Carmel Symphony Orchestra’s annual Family Fun! Concert Jan. 31 at The Palladium


By Zach Dunkin

Music changes lives. And it can even make you smarter. That’s the impetus behind the Carmel Symphony Orchestra’s annual Family Fun! Concert.

“These concerts incorporate what we as an organization and me personally want to happen in our concerts when we have children,” said CSO artistic director David Bowen. “I want children to come and go, ‘Wow, I can make music like that.’ I love being able to present that because I know that making music changes lives.

“In fact, my musical mission in life is to help children understand that they can make music because it will change their lives. If you make music, you will have a much better life. Making music, especially when you start as kids, will even make you smarter. And it’s fun.”



At the Family Fun! Concerts children are invited by age groups to sit among the players on the Palladium stage and hear the music as Bowen hears it during a program of “excerpts of the world’s great classics.” Following the concert the children can go into the lobby to try the instruments of their choice at the “instrument petting zoo.”

The Jan. 31 concert will also include performances by the winner of CSO’s 2015 Young Artists Competition, 16-year-old cellist Lydia Rhea. Last year’s competition runner-up, the homeschooled junior has been playing the cello since she was four years old. She made her public debut at the age of nine with the New World Symphony Orchestra of Indianapolis and the Fishers Chamber Players. She has received numerous awards across Indiana, including first prize in the Indiana University David Popper Competition and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Young Artist Competition.

“Talented players such as Lydia are an inspiration to children who attend this concert each year,” said Bowen.

Family Fun! Concert

What: Carmel Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Bowen and featuring 2015 Young Artist Competition winner, Lydia Rhea

When: 3 p.m., Jan. 31

Where: The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets: $20 adults, $10 college students, $5 youths, at or 843-3800.