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May 02, 2023

Inside the Usher Corps: Gordon Bruder & Celia Surface-Bruder

Ushers are Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra ambassadors and an integral part of our success! These volunteers are responsible for providing outstanding customer service to Hilbert Circle Theatre and Kroger Symphony on the Prairie patrons. Read the experience firsthand from two of our volunteers, Gordon Bruder and Celia Surface-Bruder, who joined the usher corps in 2022 and have given more than 235 hours of service to the ISO.


Tell us about yourselves and your background.

Celia grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from North Central High School. Gordon grew up on a farm in northwest Indiana.  He attended one of the smallest public schools in Indiana—LaCrosse High School—with a graduating class of 45. We earned bachelor of science degrees in accounting at IU and became CPAs in the mid-1980s. We met at our first job at Ernst & Whinney. She worked in the health care industry until her retirement in 2022 and he worked in the insurance industry until his retirement at the end of 2021. We have a son, a daughter, and 2 grandsons.


What motivated you both to become ISO volunteers?

We both appreciate music of all kinds. The ISO allows us to volunteer together while enjoying the whole variety of music in the ISO’s repertoire.


Have either of you ever played instruments or been in musical groups?

Celia played bass clarinet in the Northview Jr. High band. Sadly, Gordon has no musical talent of any kind.


What kind of music do you enjoy together?

We both enjoy pop and light rock the most. Symphony on the Prairie and the Pops series are our favorites. We love to throw in several classical shows to spice it up.


What has been your favorite experience with the ISO so far?

We both love the whole experience at Symphony on the Prairie. The music, the venue, the food and drinks, and the camaraderie with all the volunteers are great. We look forward to that and to Yuletide Celebration each season.


Why is volunteering for the ISO important to you?

We started volunteering at the ISO in May 2022 because we love helping to bring a variety of music to the Indianapolis community. We benefit, too, since we get to enjoy the music along with everyone else!


What would you tell someone who is considering volunteering with the ISO?

If you want to volunteer at the ISO, jump in! Joining is easy, the variety of duties is plentiful, and the friendships you start are wonderful.