Orchestra Indiana Presents ‘East Meets West’ on February 24th and 25th

Orchestra Indiana. File photoOrchestra Indiana. File photo

By Scott Watkins—

MUNCIE, IN – Orchestra Indiana resumes its 2022-23 concert season on Friday, February 24th with its first ever performance in the Honeywell Center of Wabash and Saturday, February 25th in Ball State University’s Emens Auditorium.

Matthew Kraemer will lead the orchestra in a program of music inspired by the sounds of the Far East featuring Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, a cello concerto crafted from Tan Dun’s Academy Award winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Charles Tomlinson Griffes’ The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan based on the immortal poem by Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Andre Gaskins, Principal Cellist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, will be the featured soloist. Both performances begin at 7:30 pm. 

Tickets for the Friday, February 24th performance are general admission and are on sale now through the Honeywell Center Box Office: online any time at HoneywellArts.org or by phone at (260) 563-1102 from 8am – 5pm weekdays. $20 adults / $10 students / FREE for children 12 and younger. Tickets for the Saturday, February 25th performance are on sale now anytime at OrchestraIndiana.org, or by calling the Emens Auditorium Box Office at (765) 285-1539 open 9am – 6pm weekdays. $20/$25/$30 adults. 


Principal Cellist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Andre J. Gaskins enjoys a diverse musical career as cellist, conductor, composer and music educator. Maintaining an active schedule as a performing cellist, his recording of Martinu’s ‘Concertino’ for the Summit Records label was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Awards, in the category of ‘Best Performance by a small ensemble (with or without conductor)’. Solo appearances with orchestra have included performances with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Central Jersey Symphony, the Richmond Philharmonic, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Fort Smith Symphony, the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and the Butler Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Gaskins has appeared as solo cellist from historic venues as the Grand Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation to the cities of Indianapolis, Richmond, Cincinnati, Ann Arbor, Concepcion (Chile), Okinawa (Japan) and Beijing (China). Mr. Gaskins has served as the Music Director and Conductor of the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Ballet Orchestra, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Symphony, the Earlham College Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus. He has served as Assistant or Associate conductor with the Richmond Symphony, the Columbus State University Philharmonic and the New World Youth Orchestra. 

As an orchestral cellist, Mr. Gaskins served as the principal cellist of the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra, the LaGrange Symphony and the Richmond (IN) Symphony. He also performs regularly as a substitute with the cello section of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. While pursuing doctoral studies at Indiana University, he served as the teaching assistant to world-renowned cellist, Janos Starker. He also studied conducting with David Effron and composition with David Dzubay. 

An aspiring film composer, Mr. Gaskins has composed and performed original music for short films, documentaries and commercials. His music has been heard in commercials produced for American Express, Valspar and Chevrolet. 

Mr. Gaskins has been a faculty member of the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Eastern Illinois University, Earlham College and the Brevard Music Center. In February of 2012, Mr. Gaskins made his Carnegie Hall debut, performing in Weill Recital Hall. 


Orchestra Indiana began in March 2022 when the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and Marion Philharmonic Orchestra merged into one organization. Both the MSO and MPO have rich histories in our region, and Orchestra Indiana is fortunate to continue their legacies. 

The Muncie Symphony Orchestra began when Dr. Robert Hargreaves was hired by the Ball State Teachers College to lead the college’s music program in the 1940s. He thought Muncie needed an autonomous orchestra. Hargreaves led the first professional orchestra with two concerts in the spring of 1948. (cont.) 

By January 1950, more than 50 musicians met and approved a constitution for the Muncie Civic and College Symphony Association. For more than 70 years, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra flourished thanks to a strong relationship with Ball State University, with BSU music faculty and talented music students making up a large portion of the orchestra. 

The Marion Philharmonic was formed in 1969 under the direction of Benjamin G. Del Vecchio. The orchestra was comprised of students and local area musicians until it became a semi-professional ensemble within a five year period. Mr. Del Vecchio was an Indiana University doctoral student when he joined the music faculty at Taylor University. Little did he know founding an orchestra would become a major priority. With the assistance of Dr. Edward Hermanson of Taylor University and a group of committed Marion businessmen, the orchestra quickly became a passion of Del Vecchio and together they developed the MPO. 

The musicians of Orchestra Indiana include musicians from both the former MSO and MPO. They are professors, students, and professional musicians who hail from east central Indiana, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Cincinnati. Many of our musicians also have “day jobs” as farmers, teachers, EMTs, and executive directors. All are passionate about bringing live orchestral music to you.