IWS founder to conduct final concert


For his final concert as Indiana Wind Symphony’s music director, Charles Conrad picked his own exit number.

Conrad chose Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.”

“It’s the big blowout finale,” Conrad said. “It’s the ultimate concert ender. It features the entire ensemble.”

The Indiana Wind Syphmony’s “Finales and Fanfare” is set for 6:30 p.m. May 19 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

ND IWS 0514 Gephart head shot

Jay Gephart, who will replace Conrad, will serve as a guest conductor on a piece.

“It has been a real pleasure to serve as a guest conductor for the Indiana Wind Symphony this spring, particularly as I transition into the position of music director for next season,” Gephart said. “We all owe Charlie Conrad a debt of gratitude for his vision in creating the Indiana Wind Symphony. I am honored to follow in his footsteps.”

Conrad, 70, said he’s comfortable retiring from the symphony he founded in 1997.

“I’m sure I’ll guest conduct some places,” Conrad said. “The main thing I want to do in retirement is go hear a lot of concerts and do a lot of traveling. I want to be free to spend a week at the Metropolitan Opera (in New York), hear three or four different shows and maybe catch a Broadway show.”

Conrad also plans to travel to Europe. He said, although not an official IWS act, he is taking 40-plus IWS musicians to Italy in July to perform a concert in Carmel’s sister city of Cortona.

The Carmel concert will include a John Philip Sousa march and the “First Suite of Holts.” The concert will include a “A Summer was Just Beginning,” which is about the career and untimely death of actor James Dean, from Fairmount, who died at age 24 in an automobile accident.

Matthew Harrod, who is the band director of Riverside Immediate and Middle School in Fishers, will be honored with the James B. Calvert Music Educator Award. He also will guest conduct on a piece. Guest soloist Benjamin Blackketter will perform a vibraphone concerto by Nathan Daughtery.

For more, visit indianawindsymphony.org.