<November 2018>


DSO will present “The Nashville Songbook,” an orchestra celebration of classic country music, January 19-20

Guest vocalist Mandy Barnett will tackle tunes originally by Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and more

Detroit, (January 9, 2018) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will welcome guest conductor Jim Gray and vocalist Mandy Barnett for a boot-scootin’ concert titled The Nashville Songbook. A symphonic celebration of classic country music, the program features songs like “Stand by Your Man,” “Tennessee Waltz,” and “Harper Valley P.T.A.”

The concerts will take place Friday, January 19 at 10:45 a.m. and Saturday, January 20 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Thanks to the generous support of PNC Bank, the DSO’s pops programming has a new title: the PNC Pops Series. “PNC has a long history of support for the DSO and many other vital arts and culture organizations in the region,” said Ric DeVore, PNC regional president for Detroit and Southeast Michigan. “At PNC, we recognize that access to quality arts experiences enriches lives and builds stronger and more vibrant communities.”

Additional support for the PNC Pops Series is provided by Masco Corporation Foundation and Greektown Casino-Hotel.

About Mandy Barnett

Mandy Barnett, a native of Crossville, Tennessee, started singing at five years old and has been singing ever since. Her style is rooted in the classic country and pop crooning of iconic singers and enduring sounds. 

As a teenager, Barnett starred as country music legend Patsy Cline in the stage show Always…Patsy Cline at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The performances sold out nightly with rave reviews. After appearing on the Decca Records cast recording in role as Patsy, she released her first solo album Mandy Barnett in 1996.

Barnett’s next album, I’ve Got a Right to Cry, was named top country album of 1999 by Rolling Stone. She has also released a Cracker Barrel store exclusive Christmas album, Winter Wonderland, and Sweet Dreams, which features renditions of songs previously recorded by Patsy Cline, Irving Berlin’s pop standard “Always,” and the Mel Tillis-penned “Strange.” Her latest album, I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson, debuted as a salute to the iconic songs penned by Country Music Hall of Fame member Don Gibson. With its release, Barnett fulfilled her promise to Gibson to record a collection of his songs. She has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CBS Sunday Morning, and PBS’s Sessions at West 54th.

In addition to her own albums, Barnett has been featured on movie soundtracks, including A Walk on the Moon, Traveller, Space Cowboys, Election, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and Crazy. She also sang on the SpongeBob SquarePants album The Best Day Ever. In 2012, Barnett’s rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was prominently showcased in Political Animals, the USA Network television series starring Sigourney Weaver and Ellen Burstyn.

Barnett tours regularly both nationally and internationally, and is a frequent guest on the Grand Ole Opry. Coming full circle, she reprised her role as Patsy Cline at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee in honor of the 15th anniversary of the celebrated venue’s extensive renovations and re-opening.

About Jim Gray

Jim Gray is an arranger, composer, conductor, orchestrator, and producer in the world of recorded music and live performance. His emergence into prominence has been rapid and his scope of work has covered a multitude of genres and settings, ranging from composing classical chamber music cues for international television shows to conducting orchestras alongside well-known pop/rock groups for audiences of over 16,000 members.

His orchestra, The Jim Gray Orchestra, comprises many of Nashville’s finest studio recording and nationwide musicians who have been featured on countless albums and live performances.

He has conducted recording orchestras around the world – in Nashville, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Seattle, London, Budapest, Prague, Beijing, and beyond. He has served as arranger, orchestrator, and/or conductor on 27 Grammy-nominated albums, 19 of which have won awards.

Gray’s compositions, arrangements, and orchestrations have been featured on television programs such as NBC’s The Sing-Off, America’s Got Talent, and Big Brother Australia as well as specials on CMT, Bravo, GAC, PBS, Netflix, and other networks throughout the world. His music has also been featured in commercials aired during the Super Bowl.

Producing and conducting six concerts in as many years with the Nashville Symphony, Jim helped raise over $800,000 benefiting the Nashville Rescue Mission, a nonprofit organization that serves 2,500 meals and houses over 750 men, women, and children daily, as well as offering help with substance abuse and education.

Future projects for this year include work on an album with Paul Wilber, music for the new Duck Dynasty museum in Louisiana, orchestrations for trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval, orchestration for a new video game series, orchestration and conducting duties on an album featuring many of the great gospel artists for Halal Africa, arrangements for Nashville Symphony, and more.

Ticket Information

Tickets for The Nashville Songbook begin at $24 and can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Groups of 10 or more can save up to 30% on the price of a single ticket for most DSO concerts. For more information, contact Group Sales Manager Jim Sabatella at (313) 576-5130 or jsabatella@dso.org.

About the DSO

Hailed by The New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor, while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg to Ben Folds and Lang Lang. In July 2017, the DSO embarked on its first international tour in 16 years, making its debut in China and first visit to Japan in 19 years. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast, and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.


For Press Inquiries, please contact:

Ben Breuninger
Public Relations Coordinator
bbreuninger@dso.org | 313.576.5196