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Adam Bodony
Artistic Director

Cara Pittenger
Executive Director

Susan Kitterman
Founder and Artistic Director Emerita

Member Handbook 2024-2025

Contact Information

Questions? Contact IYO 
32 E Washington Street, Suite 950
Indianapolis, IN 46204
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Contact the Artistic Director
         Adam Bodony
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Contact the Executive Director
         Cara Pittenger
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Contact the Administrative Assistant
         Marie Farber
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Contact your Conductor
Symphony – Adam Bodony
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Symphony Associate Conductor – Tom Chen
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Philharmonic Conductor – Heather Nieto
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Concert Conductor– Johanna Kitchell
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Prelude Conductor – Katie Le Sesne
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Absences can make rehearsals difficult for everyone, particularly in the case of soloists or those with unique parts. We may also schedule sectionals for an individual section if deemed necessary, but this will only be effective if most of the section will be present.

Missing excessive rehearsals (more than two per concert cycle) can be problematic for the ensemble and the conductor may take this into account during seating evaluations. If the problem persists the conductor may take further action. Students who miss 50% of rehearsals in a concert cycle for any reason may be asked to sit out of the upcoming performance. If you believe you have extenuating circumstances, reach out to the Executive Director and orchestra conductor directly.

Please reference the Season Schedule for a list of rehearsal and performance dates

 It is each student’s responsibility to check in at rehearsal each week. A Parent Volunteer will be stationed at the entrance to assist with the check-in procedure.

It is important that students stay home from rehearsal if they are experiencing any illness, especially symptoms or positive test for COVID-19. Please see the CDC website for current recommendations or reach out to your Orchestra Manager if you have questions about attending rehearsal.

Reporting an Absence

Excused absences are those reported by the Friday before rehearsal or those due to illness or family emergency such as a death in the family. Absences not reported by Friday prior to the missed rehearsal will not be considered excused, except in the case of illness or family emergency.

  • Regular excused absence: Submit an absence notification via our website (Members --> Report an Absence) or link in weekly email by 5pm Friday before your absence.
  • Absence due to Emergency/illness: Fill out an absence form as soon as possible. If you feel extra information/communication is warranted, you may send an email to your Orchestra Manager and/or conductor. Note: If you do not fill out an absence form you will still be marked unexcused. 
  • Dress rehearsal/Concert absences: Concert absences should be EXTREMELY rare and communicated via the absence form AND conversation with your conductor at least 3 weeks in advance. Excused concert absences are subject to your conductor's approval. We will NOT accept absence notifications for dress rehearsals within three weeks prior to a concert except in the case of illness, death in the family, or similar cases. For those with an individual part (winds, brass, percussion, soloists) and principals, there is very limited flexibility. Please note possible conflicts early so that we can work together to compromise or resolve the conflict altogether. For a last-minute concert absence due to illness or emergency on the day of a performance, please text IYO at 317-912-0547. 
Weekly Rehearsals

Check in Procedure – All members must complete the check-in procedure BEFORE entering the rehearsal space. Completion of the procedure will suffice as your attendance check-in for the day. Those who do not check-in will be counted as absent that day.

Rehearsal Procedure

  • Students should bring to rehearsal: their own water bottle, printed music, music stand, and pencil in addition to their instrument.

Parents at Rehearsals – Parents who are not volunteering are encouraged to drop off students and pick them up after rehearsal. Parents who stay in the building(s) during rehearsal are welcome to wait in common areas or sit in on rehearsal (space permitting), but must not interfere with rehearsal in any way. Please make sure we have a current emergency number on file in the event we need to reach you during rehearsal.

Music Stands and Rehearsal Clean-Up

  • Each student must bring their own music stand to rehearsal.
  • Stack chairs/return room to specified set-up as needed

Student Expectations -- Members are expected to behave in a manner that reflects positively on the Indianapolis Youth Orchestra. This means:

  • Smoking, use of other substances including juuls and alcohol use are not permitted while the member is engaging in IYO activities.
  • No weapons of any kind are permitted while the member is engaged in IYO activities.
  • Keep voices low in hallways; IYO is often not the only group rehearsing and respect should be paid to others.
  • Drinks/water bottles with caps are allowed.
  • Trash from snacks should be disposed of at the end of rehearsal.

Rules are in effect before, during and after rehearsals, rehearsal breaks, road trips, retreats, and performances. Policy violations may result in the member being asked to relinquish membership in the orchestra. It is a privilege to rehearse at each location. Members are expected to treat the staff and the facility with grace and respect.

Rehearsal Locations

The locations we use most often are listed below. See the Season Calendar and be sure to check weekly email updates for the most up-to-date rehearsal location information.

