society also recognized first violin Vladimir Krakovich and Vice President and General Manager Thomas R. Ramsey for 25 years of distinguished service and presented the “Outstanding Staff Award” to Joanne Bennett, Director of Facilities and Audience Services, for extraordinary service to the ISO.

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