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July 21, 2023

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly receives Sagamore of the Wabash award

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly as the recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash award, the State of Indiana’s highest honor. Gov. Eric Holcomb presented Maestro Everly with the award during a surprise on-stage appearance at Kroger Symphony on the Prairie July 21. Maestro Everly received a standing ovation from the orchestra as well as the audience who were attending the ISO’s Broadway Under the Stars performance.

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“The ISO is grateful to Maestro Everly for his artistic leadership of the past two decades,” said James M. Johnson, CEO. “He is indeed a fitting recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash, as it reflects his deep commitment to musical excellence, building community, and creating opportunities for talented artists to thrive. Maestro Everly’s work in connecting symphonic music with popular culture has opened doors to new generations of fans.” 

About Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly
A North American leader in symphonic pops, Maestro Everly has served as Principal Pops Conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 20 years. He is widely known for his innovative approach to programs that have brought new audiences to the time-tested and beloved pops genre. During his tenure in Indianapolis, he has added positions as Principal Pops Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, Canada, and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. As Music Director of the National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth on PBS, Maestro Everly proudly leads the National Symphony Orchestra in these patriotic celebrations on the National Mall.  

Audiences also know Maestro Everly as the Music Director of the AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration, now entering its 37th year. Each year, he composes original music for the Yuletide performances, along with conducting familiar favorites. Throughout the season, whether he’s leading the ISO through memorable Broadway melodies for the Printing Partners Pops Series or Disney’s Toy Story for the popular Bank of America Film Series, Maestro Everly is beloved by fans for his musical expertise and charismatic personality. A great champion of cultivating artistic talent, Maestro Everly finds opportunities to showcase musicians within the ISO as well as artists from around the world. He has led the ISO in its first Pops recording, Yuletide Celebration, Volume One, that included three of his own orchestrations.  

Maestro Everly will conduct the following concerts during the 2023-24 season:  

Sept. 15-16: Heather Headley with the ISO
Oct. 13-14: Cirque: World of Dance
Oct. 21: Disney in Concert: The Sound of Magic
Nov. 10-11: An Evening with Liz Callaway
Jan. 6-7, 2024: Toy Story in Concert
Jan. 12-13: Cody Fry Live with the ISO
Feb. 2-3: Revolution: The Music of the Beatles – A Symphonic Experience
March 15-16: Frankie Moreno and Tony DeSare
April 19-20: Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Concert
May 10-11: South Pacific in Concert
June 7-8: Ultimate John Williams 

About the Sagamore of the Wabash award
The Sagamore of the Wabash award was created during the term of Governor Ralph Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949. The term “sagamore” was used by the American Indian Tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice. The award is the highest honor that the Governor of Indiana bestows. It is a personal tribute usually given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor. Among these who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians, and ordinary citizens who have contributed greatly to our Hoosier heritage. 

About the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, at home and thriving in the heart of Indianapolis, offers an exceptional artistic and musical experience. The orchestra is open to all and dedicated to creating an inclusive and innovative experiential environment that is inspiring, educational, and welcoming. The ISO celebrates historically beloved performances while engaging audiences by introducing new voices through programming including the IU Health Plans Classical Series, the Printing Partners Pops Series, Kroger Symphony on the Prairie, the holiday traditions of AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration, and the popular Film Series presented by Bank of America. For more information, visit