FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Fort Wayne Philharmonic announced on Tuesday that it’s switching home venues for the 2023-24 season after decades of calling the Embassy Theatre in downtown Fort Wayne.

With a move to the Auer Performance Hall inside the Rhinehart Music Center on Purdue University Fort Wayne’s campus, Philharmonic management said they’re excited for the new opportunities headed their way.

WANE 15 spoke to The Embassy Theatre’s Chief Marketing Officer, Carly Myers, on Wednesday about the Philharmonic moving on.

She said that while Embassy leaders were disappointed to hear the news of a venue change, they understand the business side of it.

Myers added they they’ll miss the musicians and the patrons they saw on a regular basis, but they do see this as something that presents new opportunities for both organizations.

“This frees up 32 Fridays and Saturdays for us on our calendar, which are prime, weekend spots that we’re asked about all the time,” Myers said. “So, with our own presenting that we’re doing now in our theatre, as well as our rental partners that constantly ask about those days, we’re confident that we can fill those with great programming for our community.”

If there was any concern that losing those concerts would hurt the Embassy and nearby businesses, Myers put that notion to rest.

“We have a connection with all of our neighbors where we reach out to them and let them know what’s going on here. I’ve got somebody on my team who has worked with downtown for a long time, and so we’re very neighborly and know that this just offers, really, opportunity for us to fill our house in different ways and to still support what’s going on with all the growth in downtown,” she added.

Preston Wallace, Director of Marketing for Downtown Fort Wayne, agreed with the idea that those popular Friday and Saturday timeslots opening up will only either help, or at worst, keep things the same.

Wallace told WANE 15 he used to help run the nearby Copper Spoon, and they’d always see a big rush during the 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. dinner hours on nights when the Philharmonic was at the Embassy.

He believes that new shows and performers will make sure that downtown foot traffic doesn’t go anywhere.

“I think that there’s huge ability for us to partner with the Embassy and for them to really be able to look at this is a ne, fresh perspective and bring some fun and exciting shows and different activations that can still bring a diverse group of people, and potentially even larger crowds, that the Philharmonic, maybe, wasn’t able to at certain points,” Wallace said.

Meanwhile, management for the Philharmonic told WANE 15 that they’ve heard tons of positive reviews on the switch.

A statement sent to WANE 15 by marketing manager Rachel Hunt adds that while the Auer Performance Hall is their new home venue, the musicians can be seen playing all over Northeast Indiana during its next season.

She named venues such as Electric Works and in Auburn.

The full statement is below:

At the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, it is our objective to enrich the lives of every resident in our region. While change always has its unique challenges, it is our hope that a new location will expand our audience to reach more community members. In addition to Auer Performance Hall in Purdue Fort Wayne’s Music Building, there are plans to perform all over Northeast Indiana next season, including new venues like Electric Works and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. 

Auer Performance Hall is not a new venue for the Philharmonic. Many of our long-term patrons and community members have already voiced their excitement and support for this move. 

Rachel Hunt, Marketing Manager for Fort Wayne Philharmonic