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Civic Orchestral Ensembles

Civic Orchestra

Since 1970, the Civic Orchestra has provided Michigan’s most advanced young musicians with the highest level of musical instruction and performance experience, emerging as one of the nation’s leading pre-professional training programs for young orchestral musicians.  The Civic Orchestra’s unparalleled level of excellence is achieved through a combination of exposure to artists of the highest caliber, professional orchestral repertoire and superior rehearsal and performance facilities. Civic Orchestra is conducted by Artistic Director and Director of Education, Charles Burke and has performed Mahler’s "Resurrection" Symphony, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem, and annually performs the Nutcracker Suite at the Dearborn Ford Performing Arts Center.  Civic Orchestra rehearses on Saturdays from 1:00 – 3:30 PM on Orchestra Hall stage.

University students interested in the Classical Mentor Program may apply on our website.

Civic Philharmonic

Founded in 2004 due to overwhelming interest in orchestral performance opportunities, the Civic Philharmonic builds upon the great tradition of musical training provided by the Civic Youth Ensembles. Philharmonic provides training for intermediate to advanced-level middle and high school students following the successful model of the Civic Orchestra. Students in Civic Philharmonic will be under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Thompson who also directs the Civic Wind Symphony.  Philharmonic has performed works such as Gustav Holst’s The Planets, Ottorino Respighi’s The Pines of Rome, and other famous works.  Civic Philharmonic meets on Saturdays in Allesee Hall from 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM.

Civic Concert Orchestra

Founded in 2011, Concert Orchestra provides training for intermediate-level middle and high school students following the successful model of the Philharmonic Orchestra.  Students in Concert Orchestra will receive deeper instruction and preparation for moving forward in their musical endeavors.  Concert Orchestra is designed to meet the growing need of orchestral training beyond the public school, taking students from the entry level ensemble and challenging them, preparing them for high-level performances on Orchestra Hall Stage.  Concert Orchestra will be directed by Tim Cibor.  Concert Orchestra meets for rehearsal on Saturdays from 2:30 – 5:00 PM in Allesee Hall.

Civic Sinfonia

Created in 1999, the Civic Sinfonia provides emerging musicians with the same high-quality musical training as the Civic, Philharmonic and Concert Orchestras. This orchestra places a greater emphasis on ensemble performance and refinement of developing skills. Students in this ensemble receive training from Artistic Director Charles Burke.  Civic Sinfonia has performed on the steps of Michigan’s capital building in Lansing, and has traveled to Washington, D.C. performing in D.C.’s Lisner Auditorium.  Civic Sinfonia rehearses on Saturdays from 8:30 – 11:00 AM in Allesee Hall.

Civic String Orchestras - Presto & Allegro

The Civic String Orchestras offer an excellent launching pad into the world of orchestral performance. These ensembles focus on the presentation of rudimentary ensemble techniques in a methodical way that allows for quick advancement for those that have limited experience playing in an orchestral setting, while providing a performance outlet for beginners. String Orchestra Allegro is conducted by Cecelia Sharpe and rehearses Saturdays from 1:00 – 3:30 PM in the Pincus Education Center (PEC).  String Orchestra Presto is conducted by Nicholas Karpinsky and rehearses from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Saturdays in the PEC.

For questions about Civic Ensembles, call 313.576.5164 or email civic@dso.org.