Carmel Symphony Orchestra Schedules Indoor Concerts this Fall

Joey Amato | September 3, 2020

With the overwhelming majority of the nation’s symphony orchestras cancelling their fall and in many cases their entire 2020-21 seasons, there are a handful of exceptions.  Among them is the Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in Carmel, IN. 

On Oct. 10 the CSO will launch “Hope Renewed!”, a limited indoor season with five concerts and two holiday performances through April 2021.  While symphonies ranging from the San Francisco Orchestra to the New York Philharmonic – and including the nearby Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra – have scratched all or part of their seasons, the 45-year-old Carmel orchestra is a notable outlier.

According to Janna Hymes, the CSO’s Artistic Director, strict protocols and social distancing measures will be in force throughout the season.  The October concert will feature 26 musicians, stepping up to 38 the following month, or a little over half the 70-piece orchestra. Attendance will be limited to about 400, or about a quarter of the normal capacity.  The performances will also be live-streamed on a subscription basis.

The five CSO concerts and two holiday performances  – Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. Dec. 12, Feb. 13, Mar. 13 and Apr. 24 – will be conducted at the CSO’s home, the Palladium concert hall, the magnificent 1600-seat centerpiece for Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts. Along with other developments, the Center was a signature initiative by Carmel’s seven-term Mayor, Jim Brainard, to use the arts as a potent tool for economic development.  By all accounts it has been successful; the city of 100,000 – growing from 25,000 when Brainard took office – Carmel is a perennial leader in all manner of rankings for “best places to live.” 

For Artistic Director Hymes, a priority has been to keep her musicians employed throughout the pandemic, beginning with small outdoor and online concerts in the spring and summer and now back inside the Palladium through the fall.  

“For the past 6 months we have worked every day to find work for our musicians,” she said. “To date, our digital and outdoor small ensembles performances have been enthusiastically received.  With the fall fast approaching, we relish the opportunity to bring live music back to our beautiful venue.  This new phase, with social distancing and safety guidelines for all, illustrates the commitment, hard work and forward thinking of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.