<April 2015>


Whether it's at Orchestra Hall or right in your neighborhood, the Wu Family Academy provides music education for all.

Civic Youth Ensembles

Since 1970, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Youth Ensembles (CYE) have provided Michigan's musicians of all ages a comprehensive music education experience. CYE's twofold mission is to cultivate every student's artistic and creative potential through rewarding musical experiences while continuing to develop meaningful skills outside of the arts. CYE Faculty believe music can provide youth with the necessary tools to develop imporant life skills such as critical and analytical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication, and teamwork, as well as believing that students can discover success no matter what path in life they choose. All rehearsals during the 2015-16 season will be held on Saturdays at the Max M. Fisher Music Center between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM.

The DSO's Civic Youth Ensembles offer as part of the classical curriculum: wind ensembles, symphonic orchestras, string orchestras, and chamber training. As part of the jazz curriculum offers big bands, jazz combos, and a creative jazz rhythm ensemble. 

Auditions for the 2015-16 Season will be held March 15th, March 22nd, and March 29th, 2015.

To schedule an audition please complete the online application — the audition application fee is $25.

Acceptance into the Civic Youth Ensembles is by audition only. Auditions are open to all late elementary school through high school instrumental music students. Students are expected to be enrolled in school and their school music program if available. All interested musicians must audition, regardless of previous involvement with the Civic Youth Ensembles. To schedule an audition please complete the online application HERE and pay the $25 application fee. All audition results are final.

Auditions are scheduled at 15-minute intervals and are heard by an adjudication panel consisting of CYE and DSO artistic staff and Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians. This adjudication panel will place students in the appropriate ensemble for their skill level, as demonstrated by their audition. Students need not make an ensemble selection during the application process.

Each student will be asked to perform the following at their audition:

Requirements for a Classical Audition: 

  • An etude or a solo work that best represents his/her technical and artistic playing abilities. The solo piece should be unaccompanied and no longer than 3 minutes in length.
  • Two one-octave major scales (chosen by the judge) up to four sharps/flats for wind and brass instruments (chosen by the judge); Two two-octave major scales up to four sharps/flats for string instruments (chosen by the judge)
  • Sight reading
  • *Percussionists are required to prepare a snare solo and a mallett solo. A timpani solo is optional. Please note, there will NOT be a marimba available at the audition.

Requirements for a Jazz Audition:

If a musician would like to audition on more than one instrument or for both the jazz and classical program they must schedule separate audition times for each instrument/genre.

Before an audition will be scheduled, all application materials must be received including the application form and $25 audition fee.

Questions? Please contact the DSO Civic Youth Ensembles office at 313.576.5167 or civic@dso.org

Neighborhood Residency Training Programs

Beginning the 2014-15 season as part of the Wu Family Academy, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce its new Neighborhood Residency Training Programs!

Instrumental Training:
Trained string faculty provide the highest quality Suzuki based private and group-class instruction. Lessons are available for violin, viola, and cello. With this program, numerous class and solo performance oppourtunites are offered throughout the year.

Choral Training:
In partnership with the Detroit Children's Choir, the choral training program will provide student's grades 3-8 with opportunities for large group choir experiences through quality musical training as well as life-changing performance opportunities.

For more information on locations or to find out how to have these programs at your site, please contact Sheena Law at slaw@dso.org or 313.576.5074

Detroit Children's Choir:
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Youth Ensembles have begun an exciting new partnership with the Detroit Children's Choir (DCC), one of the leading choral groups in the metro-Detroit area for students 8-14 years of age. Founded in 2006, the Detroit Children's Choir uses the power and discipline of choral singing to bring together Detroit area children and strengthen team building , creativity, social interaction, understanding, and connection.

Ultimately, DCC's aim is to reach as many young people as possible in order to develop leaders who will bring about positive community change, now and in the future. DCC sees choral singing as a vehicle for children to grow, gain self-confidence, foster social and political awareness, and strengthen academic skills all while setting the stage for active participation in the arts throughout their lives. The discipline instilled by choral music has shown to be a pwerful tool in building these skilss. DCC's programs allow the children of Southeast Michigan to discover their creativity and individuality while increasing their appreciation for diversity and breaking down barriers.

If you are interested in joining the DCC or finding out more information, please visit the DCC website at detroitchildrenschoir.org.