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Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers give helping hand to orchestra

December 19, 2012|By David Ng
  • Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck reacts after throwing a touchdown pass to Dwayne Allen in the third quarter of their game against the Houston Texans.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck reacts after throwing a touchdown… (Eric Gay / Associated Press )

It isn't often that the worlds of professional sports and classical music come together in harmonious union. But that is apparently what's happening at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, one of a several U.S. orchestras that has found itself in dire condition this year.

The owners of the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Pacers announced this week that they have agreed to pledge $750,000 each to the troubled orchestra. The pledges were made as part of the orchestra's fundraising campaign to raise $5 million before Feb. 3.

"Just like our Colts, every team can achieve success with a rallying cry from its fans and that time is now for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra," Jim Irsay, owner of the National Football League team, said in a news release.

Irsay is the son of Robert Irsay, who owned the Baltimore Colts before the team's infamous movie to Indianapolis in 1984. Pacers owner Herb Simon is a real-estate tycoon who purchased the basketball team in 1983 with his late brother, Melvin.

The orchestra "has been embedded in our downtown, our schools, and our Hoosier communities for more than 82 years," Simon said in the same release. 

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has experienced a tumultuous year. Performances came to a halt for several weeks this fall after management locked out its musicians after their contract expired. The orchestra resumed performances in October, but a new contract is reportedly contingent on making the fundraising goal.

The orchestra said in a statement Tuesday that it has so far raised nearly $2.4 million toward its goal.


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