DSO Assistant Conductor and Phillip & Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador Na’Zir McFadden leads orchestra performance for children ages 6 and up
The same day, Gemini hosts a Tiny Tots performance in The Cube for children ages 2-6
Tickets on sale now at dso.org
Detroit, (February 16, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will continue its Young People’s Family Concert Series with Symphonic Superheroes conducted by Na’Zir McFadden on March 11 at 11 a.m. at Orchestra Hall.
This exciting program features the works and stories of classical music’s most intriguing and amazing talents including virtuoso soloist, composer and swordsman Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the incredible Ludwig van Beethoven, and more, allowing the audience to experience the incredible powers of real-life symphonic superheroes. McFadden, who currently serves as the DSO’s Assistant Conductor and Phillip & Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador, will lead the program. Young People’s Family Concerts are orchestra performances featuring the DSO that are designed for audiences age 6 and up.
Prior to the concert, at 10 a.m. in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube, musical duo Gemini, comprised of twin brothers Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits, will host a Tiny Tots concert. This dynamic program will feature rousing sing-alongs, hand motion tunes, and sparkling original songs about everyday experiences of childhood and growing up. Tiny Tots performances are fun-filled, interactive concerts designed for children ages 2-6 and their families. Please note the DSO does not appear on this performance.
Symphonic Superheroes will take place Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m. at Orchestra Hall. Gemini will take place Saturday, March 11 at 10 a.m. in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube). Both Orchestra Hall and The Cube are located within the DSO’s Midtown Campus: the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Avenue).
Tickets for the Young People’s Family Concert Series performance start at $20; tickets for the Tiny Tots performance are $12. Tickets to both events 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.
2022-2023 SEASON DSO SAFETY POLICIES: The DSO no longer requires audiences to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances. Masks are optional although strongly recommended at DSO performances, particularly when Wayne County and surrounding communities are in the high or "red" category as defined by the CDC. The DSO asks audience members to do their part to create a safe environment for everyone and encourages those who are not feeling well to stay home.
The Young People’s Family Concert Series is sponsored by Sun Communities.
Young People’s Family Concert Series
Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m.
Na’Zir McFadden, conductor
Experience the incredible powers of real-life symphonic superheroes! This exciting program features the works and stories of classical music’s most intriguing and amazing talents including virtuoso soloist, composer and swordsman Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the incredible Ludwig van Beethoven, and more.
Saturday, March 11 at 10 a.m.
The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
Twin-brother musicians Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits feature rousing sing-alongs, hand motion tunes, and sparkling original songs about everyday experiences of childhood and growing up. Kids and adults will love this dynamic show!
About Na’Zir McFadden
American conductor Na’Zir McFadden is the newly appointed Assistant Conductor and Phillip & Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
In this position, he works closely with Music Director Jader Bignamini and guest conductors on both the PVS Classical Series and William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series. Additionally, he leads pre-concert lectures at Orchestra Hall, and conducts a variety of programs on the Educational Concert Series, Young People’s Family Concert Series, PNC Pops Series, and DTE Community Concerts.
Commencing with the 2022-2023 season, McFadden will serve as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. Together, they’ll present three programs—exploring the symphonies of Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, and Florence Price, respectively.
An advocate for arts education, McFadden strives to provide access to the arts for students in underserved communities. This season, McFadden will make appearances with youth ensembles in Salt Lake City and with the Philadelphia All-City Music Festival. In the past, he’s worked with youth ensembles in Chicago, New York City, St. Louis, and Los Angeles.
Recent engagements include a recording project with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Notes for Peace’ initiative—which featured Hilary Hahn as guest soloist.
McFadden was the inaugural Apprentice Conductor of the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra from 2020 to 2022, working with Music Director Beatrice Jona Affron. He also served as the Robert L. Poster Conducting Apprentice of the New York Youth Symphony from 2020 to 2021.
McFadden conducted his hometown orchestra—the Philadelphia Orchestra—in their “Pop-Up” series in 2017, meeting their Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who has been a mentor ever since. The Philadelphia Inquirer praised his “great stick [baton] technique and energetic presence on the podium” in their review of the concert.
Upcoming engagements include a series of commissions with Orchestra 2001 and appearances with the Utah Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Ballet
Gemini has been performing since 1973 and are now playing music for their third—or is it fourth?—generation of young fans and families. From their home base in Ann Arbor, Michigan, San and Laz have performed to enthusiastic audiences at concert halls, festivals, community centers and elementary schools throughout the US and Canada. In 1997, Gemini added a new and very exciting facet to their music as they began performing with symphony orchestras, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Kansas City Symphony.
Since 1979, San and Laz have released numerous recordings for adults, children, and families. These recordings have won awards from outlets including Parents' Choice Magazine, the American Library Association, the National Parenting Publications (NAPPA), and the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. "Fancy That!," their first video, was voted one of the Top 10 children's videos by the American Library Association & Random House in their book "1992 Best of the Best."
The twin brothers' retrospective compilation, "The Best of Gemini," received a 1999 Directors' Choice Award from Early Childhood News, as well as a Silver Honors Award from Parents' Choice Magazine. "Volume 2 of the Best of Gemini" includes original songs, as well as traditional songs from all around the world.
In 2002, Gemini teamed up with an acclaimed chamber orchestra, the Phoenix Ensemble, to release "The Orchestra Is Here to Play!" This unique folk-classical collaboration—the perfect introduction to classical music for young listeners through songs they love—has won awards from Parents' Choice Magazine, as well as from the Children's Music Web.
Gemini's newest recording, released in April 2010, is "Once Upon A Time... The Storytelling Album," featuring folk tales from around the world, with musical elements added to each story. This CD also features "Perfect Pitch," a new story by San, which includes original orchestral music interspersed throughout.
Gemini has received ASCAP's "Popular Awards," a songwriting and recording award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, every year since 1995. Several Gemini songs were listed in the 1995 edition of Children's Jukebox, a subject guide to musical recordings used by librarians and teachers throughout the US. In 1997, Gemini's work was honored by a Silver Medallion Award from the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts.
Gemini's music is published by the Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, the world's largest music publisher. Since 1994, Hal Leonard has published Gemini's first songbook and two musical revues for Elementary Schools based on Gemini's songs. These two revues, "Kids are Kids The Whole World Round," and "In Our Family," have been performed by children in schools throughout North America.
San and Laz have received songwriting grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and have written music for educational TV and films at Wayne State University. They have also arranged and recorded twelve albums of international ethnic folk dance music to accompany the book "Rhythmically Moving" by Phyllis Weikart, a leading authority on movement and dance. These recordings, published by the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, are used internationally by early childhood educators to teach movement and dance to children.
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. 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.