DSO's Detroit Harmony and more than 50 community partners present music education impact event for Detroit students at Greater Grace Temple, May 20

Detroit Harmony is a citywide collaboration to strengthen music education opportunities for every child and grow economic opportunity for Detroiters through the provisioning of instruments and music education

May 20 event will be attended by approximately 140 Detroit students from David Ellis Academy, Engaged Detroit Homeschool Co-Op, and University Prep Art & Design Elementary School

Detroit, (May 7, 2024) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will strengthen its commitment to providing instruments and music education to Detroit students with a music education impact event at Greater Grace Temple on May 20. The event follows the success of the first music education impact event at Greater Grace in 2023 and was co-created by the DSO’s Detroit Harmony program and more than 50 community partners across the music, culture, advocacy, and education sectors. See below for a full list of partner organizations.

The event will be attended by approximately 140 students from David Ellis Academy, Engaged Detroit Homeschool Co-Op, and University Prep Art & Design Elementary School. The program will feature tabling sessions with 10 partner organizations, including performances by jazz musician Charles Prophet, a DSO string quartet, DJ Charles Thomas, and bassist Troy Perkins (an alum of Renaissance High School and the DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles, where he served as principal bass of the top orchestra; current bass student at the University of Michigan), plus musical experience rooms led by Kris Johnson, Sphinx, Lydia Cleaver and the Cass Technical High School Harp Program, and Detroit Harmony. Students attending the program will also receive a lunch to take home.

This event will take place on Monday, May 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Greater Grace Temple (23500 W Seven Mile Rd, Detroit, MI 48219). Please note: this event is not open to the public and will be exclusively attended by students from participating schools; media are welcome to attend when arranged in advance. 

Detroit Harmony is a citywide collaborative effort between the DSO and other arts nonprofits, schools, community organizations and city leaders. The initiative aims to strengthen Detroit’s music education opportunities for every child while also growing economic opportunity by supporting the instrument technicians, music educators, and teaching artists essential to a thriving musical community. 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. Thus far, the program has collected more than 2,700 instruments through donations to be refurbished and distributed to Detroit students, with more than 780 of those already distributed.

"We are thrilled to once again host nearly 150 students at our second Music Education Impact Event,” said Damien Crutcher, Managing Director of Detroit Harmony, who began playing horn at Cass Tech in Detroit and went on to study music at both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. “Students will have the opportunity to explore instruments, meet with community partners, and engage with top-notch musical performances that highlight the musical legacy of Detroit.  In doing so, we hope to continue our work in creating a collective impact by connecting students to training programs, resources, and musical opportunities throughout the city, in addition to providing musical instruments."

Detroit Harmony Partner Organizations (those in bold will be in attendance at May 20 event)

A&G Central Music

Accent Pontiac

Ann Arbor Trail Middle School

Artists Creating Together

Avalon Village

Blue Thunder Drumline

Brownstown Middle School

Building Better Men

Cass Technical High School

Civic Youth Ensembles

Class Act Detroit

Connect the Dots Youth Services

Crescendo Detroit

Dearborn Public Schools

Detroit Edison Academy - High School

Detroit Edison Academy - Middle

Detroit Prep Academy

Detroit Suzuki Academy

Detroit Wayne Music

Downtown Boxing Gym

Duke Ellington School

Einstein Elementary School

Girls Rock Detroit

Grace in Action

Grand River Academy

Guitars Not Guns

Interlochen Center for the Arts

John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy

Kingdom Keys School of Music

Living Arts

Marshall Music

Maybury Elementary School

McCourt's Music

Meridian Winds

Mint Artists Guild


Motor City Street Dance Academy

Motown Museum

MSU Community Music School Detroit

MUSIC Matters

New City Kids: Detroit

People's Community Church

Pierians - Detroit Chapter

Rebirth Inc.

Sowande Keita


University of Michigan

University Prep Academy

University Prep Art & Design Elementary School

University Prep Science and Math Elementary

Voyager Academy SW

Western Int. High School

Whose House Our House 

Woodhaven High School


About Detroit Harmony
Part of the DSO’s Detroit Strategy (along with the Detroit Neighborhood Initiative), 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. Major support for the initial stage of Detroit Harmony was provided by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation.

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.