Why I Give


There are many reasons to give to the ISO, and we want to know your story. Why do you give back to your musical community? Below are several profiles of ISO donors telling their stories, and we thank them all for their donations and kind words. To submit your own, fill out the form below.

Dr. Gordon & Mrs. Carole Mallett

Donors, Subscribers, Lynn Society Members and Trustees 

Janet Decker

Individual Donor

Bruce and Jamie McCaw

Bruce and Jamie believe that having the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in this community is a gift—not only does it attract talent to the city, it also provides a way for couples like them to share their heritage of music with future generations. Bruce and Jamie believe that music and music education are important and worthy of support, and they are proud, regular donors to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra both personally and through their family foundation.

Read Bruce and Jamie's Story




Support for the ISO is critical to ensuring a positive future for our first class orchestra—in its outstanding artistry in concerts on the stage and through its strategic outreach that touches thousands of people throughout Indiana. I’m especially honored to chair the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the ISO’s Metropolitan Youth Orchestra this season! The ISO’s MYO is a youth and family development program that puts making music at the center of a child’s life to build the skills and strength of character needed to successfully complete high school and pursue higher education.  Distinctively, MYO invites family members to learn to play along with the child. A healthy, robust MYO requires a healthy, robust ISO. Contributions to the ISO enable MYO and other exciting community initiatives to extend access to a wide range of people, allowing them to experience personally the beauty, the challenge and the inspiration of music.



James Adams

Premiere Donor

My experience with classical music didn't just start one day, it was a slow process that evolved with each new step, finally leading up to my decision to make it my profession. There was no single instance that I can point to that sparked my enthusiasm, but rather it was the accumulative effect of teachers and opportunities throughout the community that lead me to this final destination in my pre-college life. One of the most important influences, however, was being able to go to the symphony.

As much as I love my books on music history or listening to recordings on CDs, there is nothing like experiencing music first hand. In recordings you don't get to see the string section's synchronized bows or the subtle dance of the oboist. As a composer, I get the chance to not only study how the music sounds, but also how the players react to the music. This is what gives music life. This is why I go to the ISO.

Read James' Story



Andrew and Irene Engel

"The ISO is a jewel in the crown of central Indiana. Since ticket sales only cover a portion of operating costs, it is very important for corporate sponsors and individuals to support our ISO to keep the high quality of music going and to continue its mission of performing concerts and outreach to young people.
My wife and I started donating at least 20 years ago. When the finances of the orchestra became a problem several years ago, we did our part and increased our support."




Nancy Thomas and Betty Bogeman

33-year attendees of Symphony on the Prairie

"We cannot imageine Indianapolis without our Symphony Orchestra or our lives without music. Purchasing tickets alone does not sustain an orchestra and that's why we all must contribute to the Annual Fund."

Read Nancy & Betty's Story



Al Smith

President of JPMorgan Chase, Corporate Sponsor

"I believe a well-rounded community needs first class arts and cultural attractions. The ISO is a jewel of the city of Indianapolis. There are other fine music organizations, but to me, the ISO is at the top of the list. And now that we have strong musical talent combined with phenomenal leadership, it is the perfect time to get on board and contribute.” 


Ralph & Katharine Wilhelm

Subscribers, Donors and Board Members

As multiple-decade subscribers, donors, and Board members, we struggle to imagine our lives without music.  Music is a foundation piece, the key to our humanity, facilitating the way we live, communicate, and work. We can’t imagine filling the void with anything else so meaningful.

Since we moved to Indianapolis in 1987, we have consistently looked forward to our times at the HCT, thoroughly enjoying the entire range of entertainment and education that is offered. We look forward to the opportunities to volunteer, to listen and learn, to enjoy the wonderful music staged by the ISO, one of the true jewels of Indianapolis.

We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have the ISO “at our doorstep." We would encourage everyone to find a place in your lives for the Indianapolis Symphony!


Corporate Sponsor, Printing Partners

Printing Partners gives to the Symphony because it’s good for business. Having a world-class symphony is essential to being a first-class city. The opportunity to attend Symphony performances is appreciated by our employees and proves to be an excellent form of client entertainment. We also give to support the educational outreach the Symphony provides. Through its SymFUNy Sundays performances, young audiences develop an understanding and appreciation of a wide range of music.



Individual Donor

Through music, I have had some of the absolute best experiences of my life, especially being able to perform with the ISO while in the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. Nothing can get me fired up faster than listening to my favorite pieces, whether I'm cleaning the house, driving or just relaxing.

Last year, it became very apparent to me that we could one day lose our orchestra. I could not bear the thought. I love this orchestra and the experience of going to concerts. Being here reminds me of times I spent with my dad. I realized that just buying tickets wasn't enough, and I wanted to do more. It was very important to me to do what I could to keep the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra here for the future!



Individual Donor, Corporate Sponsor, and Board Member

Being an individual donor, a board member, and an endorser of FirstPerson’s corporate sponsorship just makes sense. The ISO is a cultural leader in our city. Supporting it allows the gift of music to be available to all. It’s important to support the continuance of what exists and provide funding for the future.

I remember the first donation/sponsorship Benefit Associates (now FirstPerson) made to the ISO. We were small, and just getting going, but our ad agency approached us with the opportunity to advertise in the inside front cover of the ISO’s program. It was not a financially smart decision, but knowing what the sponsorship was going toward, it’s not a decision I have ever regretted.

For Elaine (Bryan's wife) and me, music has played an important role in our lives. The ISO is a strong connection point for Indianapolis families and corporations. 



Individual Donor and Board Member

There’s a quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s “Palm Sunday:  An Autobiographical Collage,” that says, “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”  The ISO is a vital part of helping to build a stable community and a tremendous source of joy for me personally. With that kind of upside, how could there possibly be a better investment?



Individual Donors

Music is very important to people’s lives, whether they realize it or not. The making of live music by a sizable professional ensemble in concert provides a time of relaxation, demonstration of working together for the common good, and provides an enjoyable meeting place for community leaders to become friends and build relationships. It is important to the youth of the community through providing musical leadership, education, and high musical standards for students to work toward. 


Heather Hall

Individual Donor

I give to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra because the Symphony is always giving back to Indianapolis. Its world class musicians, outreach through the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, and inventive collaborations with other organizations create so much value for our citizens. Great cities consist of great organizations. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is a key component in making Indianapolis great.


Carson Shadowen

Individual Donor

I believe it is important to provide our community with a historically classic venue to enjoy our first class orchestra. Without private donations this would not be possible, which is why I donate and support the ISO.


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