updated: 6/7/2010 8:06:37 AM

Team Owners to Lead Capital Campaign For Orchestra

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) has selected owners from two of the city's professional sports teams to serve as co-chairmen of its capital campaign committee. Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts and Herb Simon of the Indiana Pacers will spearhead efforts to raise $100 million for the ISO.

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Press Release

June 7, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS – In an unprecedented partnership, Simon Crookall, president of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced today that the owners of two of Indianapolis’ professional sports teams, Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts and Herb Simon of the Indiana Pacers, will serve as Co-Chairmen of ISO’s Capital Campaign Committee. The campaign will focus on strengthening the ISO’s endowment by $100 million in order to sustain the Orchestra’s year round activities and to ensure the long-term financial stability of the organization.

“We are delighted to have the leaders of our community’s preeminent sports teams involved with our campaign,” said Crookall. “All three organizations strive for top quality performance in every aspect of our businesses and we look forward to working with Herb Simon and Jim Irsay and the members of their teams as we embark on our first major capital campaign in many years.”

ISO’s Capital Campaign Committee includes: John Cannon, executive vice president and general counsel, WellPoint; Scott Jones, entrepreneur and founder of ChaCha Search, Inc.; Sarah Lechleiter, ISO board member; Marni McKinney, chairman, Community Bank Advisory Board/Indiana Region, M & I Bank; Bart Peterson, senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications, Eli Lilly and Company; Marianne Williams Tobias, ISO program book annotator and board member; and John Thornburgh, partner, Ice Miller LLP and ISO board chairman.

“As it should be with any great musical performance, timing is critical,” stated John Thornburgh, chairman of the ISO Board of Directors. “With our economy showing signs of recovery and the willingness of Mr. Irsay and Mr. Simon and the other members of the Capital Campaign Committee to lead the campaign, the time is right to seek support for this important community organization.”

The ISO Foundation was established as an additional source of long-term funding for the Orchestra and to reduce the reliance on annual fundraising and ticket sales. In 2007 it reached a high of $128 million, falling during the economic downtown to approximately $90 million. Increasing the endowment by $100 million will help secure the ISO’s future as a full-time symphony orchestra presenting quality concerts and community programs in Indianapolis.

“Indianapolis is very fortunate to have many significant cultural assets, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is one of the most outstanding,” said Herb Simon, chairman and CEO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “The opportunity to work with Jim and this outstanding committee is a natural extension of our commitment to this community, and will insure the important role of the Symphony.”

“The ISO is such an exceptional organization,” said Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts. “The musicians are incomparable. The range of music the orchestra offers and the scope of its reach are so inspirational and entertaining. Excellence in the arts, paired with high quality in professional athletics, creates the type of community that is attractive to people looking for a place to live, work and play. ISO’s contributions to our city’s personality are invaluable,” Irsay said, “and I am fully on-board to help this campaign succeed.”

As an organization committed to community involvement and outreach, the ISO has partnered with the Pacers and Colts on several occasions over the years. Former players for both teams have graced the ISO stage including Pacers All-Star Reggie Miller (narrating Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf in a special family concert) and Colts tight end Ben Utecht (with host Sandi Patty during the annual Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration). In addition to playing the National Anthem for games, the ISO was the first musical group to perform for the grand opening celebration in the Colts new home at Lucas Oil Stadium, and on Aug. 7, 2010, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and the Orchestra will present the award-winning concert VIDEO GAMES LIVE at the Pacers home court, Conseco Fieldhouse.

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About the ISO
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is the largest performing arts organization in the state of Indiana and one of only 17 full-time orchestras in the nation. This season, the ISO performed with some of the greatest artists of all time including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Garrick Ohlsson and violinist Joshua Bell. To engage new audiences, the ISO introduced a collection of concerts featuring popular repertoire and emerging artists and refreshed its Stella Artois Happy Hour series to include music in all genres. The Wurlitzer Pipe Organ made its debut, and the ISO formed an ambitious residency program with the dynamic string trio, Time for Three. The ISO continued its commitment to presenting living composers’ works, including the well-received world premiere work by composer and ISO Principal Trombone James Beckel in May. The ISO leads many educational programs for thousands of children and adults, and recently received a grant from the City of Indianapolis for the support of its family development initiative, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. In 2009, the ISO broke the attendance record for its summertime series, Marsh Symphony on the Prairie, and it still holds the largest library of digital music of any orchestra on InstantEncore.com.

Source: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

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