DSO’S EDUCATION MISSION REACHES MUSICIANS OF ALL AGES WITH LANDMARK MOMENTS FOR TWO NEW ENSEMBLES THIS SPRING
Dresner Foundation Allegro Ensemble for DPSCD 3rd graders at Duke Ellington Conservatory wraps up inaugural season on May 6
The DSO’s Detroit Community Ensembles—for adult amateur musicians—announce new initiative to give back to the DSO’s music education programs for all
DSO’s Social Progress Initiative (SPI) aims to remove barriers to classical music and use the arts to improve Detroiters’ lives
Detroit – As the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) look towards the conclusion of the 2017-2018 Classical Season in June, two groundbreaking ensembles in the orchestra’s music education wing, the Wu Family Academy for Learning and Engagement, will celebrate landmarks of their own.
The Dresner Foundation Allegro Ensemble, a training group for beginning violinists based at Duke Ellington Conservatory of Music & Art at Beckham Academy, will wind down its inaugural school year and present a performance on Sunday, May 6 as part of the CYE Experience Concert at Orchestra Hall. The DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles (CYE) provides world-class training to young musicians from all over Michigan interested in developing skills to move on to the next level.
Funded by the Dresner Foundation, the Allegro Ensemble is the DSO’s newest and youngest group, comprising 35 third grade students at Ellington, a Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) school on Detroit’s east side. The group is tuition-free and includes instruments at no cost. In a world where in-class music education has become rare, the DSO and Dresner Foundation teamed up to ensure these students receive five days of violin instruction every week—three taught by DSO instructors and the remaining two led by Ellington teachers. Students in the Dresner Foundation Allegro Ensemble will also receive full financial aid to the complete range of Civic Youth Ensembles and keep their instruments, should they wish to continue their training after this school year ends.
Back at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center in Midtown, a different group of musicians meets weekly to rehearse: the Detroit Community Ensembles (DCE), comprising an orchestra and concert band. Launched by the DSO in late 2016, DCE began as a strings-only group with a simple goal: to provide an opportunity for adult amateur musicians to meet and perform together. Now concluding its second season, DCE has grown to encompass a full orchestra as well as a concert band, serving 75 musicians from ages 18 to 73. The two groups will join forces for the first time at a concert on Wednesday, May 2 in Orchestra Hall.
And DCE is looking towards the future, announcing today that its members intend to give back to the education community: from now on, DCE will donate all proceeds from its performances (including the concert on May 2) to DSO initiatives that further help connect people and music.
The DSO’s longstanding commitment to education and the community was formalized last spring with the launch of the Social Progress Initiative (SPI), an ongoing assessment of its impact through programs that serve hundreds of thousands of people each year across greater Detroit. SPI helps the DSO prioritize resources, incorporate fresh thinking into existing programs, and create new programs to serve critical needs of the community.
To learn more about the DSO’s impact, visit dso.org/Impact or dso.org/Classroom.