My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s new initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. We spoke with Stevi Stoesz Kersh, Executive Director of the Indianapolis City Market, to learn how she interacts and thinks about music.
What is your favorite way to experience music?
I played trombone in my middle and high school bands, including orchestra. My grandfather, father, and I all played the same antique Selmer instrument. When I first voiced my desire to pick up an instrument as a kid I was adamant that I wanted to play the clarinet, but my Mom said, “This is what we have, so this is what you’ll play.” I was the only girl trombone player in the band. I ended up loving the family legacy behind it all.
I attended my first live concert in 1982 at Hulman Center in Terre Haute. The band Survivor opened the show and Loverboy headlined. Though I wasn’t into the genre of music (I was definitely into more alternative, college radio bands like REM, The Cure and Joy Division), I was completely hooked on the live music experience. The energy and vibe were amazing!
I later worked for Indianapolis Opera and would sneak into Clowes Hall during rehearsals just to hear the orchestra practicing. Amazing musicians, incredible acoustics and the regal costumes set the stage for majestic performances. It was all truly moving and inspiring. The live experience simply can’t be beat.
Name a song that reminds you of the place where you grew up?
Though I was into a different genre of music entirely, there are certain musical acts and songs that remind me of Linton, Indiana. Bob Seger and Hank Williams Junior seemed to be in constant rotation among my contemporaries. AC/DC, Def Leppard and Nazareth, especially the song Hair of the Dog, will always remind me of the city pool where I grew up as a member of the swim team, and later worked as a lifeguard.
What’s an unexpected place where you find music plays a key role to the atmosphere or situation?
Music can be a great unifier, as well as diffuser. I’ve seen a disgruntled mob of people become placid and placated when unified by music.
What restaurant or bar in your community creates the best mood with their choice of music, be it live or over the airwave?
The nostalgic jukebox rotation at Red Key Tavern makes it my perennial favorite with classics like Patsy Cline and Frank Sinatra, among many others. Flatwater offers a great atmosphere on the canal in Broad Ripple – especially with DJ Helicon is spinning the tunes. It’s as close to a “beach vibe” as I think we get in Indianapolis.
What is your favorite event that takes place in the community?
I very much look forward to Tonic Ball every year. Local bands cover tunes of some of history’s great musical acts. The event grows every year and has a great art component to it, as well.