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Fifty years ago, on January 31, 1971, the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra took the stage for its inaugural concert. This moment was a spark that ignited a refreshed legacy of music education at the DSO that now lives within fourteen classical and jazz ensembles that make up Civic Youth Ensembles (CYE). CYE50 infoWhether it’s our flagship youth orchestra or 3rd graders just beginning their journeys, our bucket band or jazz band, chamber music or wind ensembles, hundreds of youth make the DSO their musical home each year. Much of this growth was made possible through the years of visionary leadership from Clyde and Helen Wu. We are proud to honor their legacy through the Wu Family Academy of Learning and Engagement, which encompasses all the educational activities of the DSO.

These past several months have been challenging for everyone, but our students, teachers, staff, and musicians continue to be a beacon of hope. By developing creative new approaches to online learning, remote teaching, and streamed programming, we continue to offer a unique opportunity for music students at all skill levels. Through the generosity of DSO donors, we can offer this training regardless of a family’s financial resources.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate an incredible 50 years and look ahead to even brighter possibilities! Enjoy our new video below, learn more, share your own stories, purchase merchandise, and by entering "CYE50" in the donation comments, contribute to directly support the future of CYE. Together, we can ensure that every child in our region lives a musical life.


Anne Parsons
President & CEO
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David M. Wu, M.D.
Board of Directors, Chair of the Education Committee
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Caen Thomason-Redus
Senior Director of Community & Learning
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Celebrating 50 years of the Civic Youth Ensembles music training program


Join donors from across the Detroit community and around the world to bring outstanding music, life-changing educational programs and far-reaching engagement activities to more than 500,000 people each year!

Donate Now


Marcus Elliot


Calling All Alumni!

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wu familyMore than 50 years ago, a promising young pianist gave a recital in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, a young doctor sat in the audience and was mesmerized by her talent. Following the recital, Dr. Clyde Wu introduced himself to the pianist, Helen. Their connection sparked into a great love that led to marriage and a lifetime of partnership in service to the community and a dedication to music education.

Clyde was a celebrated physician by trade and a passionate classical music fan inspired by Helen’s career. When he joined the DSO Board of Directors, his interest in the transformative qualities of music made him the perfect choice for leading the board’s Education Committee. Together with Helen, Clyde steered the Committee in the development of a music education program that has touched countless young lives.

WuFamilyAcad VerticalClyde and Helen Wu's vision has principally guided the DSO’s achievements in music training. The DSO is proud to carry on their legacy through the Wu Family Academy for Learning and Engagement, which offers a broad range of educational programs for all ages and backgrounds.

The DSO welcomes hundreds of student musicians each week as they hone their musical acumen, nurture the seeds of teamwork, and develop focus that will serve them throughout their lifetime.