- Celebration honors DSO’s legacy of quality music education programs for the community, while looking ahead to expand opportunities in the future
- April 29 concert includes world premieres of DSO-commissioned works by Kris Johnson and Angélica Négron, will be webcast for free at dso.org and on Facebook as part of DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series
Detroit, (April 14, 2022) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will conclude the celebration of the 50th anniversary of its Civic Youth Ensembles (CYE) with a weekend of special concerts and events April 29 through May 1. Growing and evolving from one ensemble in 1970—the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra—to what is now two full orchestras and twelve classical and jazz ensembles, CYE engages hundreds of youth from Detroit and southeastern Michigan each week, offering unique opportunities for students to experience their world through music. CYE is one facet of a robust structure of quality music education programs offered by the DSO for youth. This programming continues to evolve and grow to meet the needs of students in Detroit and beyond.
On Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m., CYE will host a Wu Family Academy Showcase concert in Orchestra Hall. The concert, hosted by CYE alum Cecilia Sharpe of WRCJ-FM, will open with a performance by the Detroit Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble conducted by its music director, Ken Thompson. The program will include the world premiere of Kris Johnson’s Golden Jubilee: A Fanfare for Brass and Percussion, and works by Tyler Eschendal, Ira Hearshen, and David Maslanka. After intermission, the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra will take the stage, conducted by its music director, Oriol Sans. The program will feature the world premiere of Angélica Négron’s Tornasol, commissioned by the DSO in celebration of the 50th anniversary of CYE. The concert concludes with Joaquin Turnia’s Danzas fantásticas and Leonard Bernstein’s Divertimento for Orchestra. This performance will also be webcast for free at dso.org and via Facebook Live as part of the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series.
Preceding the concert, DSO President and CEO Erik Rönmark and DSO Director Dr. David Wu will host a CYE50 Donor Reception in the Herman and Sharon Frankel Donor Lounge featuring a performance by CYE violinist Daniel Liu. The evening concludes with an afterparty open to all CYE students and guests.
The following day, CYE will host an open house and a CYE50 Orchestra Reading Session beginning at 1 p.m. in the Robert A. and Maggie Allesee Rehearsal Hall. The reading session will include an informal rehearsal and quasi-performance in a supportive environment and is open to CYE students, parents, alumni, DSO staff members and musicians, and supporting members of the DSO family. Click here for more information and to register. Events continue Saturday with a Jazz Masterclass from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Civic Jazz Live! featuring opening remarks from Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director chair Terence Blanchard and a performance by CYE’s Civic Jazz Orchestra conducted by its director, Vincent Chandler.
On Sunday, May 1 at 1 p.m., the weekend will conclude with a CYE Family Experience concert in Orchestra Hall, hosted by Cecilia Sharpe. The concert will feature performances by CYE groups including the Detroit Pistons Bucket Band, Dresner Foundation Allegro Ensemble, Pizzicato String Ensemble, Civic Arco String Orchestra, Civic Symphonic String Orchestra, Civic Jazz Band, Creative Jazz Ensemble, Civic Jazz Orchestra, Civic Symphonic Band, and Civic Philharmonic Orchestra.
General admission tickets for the Wu Family Academy Showcase and CYE Family Experience concerts start at $15 and can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To protect the health and well-being of patrons, musicians, and staff, DSO safety policies include vaccine or test requirements for all guests and contactless e-ticketing. Visit dso.org/safetyplan for more information.
CYE50 Celebration merchandise will be available on-site for purchase throughout the weekend.
CYE is proudly sponsored by the following funders: Ms. Debra Bonde, Robert & Lucinda Clement Fund for Music Education, Detroit Pistons, Vera & Joseph Dresner Foundation, The Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, Charles T. Harris & Laurie Lindemulder Harris, David & Sheri Jaffa, Kellman & Associates and Betsy & Joel Kellman, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Deborah Miesel Scholarship Endowment, Dr. Glenda D. Price, Renaissance (MI) Chapter of the Links, The Bea & Harry Shapiro Fund for Keyboard Education, Ilene Wenner & Shari Morgan Scholarship, and Paul Wingert Scholarship.
The DSO and Wu Family Academy would like to thank Aaron & Carolynn Frankel, Mary Ann & Rob Gorlin, Bernard & Eleanor Robertson, Martie & Bob Sachs, Nancy Schlichting & Pamela Theisen, and David & Bernadine Wu for their leadership support of the CYE50 Campaign, and all the CYE50 Gold Club members who generously contributed.
CYE50 CELEBRATION WEEKEND SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, APRIL 29
• 6 PM—CYE50 Donor Reception
• 7 PM—Wu Family Academy Showcase concert featuring world premieres by the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble
• 9 PM—Afterparty
SATURDAY, APRIL 30
• 8:30 AM—Open House
• 1 PM—CYE50 Orchestra Reading Session
• 4:30 PM—Jazz Masterclass
• 7 PM—Civic Jazz Live!
SUNDAY, MAY 1
• 1 PM—CYE Family Experience concert
About Civic Youth Ensembles
The Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra took the stage for its inaugural concert on January 31, 1971. 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 the Civic Youth Ensembles (CYE). Led by dedicated and masterful instructors, CYE engages hundreds of youth each week, offering a unique opportunity for students at all skill levels seeking musical experiences, regardless of their ability to pay.
CYE’s mission is to foster the development of every student's artistic and creative potential. The DSO believes music can provide youth with the necessary tools to develop important life skills, such as critical and analytical thinking, creative problem solving, and effective communication and teamwork—helping them discover success no matter what path in life they choose. All members of the program benefit from engaging interactions with DSO musicians and internationally renowned artists, while performing in the incredible facilities of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center—including historic Orchestra Hall, home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Much of the growth of CYE was made possible through the years of visionary leadership from Clyde and Helen Wu. The DSO is proud to honor their legacy through the Wu Family Academy of Learning and Engagement, which encompasses all the educational activities of the DSO.
About the DSO
The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.
Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.
A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.