The sounds of a world-class symphony orchestra are coming back to the Center Grove area.

Audiences will lose themselves in the delicate yet overwhelming power of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and Richard Strauss’ playful drama in “Don Quixote.”

The folk-inflected music of Antonin Dvorak, flamenco rhythms of Manuel de Falla and the gaucho undercurrent of Alberto Ginastera will all come alive through the musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Story continues below gallery

The 317 Series, a selection of traveling performances staged by the symphony orchestra, will again be coming to Johnson County. The symphony announced three new shows in White River Township for the upcoming season, after drawing a total of more than 1,000 people to its concerts last year.

After the successful run, organizers wanted to build on the momentum and attract even more people to invest in classical music, said Jessica Di Santo, spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

“We just want to keep hearing from our community that we’re meeting their needs,” she said. “We already have this benchmark of three concerts last year, bringing in more than 1,000 people. We just want to see that keep going and keep going up.”

The concerts will be full-scale performances, with the entire orchestra playing the same types of programs that one would hear at the symphony’s home at Hilbert Circle Theatre. People will see the same musicians and the same conductors and in some cases hear the same selections.

The 317 Series was created in 2014 as a way to build support for classical music while exposing new audiences to the talent of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

“Not everybody can come downtown. We really need to touch people where they are,” Di Santo said. “We’re not an orchestra unless we’re performing for people.”

Planners searched for communities surrounding Indianapolis that were supportive of the arts. They also searched out places with venues that could had ample seating, professional sound systems and room for the orchestra’s nearly 80 musicians.

Two locales were decided on — Avon and the greater Greenwood area.

Working with the Greater Greenwood Arts Council and the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, orchestra organizers found suitable venues for the concerts.

The Center Grove High School auditorium and Mount Pleasant Christian Church will again host. The final performance on July 7 will be at Mallow Run Winery, a first for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

“The orchestra performs outdoors at other locations, such as Marsh’s Symphony on the Prairie in Fishers. … Mallow Run looks like the perfect venue,” Di Santo said.

The Indianapolis Symphony used to perform regularly for the summer Fanfare and Fireworks concerts at Johnson County Park, but its last visit was in 1999.

Organizers had always planned for the 317 Series to be a multiyear effort, Di Santo said. So with the inroads made in Johnson County and the southside last year, it made sense to return.

“It wasn’t going to be a one-time shot. For us, it’s about community relationships, and relationships take time,” she said. “We want to continue to see things develop with the southside and the greater Greenwood area, because we’ve seen such great results.”

In addition to the concerts themselves, the symphony orchestra committed additional time in outreach events with local schools. The orchestra worked with more than 100 student musicians at Center Grove schools, and a side-by-side concert featuring both students and orchestra members drew 600 people, Di Santo said.

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians also spent a day at the Barnes & Noble store at Greenwood Park Mall, performing throughout the store and giving away tickets and CDs.

“We saw so much interaction with the southside. That, and seeing all of the people sitting in the seats, we knew we had to come back,” Di Santo said.

Organizers are not expecting a huge jump in attendance this year. Rather, the hope is for continued interest from the public and further engagement through public events, school programs and the concerts themselves.

“As long as people are interested in what we do and what we perform, we want to keep doing it,” Di Santo said. “The orchestra needs support from a bigger community than just with the downtown community. We’re lucky this artform is portable.”

If you go

317 Series

What: A special program of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performing in communities around central Indiana.

Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for students. Patrons may save 25 percent off of single ticket prices by purchasing a three-concert subscription for $45.


Feb. 7: 3 p.m., Center Grove High School; Krzysztof Urbanski, conductor; Dvořák’s Concerto in B Minor for Cello and Orchestra and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5

March 10: 8 p.m., Mount Pleasant Christian Church; Andrey Boreyko, conductor; Strauss’ “Don Quixote,” Falla’s “El Amor Brujo” and Ginastera’s “Four Dances from Estancia”

July 7: 8 p.m., Mallow Run Winery; conductor and repertoire to be announced at a later date.

Information and tickets: Subscriptions and tickets can be purchased online at or at 639-4300.

Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.