The Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC, announced an expansion of their partnership this fall that aims to honor U.S. service members, veterans, and their families. The DSO and the FCA Foundation first began a partnership in 2017, and the 2019-2020 Season of the DSO’s Classical and PNC Pops Series will see the collaboration grow to reach more people, including those who have served their country.
“The FCA Foundation is pleased to collaborate with the DSO in an effort to recognize the contributions of our service members, veterans and their families,” said Shane Karr, Head of External Affairs, FCA – North America and President, FCA Foundation. “Without a doubt, it’s their sacrifices that make the freedoms we all enjoy possible, and for this we are forever grateful.”
John (pictured above), a Vietnam War Veteran, and former Detroit police officer, diagnosed with PTSD, has attended several performances: "Coming to concerts is a relief for me in terms of getting in a better frame of mind. The music is a vehicle that transports me from stress, worry, and depression, and contributes to me being mentally healthy. I look forward to coming! I can't thank the FCA and DSO enough for providing me with this opportunity to cope with my illnesses."
John's first visit to the DSO was for the Sensory-Friendly Open Rehearsal of The Firebird in fall 2018, after which DSO cellist Jeremy Crosmer came out to answer some questions about the music. John shook his hand, and with a big smile told him: "You make veterans feel good. This is what we fought for."
Music enables listeners to access and process a wide range of human emotion. U.S. Veteran Doug (pictured below), Desert Storm and Somalia, says about his experience hearing Andrew Norman's piece Play in November 2018: "I liked the chaotic parts. I can relate to chaotic because of what I've been through. It really hit home."
U.S. Veteran David says he finds the music therapeutic: "It is a relaxing break from every day monotony. The conductor acknowledged the veterans in the audience before the performance. It made me feel relevant in the world again. It's great that the DSO invited us and I hope to come back again."
U.S. service members, veterans, and their families can access discounted tickets to 36 DSO concerts throughout the season –nearly double the number of eligible concerts offered last year and more than triple the number offered in the partnership’s inception in 2017. The FCA Foundation’s support will also enable DSO musicians to visit Midtown Detroit’s John D. Dingell V.A. Medical Center to perform free concerts for patients, visitors, and staff.
Eligible patrons can use the code HEROES1920 to unlock $10 tickets for any applicable concert. Also, the code can be used at dso.org/military or by calling the Box Office at (313) 576-5111.
Editor's note: This story was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.