Show artwork for Summer Sessions: DSO Outdoors

Summer Sessions: DSO Outdoors

Sosnick Courtyard
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Reserve Tickets

Summer Sessions: DSO Outdoors

Sosnick Courtyard

Wednesday, August 12—7:00pm

Wednesday, August 12—7:00pm
1 hour

Join us for an outdoor, socially distant chamber music performance at Sosnick Courtyard. Experience the talent of DSO musicians, the bliss of warm summer air, and the sense of community that comes from enjoying live music with others.

General admission is free, but ticket reservations are required. VIP experiences offering reserved seating near the stage are also available for $100 (2 people) and $200 (4 people).

The health and safety of our patrons, musicians, and staff is our top priority. Event attendees will be required to follow protocols that keep us all safe, including wearing a mask at all times and receiving a temperature check upon entry. Please visit to learn more.


"Funfare" for Three Trombones
Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 - 2. Air
Duo for Two Flutes, Op. 102 - 2. Allegro con molto fuoco
Sinfonia No. 5, BWV 791
Two Waltzes
Rondo from Andante et Rondo, Op. 25
The River Knows it All
"Flower Duet" from Lakmé
"The Belfast Hornpipe"


Amanda Blaikie

Amanda Blaikie is known for her sparkling tone and sensitive, expressive musicality. She was appointed 2nd Flute of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Leonard Slatkin in 2015, previously holding the position of Principal Flute with both the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra and the Sarasota Opera in Florida. Other previous orchestral positions include Principal Flute with the Miami City Ballet and the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed extensively with the New York Philharmonic, including a Live from Lincoln Center television broadcast, Carnegie Hall performances, and a European Tour.

Amanda regularly performs chamber music with organizations including Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, New Music Detroit, Cut-Time Players, and the WRCJ Classical Brunch Series. As a soloist, highlights include performing concerti with the Allegro Chamber Orchestra, a solo performance at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, and numerous solo performances at the 2018 National Flute Association Convention in Orlando.

Amanda earned a Professional Studies Degree at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Robert Langevin, Principal Flutist of the New York Philharmonic. She also received a MM in Flute Performance from the University of Miami where she studied with Christine Nield-Capote and Jenny Robinson, and a BA in Music from Principia College where she studied with flutist and pianist Dr. Marie Jureit-Beamish.

Passionate about teaching and educating, Amanda is a Flute Instructor at Oakland University and is actively involved in the DSO’s Community and Educational Outreach Programs. She teaches and coaches privately, helping advanced flutists with audition preparation, and presents public masterclasses on orchestral excerpts. In the summer of 2019, Amanda was a flute faculty member at the Pacific Music Institute in Hawaii, where she taught and performed.

Sharon Sparrow

Assistant Principal

Sharon Sparrow is currently Assistant Principal Flute of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She remains tenured in the position of Assistant Principal Flute granted to her by Leonard Slatkin in 2014, and before that, was tenured as DSO’s Second Flutist for nine years. Sharon earned her Bachelor’s degree at The Juilliard School and a Master’s degree at Mannes College of Music, studying with renowned teachers Julius Baker, Thomas Nyfenger, and Geoffrey Gilbert. She has given master classes all over the world, and locally she is an Instructor of Flute at Oakland University and Wayne State University.

Sharon is a sought-after trainer for orchestral auditions on all instruments, and she has coached players who have won major jobs in orchestras throughout the U.S. Her specialty is helping musicians with their mindset, confidence, and certainty through preparation, so they can master the audition experience. Her book 6 Weeks to Finals, published by Theodore Presser in 2016, is in high demand. “Telemann for Two,” a set of duets that Sharon co-wrote with colleague Jeffery Zook and based on Telemann’s Solo Fantasies, was released in August 2018 by Theodore Presser.

Sharon is a hands-on advocate for music education at all ages and has hosted and written children’s shows for both the DSO and the CutTime Players. She has been a frequent concerto soloist with the DSO and other local orchestras. Sharon has held principal positions with the Memphis Symphony, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has been a guest flutist in the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Hong Kong, and Baltimore symphony orchestras.

Sharon’s children have continued with a passion for music. Her daughter Hannah graduated with a degree in Choral Music Education from the University of Michigan and is a professional singer; and son Zack graduated from Belmont University with a degree in Music Business and is the digital media manager for Easy Eye Sound Studios in Nashville. Sharon is proud to be a resident of downtown Detroit.

Kenneth Thompkins


Kenneth Thompkins was appointed Principal Trombone of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Neeme Järvi. Prior to this appointment, he held positions in the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Florida Orchestra and performed with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. A former participant in the Detroit Symphony’s African American Fellowship Program, he has been a mentor to several Orchestra Fellows over the years.

Kenneth has been invited to perform and conduct master classes at many music schools, including the Curtis Institute of Music, Mannes College, the University of Michigan, and Interlochen Arts Academy. An active chamber musician, Kenneth performs frequently in recital and is a member of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings. Kenneth has performed concertos with both the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony.

Kenneth has toured Europe with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has also performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He can be heard on recordings by Detroit Chamber Winds, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. His solo trombone recording; Sonatas, Songs and Spirituals features the music of Alec Wilder, Philip Wharton, Stephen A. Taylor and William Grant Still. Sonatas, Songs and Spirituals is the winner of The American Prize in Instrumental Performance, 2018-19. He has also contributed a chapter to The Brass Player's Cookbook: Creative Recipes for a Successful Performance.

Kenneth received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with the late Frank Crisafulli of the Chicago Symphony, and a Master of Music degree from Temple University, where he studied with Eric Carlson of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

David Binder

David Binder joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as Second Trombone in September 2015. He previously served as Co-Principal Trombone of the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, Finland for three seasons and currently performs with the Grand Teton Music Festival during summers. He has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Music of the Baroque (Chicago), the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Tapiola (Finland) Sinfonietta. As a soloist, David has performed recitals in Finland, Switzerland, and across the US; and has won solo competitions at the American Trombone Workshop, International Trombone Festival, and International Women’s Brass Conference.

David received a 2018 Kresge Artist Fellowship, awarded by Kresge Arts in Detroit, a program of The Kresge Foundation. The Fellowship is awarded in recognition of a demonstrated track record of artistic achievement and high quality work, and the potential to reflect, enhance, or impact communities within metropolitan Detroit. During the Fellowship year, David performed recitals of contemporary works for solo trombone and chamber ensemble.

A Chicago native, he completed his Bachelor’s degree with Brass Department Honors at Northwestern University, studying with Michael Mulcahy, Peter Ellefson, Timothy Higgins, and Randall Hawes. While at Northwestern, he was also a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and studied additionally with Jay Friedman. During his time in Europe, David travelled extensively to study with prominent trombonists on the continent, including Ian Bousfield and Jamie Williams.

David has quickly become sought after as a teacher, presenting masterclasses at Northwestern University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Indiana University. In Detroit he maintains a private studio and is heavily involved in the DSO Civic Youth Ensembles program, leading rehearsals and sectionals for low brass students.

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