Is the symphony family friendly? Answer: Yes.

Fun facts: My mom is a classically trained harpist. She only recently retired from harping. Many years of my life were spent both backstage and in the audience at concerts with my mom at stage left. I played 5 different instruments growing up {oboe, flute, saxophone, clarinet – really once you’ve mastered playing one woodwind, the others just fall in line; and piano}. And the sound of an orchestra warming up has long been a favorite sound of mine.
Enter the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.
After learning the CSO will launch a special Family Fun series beginning January 31st, my musical roots were buzzing. I needed to check it out.
Carmel Symphony Orchestra Family Fun_Indy'sChildMy 5 year old – the budding performer – and Mom – the veteran performer – were dying to join so we made a girls afternoon of it to the CSO’s December Indiana University Health Holidays! concert featuring the Wright Brothers.
I was a little nervous walking in to the Palladium. I remember symphony concerts growing up with people dressed to the nines, children hushed from speaking, and stiff, personality-void conductors. I learned to love their performances more out of routine and survival than anything, but wasn’t sure how my 5 year old would handle a similar experience.
Families were everywhere in the lobby as we entered. The snack bar was decked with kid-friendly snacks. And the amount of curious little ones nearby as we walked to our seats warmed my heart.
Carmel Symphony Orchestra Family Funt_Indy'sChildThere were families at the Symphony.
As the performance kicked off, I realized my nervousness was even more unfounded. The conductor came in and professed how much they LOVE having kids in the audience {“Hearing a baby cry is one of the best things for a musician – it means you’re bringing in our next generation of symphony-goers!”}.
The bass players put on Santa hats and kids laughed. The trumpet players had reindeer antlers on and the audience roared.
Families were having fun at the Symphony.
The Wright Brothers were wonderful, the music was outstanding and even my wiggle worm enjoyed it.
“Making music is something every child should experience,” said Artistic Director and Conductor David Bowden from the stage. And then he presented the idea behind the 2016 Carmel Symphony Orchestra Family Fun! series:
  • – Shows will include classical hits
  • – Kids are invited to sit IN the orchestra while they perform
  • – Each show will conclude with an instrument petting zoo in the lobby where kids can play instruments of their choice
  • – Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for a Youth Pass {high school aged kids and under}
What do these elements of the upcoming Family Fun! series prove for young visitors? The CSO is passionate about putting them at ease with the experience of the symphony.
So is the symphony family-friendly? Yes. But really you need to experience it for yourself. I’ll be the one with the harpist mom and Broadway-hopeful 5 year old in the second row.


MORE INFO: The Carmel Symphony Orchestra Family Fun! 2016 debuts Sunday, January 31st at 3pm. All performances are done at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1 Center Green, Carmel. Family Series subscriptions are available by calling the CSO offices at 317.844.9717. Visit for more details. Select photos in this piece are credited to and courtesy of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.

Jeanine Bobenmoyer - Indy's ChildJeanine Bobenmoyer is an explorer by heart and her enthusiasm for trying new things drives her family out into the Indianapolis community together as often as possible. Her son Hunter will likely become the next Bo Jackson and daughter Emerson is undoubtedly headed for Broadway or Harvard. Or both.

When Jeanine is not checking out the newest hotspot or serving as a writer for Indy’s Child, she puts on her hat as the Chief Mom Officer for theCityMoms, the largest support and social network for moms in Indianapolis. She loves yoga, University of Michigan football, trail running and wouldn’t be upset if Ryan Gosling knocked on her door one day {although Jeanine’s husband might be}. She’d also drop everything if Eddie Vedder asked her to join Pearl Jam on tour. Find Jeanine on Twitter or Instagram.

Related Articles



april 2024 Indys child magazine

From our Sponsors