Jordan College of Fine Arts (Lilly Hall), Butler University

  • Lilly Hall is located next to Clowes Memorial Hall near the corner of 46th and Sunset Avenue.
  • Parking is available in the parking garage located behind Clowe’s Hall. Free parking is available on surrounding side streets (46th street in particular) but is limited. Parking in “A” spots may result in a ticket issued by Butler PD. Parking in “FIR” spots will result in towing.

Indianapolis Opera, Basile Opera Center

  • ​4011 N. Pennsylvania Street 46205
  • Plenty of free street parking along Pennsylvania. 

Indianapolis Children's Choir

  • (Information coming)

Hilbert Circle Theatre / Symphony Centre (32 E Washington Street)

  • Enter through the Symphony Centre at 32 E. Washington Street (NOT the main HCT entrance on Monument Circle).
  • Parents have access to the 3rd floor lounge area during rehearsals, unless volunteering backstage.

Food and drinks are allowed in the backstage lounge only. The only exception is water for woodwind and brass musicians who may have water on-stage for instrument purposes only.

Weekly Newsletter

A weekly newsletter will be e-mailed, usually on Thursday afternoon, to all IYO participants to provide the most up-to-date information and announcements for that week. Please add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your contact list to be sure to receive these reminders. If you are not receiving the emails, check your spam or promotions folder to make sure they aren’t being filtered out of your inbox.

Weekly emails are archived on our website, so if you miss one you can find it at --> Members -->Weekly Updates.

Weather Policy

IYO students travel from many different areas of central Indiana, and weather is not always consistent across that entire space. Therefore, we rarely cancel rehearsal due to weather. Please use your best judgment in determining if it is safe for you and your child to travel to rehearsal. If rehearsal is canceled, we will send a text message to the IYO Remind group (Information coming) We will also send a group email and post notices on our Facebook and Instagram pages.


Symphony Orchestra Tuition $700:Pay in full or in 5 installments of $140 due 8/15/23, 10/1/23, 12/1/23, 2/1/24, 4/1/24 *For those joining mid-season, $250 per cycle 

Philharmonic Orchestra Tuition $550: Pay in full or in 5 installments of $110 due 8/22/22, 10/1/22, 12/1/22, 2/1/23, 4/1/23

Concert Orchestra Tuition $425: Pay in full or in 5 installments of $115 due 8/15/23, 10/1/23, 12/1/23, 2/1/24, 4/1/24 *For those joining mid-season, $205 per cycle 

Prelude Orchestra Tuition $300
Pay in full or in 5 installments of $60 due 8/15/24, 10/1/24, 12/1/24, 2/1/25, 4/1/25
*For those joining mid-season, $120 per cycle

There are 3 ways to make tuition Payments

  1. Payments may be made electronically (ACH transaction) through the QuickBooks invoice you will receive by email.
  2. Payments may be made by check (made out IYO) mailed to: Indianapolis Youth Orchestra, 32 E Washington St, Suite 950, Indianapolis, IN 46204 (note: if setting up through your bank bill pay, you MUST include our suite number to ensure the check reaches our office). 
  3. Credit card payments can be made by emailing Marie Farber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Credit card payments will include processing fees).



Refund Policy

Tuition will be fully refunded if the member chooses not to participate prior to the first rehearsal/retreat and this information is submitted in writing or via e-mail to the IYO office prior to the first rehearsal/retreat. 

Tuition will be refunded according to the schedule below only if a member cannot participate in orchestra activities due to documented medical reason or relocation of the student's family.  

Requests for tuition refunds must be submitted in writing to the IYO office.  

Symphony Orchestra Refunds

$350 if withdrawal received by 11/1/24 $175 if withdrawal received by 2/1/25

Philharmonic Orchestra Refunds

$280 if withdrawal received by 11/1/24   $140 if withdrawal received by 2/1/25

Concert Orchestra Refunds

$200 if withdrawal received by 11/1/24   $100 if withdrawal received by 2/1/25

Prelude Orchestra Refunds

$130 if withdrawal received by 11/1/24   $65 if withdrawal received by 2/1/25

Delinquent Tuition Policy

IYO will issue reminders of balances due throughout the season. If a member has not paid his or her balance in full either by the specified payment plan date or April 1, that member may lose his or her seat for the final concert in May. If a member is unsure as to the ability to pay by the required deadline, please contact the IYO office immediately to discuss options.

Seniors must be paid in full to participate in the final performance of the season.

Audition applicants for the following season must have their balances paid in full prior to scheduling an audition.

Seating Auditions

Note: for the 2024-2025 season, we will utilize both in-person and electronic submission of seating auditions.. 

General Information

  • Seating auditions take place once during each concert cycle.
  • Check the calendar for the date of each orchestra's auditions.
  • Recordings of the auditions will either be taken at rehearsal or recordings submitted electronically from home.
  • Specific procedures for seating auditions will be communicated at least 2 weeks in advance of the due date.
School Music Participation

We expect each of our members to participate in his or her school music program. School music programs are the backbone of music education in our country, and as an organization we support school music programs.


