DSO Assistant Conductor (Phillip & Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador) Na’Zir McFadden will conduct DSO musicians in program featuring music by Bach, Mozart, Strauss, Grieg, and more
Event includes pre-concert activities for the whole family and is free and open to the public
Detroit, (September 21, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) continues to support its commitment to the growth and well-being of the City of Detroit with a family musical experience at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on October 4. Part of the DSO’s Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, the event is free and open to the public. One hour prior to the concert at 6 p.m., families with children of all ages are invited to join a Fall Fest for an hour of fun including instrument try-outs, instrument making, face painting, and other art, music, and movement activities.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. and will feature the DSO in dazzling orchestral performances of familiar melodies and musical stories. The program includes Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage to Figaro, Grieg’s Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt, works by Offenbach including “Can Can” from Orpheus in the Underworld, Motor City Remix by Jonathan Bailey Holland, and more—all performed under the baton of DSO Assistant Conductor and Phillip & Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador Na’Zir McFadden.
The event is part of the DSO’s Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, which is a community-driven process of dialogue and planning, resulting in cultural partnerships that enrich the community and musical experiences that align with the priorities of Detroit residents.
This concert will take place on Wednesday, October 4 at 7 p.m. at the Redeemer Presbyterian Church (4800 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI 48208). This concert is sponsored by the General Motors Corporation and is presented in partnership with the City of Detroit's Office of Arts, Culture, and Entrepreneurship. This event is free and open to the public; no ticket reservations are required.
DETROIT NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE: REDEEMER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Wednesday, October 4, 7 p.m.
Location: Redeemer Presbyterian Church (4800 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI 48208)
Na'Zir McFadden, conductor
This concert will feature the DSO in dazzling orchestral performances of familiar melodies and musical stories. The program includes Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage to Figaro, Grieg’s Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt, works by Offenbach including “Can Can” from Orpheus in the Underworld, Motor City Remix by Jonathan Bailey Holland, and more. Sponsored by the General Motors Corporation.
About Detroit Strategy
The DSO’s Detroit Strategy began with two initiatives: Detroit Neighborhood Initiative is a community-driven process of dialogue and planning, resulting in cultural partnerships that enrich the community and musical experiences that align with the priorities of Detroit residents; Detroit Harmony is a scalable and sustainable citywide collaboration to improve child development through music education and arts-based learning, and to grow economic opportunity by engaging Detroiters in the provision of instruments and music education. Detroit Harmony aims to put an instrument in the hand of every K-12 student in the city of Detroit who wants to learn to play. Detroit Strategy now includes much of the DSO’s work in early childhood, student education, health and services partnerships, workforce development, and a wide range of musical performances in Detroit.
Through Detroit Strategy, the DSO currently partners with 223 community-serving organizations in Detroit, engaging an average of 37,000 people annually through Detroit-focused programs and partnerships. The work is built on listening sessions with Detroit residents and includes co-designed and co-implemented Detroit Neighborhood Initiative Musical Experiences in Chandler Park, Southwest Detroit, Dexter-Linwood, Northwest Goldberg, Northwest Detroit, and Osborn. The DSO continues to seek out new relationships and to grow in engaging both organizations and residents in the city of Detroit. The foundation of the Detroit Strategy work is made possible through the support of the General Motors Corporation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
About Na’Zir McFadden
American conductor Na’Zir McFadden is the Assistant Conductor and Phillip & Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, working closely with Music Director Jader Bignamini. McFadden also serves as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. Together this season, they will present three programs—exploring masterworks by Tchaikovsky, Valerie Coleman, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Margaret Bonds, respectively.
Establishing his presence on the classical music scene, McFadden’s 2023–2024 season includes a debut with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and a return to the Philadelphia Ballet. He will also serve as a guest cover conductor for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In the 2022–2023 season, he made his subscription debut with the DSO alongside bass-baritone Davóne Tines and clarinetist Anthony McGill. In March o024, he will return to conduct the DSO’s annual Classical Roots program, premiering two new works by composers Billy Childs and Shelly Washington.
Other conducting highlights include debuts with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Ballet. Additionally, McFadden led a recording project with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago—featuring Hilary Hahn as co-collaborator and soloist. This past summer, McFadden participated in the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Conducting Seminar as part of the Tanglewood Institute under the guidance of Andris Nelsons and Stefan Asbury. In 2020, McFadden was named the inaugural Apprentice Conductor of the Philadelphia Ballet; a position he held until 2022. He also served as the Robert L. Poster Conducting Apprentice of the New York Youth Symphony from 2020 to 2021.
At the age of 16, McFadden conducted his hometown orchestra—The Philadelphia Orchestra—in their “Pop-Up” series, meeting their Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who has since served as a mentor to McFadden. The Philadelphia Inquirer praised his “great stick [baton] technique and energetic presence on the podium” in their concert review.
An advocate for arts education, McFadden strives to provide access to the arts for students in underserved communities. Currently, McFadden is a board member of Generation Music, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that provides classical music education to underrepresented youth in local school districts. His efforts have led to collaborations with youth ensembles in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Salt Lake City.
About the DSO
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. Led by Music Director Jader Bignamini since 2020, the DSO makes its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, offering a performance schedule that features the PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in metro area venues, as well as 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.
Since its first school concerts a century ago, and particularly since the founding of the Civic Youth Ensembles in 1970, the DSO has been a national leader in bringing the benefits of music education to students, teachers, and families in Detroit and surrounding communities. The DSO remains committed to expanding its participation in the growth and well-being of Detroit through programs like its Detroit Neighborhood Initiative—cultural events co-created with community partners and residents—and Detroit Harmony, a promise to provide an instrument and instruction to any student in the city who wants to learn. With unwavering support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact lives through the power of unforgettable musical experiences.