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Lafayette Symphony Orchestra: A Crescendo of Community Partnerships

For its 2016-17 season, the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra is embracing a foundational theme that helped start the orchestra in 1950 — placing a spotlight on a wide spectrum of community talent.

“We love having guest artists visit to dazzle our audiences, but this year we wanted to look at the amazing talent we have available right here,” says LSO executive director Sara Mummey. “It’s fun, especially in this Indiana bicentennial year.”

Among this season’s homegrown highlights — the debut of the LSO-All City Children’s Choir at the Holiday Pops Concert and a May 2017 concert featuring young, local recipients of recent Keller Memorial Award scholarships.

The centerpiece, however, is “200 Candles: A Hoosier Birthday Bash,” a November concert highlighting Indiana composers — from Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter to John Mellencamp and Michael Jackson — and a litany of special guests, such as the Fergus Daly Band, local broadcast personality Mike Piggott, ArtSmart: Indiana, the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette and more.

“Our musicians are adaptable, and have a great attitude about music, to be as at home with Beethoven as they are with Guns ‘n’ Roses,” says Nick Palmer, LSO music director and conductor, now in his 10th season.

“After all, Tchaikovsky was writing the rock music of his day,” Mummey says. “In every concert, we try to create an experience valuable to traditional symphony-goers and those who have never been before. You don’t have to be a classical-music buff.”

Classical music is so firmly entrenched in popular culture that you’re bound to hear something you know at any LSO concert, even if it’s a snippet. Case in point: April’s “Symphonic Sci-Fi,” which features Mozart music familiar to “Alien” aficionados and selections from “Game of Thrones,” the “Harry Potter” films and — in a move that should broker at least a one-night fanboy truce — “Star Wars” and “Star Trek.”

“The LSO is really making efforts to capture the zeitgeist of orchestral music, and we’re fortunate to perform for people from different walks of life that cares about music and all of the arts,” Palmer says.

Upcoming Concerts

  • 200 Candles: A Hoosier Birthday Bash (Saturday, Nov. 5)
  • Holiday Pops (Saturday, December 17)
  • Lollipop Concert (Saturday, Feb. 3, 2017)
    The LSO’s annual family concert includes an Instrument Petting Zoo where children can touch and try out instruments.
  • The B-Side, Track 2: LSO String Quartet (Thursday, March 9)
    An informal, easygoing evening of jazz, rock and pop with LSO Assistant Conductor José Valencia.
  • Symphonic Sci-Fi (Saturday, April 8)
  • The Present of the Past (Saturday, May 20)
    A spotlight on 20th-century works, featuring Keller Competition winners Yi Fei Heng, Elizabeth Ewigleben and Susanna Harmon.
  • The B-Side, Track 3: Will Slide for Beer (Thursday, June 8)
    Brad Koser’s trombone quartet serves up low-brass classical straight from the tap.

If You Go

Lafayette Symphony Orchestra

Long Center for the Performing Arts – Mainstage concerts
(B-Side concert locations TBD)
111 N. 6th St.
Lafayette, IN
(765) 742-6463

Start Times

7:30 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. for Lollipop concert)

Ticket Prices

  • Mainstage: $28 to $36 (adults), $22 to $36 (65+), $8 to $22 (student)
  • B-Side: $15 for all seats
  • Lollipop: $5 for all seats

Box Office

Online at www.lafayettesymphony.com or onsite during Long Center business hours / on concert nights

Picture of Rob Ford

Rob Ford

Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015. Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.

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