In the early 1980s, Susan Kitterman found herself desiring to create a unique, high-quality musical experience for young musicians in Indianapolis and central Indiana. Out of that desire, the New World Chamber Orchestra was born. Under Mrs. Kitterman’s direction, this small ensemble of less than 20 musicians matured artistically, grew in size, increased its performance and educational opportunities, and received high acclaim from the community.
The growth has continued over the organization’s 37 seasons and now boasts 3 leveled ensembles with over 200 total members from ages 9 to 18. Supplemental educational opportunities including Music Theory, Music History, Chamber playing, and Conducting have been offered to orchestra members in addition to master classes, section coaching, performing tours, and visits to and from collegiate music schools in Indiana. Many of our young musicians also attend summer music camps and participate in concerto competitions, the Indiana All-State Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Side-by-Side Program, Honor Orchestra of America, and ISSMA Solo & Ensemble contests.
Over the years, the Symphony Orchestra has performed with other youth and professional organizations. Most recent collaborative performances have been those with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, Hancock County Children’s Choir, and the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras. The New World Chamber Strings, made up of members of the Symphony Orchestra, has represented the organization at a wide variety of occasions including the Indiana Bicentennial celebration, GenCon, Music for All’s National Orchestra Festival and the Governor Holcomb’s 2018 International Citizen of the year award celebration.
Since 1993, the orchestra has been opening its concert season annually at the Hilbert Circle Theatre, home of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The New World Symphony Orchestra has had the honor of performing alongside many distinguished soloists. Soloists in recent years include violinist Austin Hartman; ISO bassist Bob Goodlett, and pianist Jeeyoon Kim.
The 1995-96 season marked a great milestone for the organization with New World Youth Symphony Orchestra’s first professional recording and its first international tour. In 2006 the orchestra earned first-place honors at the National Orchestra Festival of the American String Teachers Association national convention. In 2015, Founder and Artistic Director Susan Kitterman retired from the orchestra and was succeeded by current Artistic Director Adam Bodony, himself a New World alum and graduate of DePauw and Indiana universities. 2016 saw the Carnegie Hall debut by the Symphony Orchestra, followed by a second performance in that great hall in the spring of 2019. The 2019-20 season marks a momentous occasion in the life of the organization as it adopts the new name “Indianapolis Youth Orchestra,” to reflect the igniting of a new era for the Orchestra as well as a connection to the city and legacy on which it was built.
1982 - New World Chamber Orchestra founded with 27 members - growth from around central Indiana in the coming years
1988 - 1st Young Artist Competition Held
1991 - Indianapolis Youth Orchestra founded with 26 members
1993 - 1st annual performance at the Hilbert Circle Theatre, which continues today
1995 - NWCO grows to more than 100 members -
becomes the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra
1st professional CD recorded
NWYSO tours Austria, Germany, and Switzerland
IYO grows to 95 members - renamed the
New World Youth Philharmonic Orchestra
2005 - Debut Orchestra is founded
2006 - NWYO performs at the National Orchestra Festival in Kansas City
2008 - Debut Orchestra renamed the New World Youth Concert Orchestra
2015 - Susan Kitterman retires; Adam Bodony named new Artistic Director
2016 - New World Youth Symphony Orchestra's debut at Carnegie Hall