Tuesday, July 13, 2010

60/365 Symphony on the Prairie

I love Indianapolis, and having access to annual events like Symphony on the Prairie just makes me love it even more.

For those of you scratching your heads, saying, "Huh?", allow me to elaborate and make you just a teeny bit jealous.

Each summer, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra holds weekend performances at Conner Prairie, a living history museum on the northeast side of Indianapolis. Conner Prairie is a must-do field-trip destination for school kids all around central Indiana, because they can spend a day walking through the 1800s, seeing blacksmiths in action, watching how food was cooked over a fire in cabins, and marveling at their ability to wear shorts and tennis shoes that light up when they walk.

(For those of us who grew up west of Indianapolis, we also got a similar experience on a slightly smaller scale with field trips to Billie Creek Village in Rockville.)

Then, on the weekends, it's the adults' turn. They (I can say "we" now) flock to the Prairie, toting their collapsible lawn chairs, wheeled coolers (though I didn't see any that were nearly as cool as this one), deluxe picnics and bottles of wine. I went to the performance over the Fourth of July weekend, which happens to be one of the highest-attended performances of the year. I haven't found the exact figures, but I do know more than 15,000 people were expected for the weekend of shows.

And boy, did they ever turn up!

We went to Saturday night's performance, and I completely believe there were more than 5,000 people there with us. We arrived nearly two hours before show time, and it took some searching to find a spot to sit. As you can see in these photos, we were in the trees. It was both a good and bad thing: good, in that we were in the shade until the sun went down; bad, in that our view of the amphitheater was a little obstructed.

But isn't that the great thing about the symphony? You really don't need to see much at all.

Perfect weather, fantastic performance, great experience. I'll definitely be going back!

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/125s, f/5.6 at ISO 100 at about 7:30 p.m. and 1/50s, f/3.5 at ISO 800 at about 9:00 p.m.

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