Is it a requirement? Although IYO expects that each member participate in his or her school music program if one is available to them, we do occasionally make some exceptions. These exceptions must be documented at the start of each school year.

The School Music Participation Form gives you a space to explain lack of participation in school music. If deemed necessary, IYO will contact you and ask for you to describe the steps you've taken as a family to try to include school programs in your schedule. If steps still need to be taken, IYO staff will help facilitate discussion that may result in a creative solution unique to your child! We've found that there are solutions to boredom and scheduling conflicts that can be overcome with just a few conversations.

Performance Attire

Members are expected to provide their own performance attire. Concert dress is not required for dress rehearsals

Performance attire for Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras is black bottoms and black tops.

Bottoms should be dress slacks or skirts (floor length).

Black blouse, collared, or button-up dress shirts are acceptable. Shirts must be ¾ sleeve minimum. No sleeveless shirts or tank tops.

Black dress is acceptable as long as it is floor length and sleeves are ¾ length.

Black tux jacket/suit jacket can be worn with white dress shirt and black bow tie.

Black dress shoes and black dress socks should be worn with slacks. Black hose must be worn with skirts. Black calf-length socks should be worn with slacks. No bare feet in shoes. Tennis shoes or hiking boots are not appropriate for performance.

No conspicuous jewelry or makeup, please.


Performance attire for Concert and Prelude Orchestras is black bottoms and white tops. 

Bottoms should be dress slacks or skirts. Skirts should be at least calf length.

White blouse, collared, and button-up shirts are acceptable. No sleeveless shirts or tank tops, shorts, or casual shoes.

Black dress shoes are appropriate and black socks should be worn with slacks.



Parents and families provide much needed support to the staff of IYO by assisting with concerts, rehearsals, office work, and the music library. Our staff depends on this assistance to provide the musical services to your child.

Concerts - Volunteers are responsible for helping set up, tear down, sell merchandise, check in, backstage help, and audience surveys.

Rehearsals - These volunteers help with set up, tear down, check in, passing out music, seating auditions and other miscellaneous tasks.

Other – do you have a skill, resource, or connection that you feel would benefit IYO? Contact us! 

Financial Support for IYO

Tuition funds received from members of the orchestra account for only a portion of the income needed to support IYO’s programming. Tuition may account for about 40% of the annual budget leaving IYO to raise funds in other ways. Below are some of the ways in which your family can help IYO fundraise in the community:

Student Sponsorships

Student sponsors are financial supporters of the IYO. These student sponsors can be comprised of friends, family, co-workers, or anyone who wants to make a tax-deductible contribution in the name of the student who procured the sponsorship. 

We do ask that all participants in IYO be responsible for a minimum of $100 per student. Of course, you may raise more than that amount! Once the sponsorship has been procured, please mail it to the IYO office or have the donor mail it directly. Once a sponsorship has been received the donor will be sent a letter recognizing their donation to IYO. The donor's name will also be printed in the concert program for the duration of the season. Sponsorships may be eligible for matching funds from the donor's employer! 

Corporate Sponsorships/Program Advertising

IYO offers advertising spots in concert programs, social media, email blasts, website, and virtual concert sponsor recognition throughout the season. Sponsors may choose to support IYO at a level that works best for them.

This is another one of the many opportunities for your own company or one that you frequent to show support for the arts and the non-profit community and advertise their products/services. Information is available on-line.

Those who submit a tax-deductible contribution to IYO may be eligible for matching funds from their employer. Check to see if your company offers a matching program to make your contributions go even further!

Graduating Seniors

IYO recognizes each of our graduating seniors in our May concert program. We ask each senior to submit an information form that will be used to complete a bio.

Program Notes

Members of the Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras may request to write program notes for the pieces being performed in each concert. Program notes help our audience and members to learn more about the pieces they are performing, creating a deeper understanding of the music and lives of the composers. Those who would like to write program notes may request to do so by speaking with their conductor AND the Executive Director.

Ticket Donations

Concert tickets can be donated to charities and other non-profits for fundraising purposes (silent auctions, raffles, etc). If you are involved in a fundraising event and would like IYO to consider a ticket donation to the charity or non-profit, please mail a letter from the organization to the IYO office. These donations are free publicity for our concerts and will broaden our audience base.

2025-2026 Auditions

All returning members will be required to audition to retain their seats in IYO. Information about the audition process will be handed out in the spring and posted on the website.

IYO Board of Directors

Kaitlyn Leveque, President
Ronald Gilbert, Vice President
Clint Meeks, Treasurer
Adam Bodony, ex officio
Cara Pittenger, ex officio
Ellen Cannady
Robert Goodlett
Paul Helft
Ben Kitterman
Brian Snell
Bethany Swain Stone
David Wilcox