Detroit Performs


Curated By: DSOs Wu Family Academy for Learning & Engagement

The DSO’s Wu Family Academy for Learning and Engagement changes lives of young people by expanding the understanding of arts, empowering students to have confidence in their creative decisions and sparking a passion for music that will last a lifetime. Its Civic Youth Ensembles brings a String Quartet to the “Detroit Performs Live From Marygrove” stage to present two beautiful pieces.

AIRED: November 30, 2021 | 0:26:17

- Hello, everybody.

I'm Satori Shakoor.

Welcome to Detroit Performs Live from Marygrove,

where Detroit's talented artists take the stage,

and share insights into their performances.

The episode you're about to see

is curated by our partner organization,

the Detroit Symphony Orchestra,

academy for learning and engagement.

They bring us a string quartet

from their Civic Youth Ensembles.

And let me tell you,

these young musicians are brilliant.

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So sit back, relax, and enjoy the music.

It's time for Detroit Performs Live from Marygrove.

- [Narrator] Funding for Detroit Performs is provided by

the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation,

The Kresge Foundation,

the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan,

the A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Foundation,

the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs,

the National Endowment for the Arts,

the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation,

and by contributions to your PBS station

from viewers like you, thank you.

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- Hello, everybody.

I am so thrilled to introduce you

to Debora Kang of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

education department.

Hi, Debora.

- Hi, Satori, thank you.

- You're welcome, I'm so excited to have you here today.

Can you tell us about the education department at the DSO?

- Yeah, so the education department

has a few different areas that we cover.

The one that most people are familiar with,

are our educational programs in schools,

our partnership with schools,

and our concerts for school children.

But the other side of my job

is training young musicians to become a performer.

So we have what we call Civic Youth Ensembles,

part of the Wu Family Academy,

where we have in a normal year,

over 500 students participating,

and coming into our building every week

to make music, and perform on orchestra hall stage.

- What is the mission?

- Mission is really just to inspire young students

to become a musician,

or make music a big part of their life.

And we want to support them in any way that we can.

- [Satori] And why do you think that's important?

- I grew up with music in my life.

Without music, I think we would face a lot more challenges.

You see in the children that are part of our program,

with music, they're able to work better in groups,

they're able to communicate better.

- That's incredible.

Can you tell us who you have performing for us?

- Yeah, so we have four amazing string players

from our Civic Youth Ensembles.

All four members are part

of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra,

our top youth orchestra.

And what is so amazing about this group

is for the past year and a half,

they didn't get together at all in person to rehearse.

They've been putting this performance together

in the last two weeks with a DSO musician as a coach.

So I'm really excited to hear them perform.

- Thank you, Debora.

And now let's go to the stage,

and listen to the quartet

from the DSO Civic Youth Ensembles.

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Well welcome,

and I am here with Clarice

with the DSO civic youth ensemble.

You guys were incredible.

- Thank you.

- Absolutely wonderful.

I enjoyed watching you, I enjoyed listening.

What message were you trying to convey?

- For the Borodin,

we were trying to sing out as much as possible.

It's a Notturno, which is a night song.

So just that evening, the peacefulness,

and then a little bit of vivaciousness in the middle there,

and then retiring back to nothing.

So that was the kind of the imagery

that was going through our heads.

- [Satori] And when you are playing together,

when you're off, when you're in the music,

what's your experience?

- I really enjoy it,

because you don't necessarily think about yourself.

You think about yourself as you connect to others.

And that provides for a really interesting experience,

because you get to coordinate your interpretation

with other people without even talking.

So that kind of shared emotional connection

is also something that's very special.

- [Satori] What does the DSO ensemble mean to you?

- So I've been part of the DSO ensembles

for about eight years now,

so a big part of the CYE Detroit Civic Youth Ensembles

is seeing my growth throughout those years,

and there's the wonderful community that helped me grow.

And of course, the teachers and the music.

So I learned a lot of things

about how to connect with others, hear the music,

what parts to pick out, and how to deliver a performance.

- Having gone through the program,

saying how much you love it,

what's the importance of having this experience

with the DSO?

- I think that music education

teaches students a lot of things,

but also to be in touch with your creative side,

and know how to emotionally connect with other people.

I think music's all about a connection.

So you learn that valuable lesson while you're at CYE.

- Well, thank you so much, Clarice, for talking with us,

and we're gonna go back to the stage

to hear the second piece.

And what's the name of the second piece?

Who's the composer?

- The Dvorak American String Quartet.

- All right, I'm so excited.

Well, let's head back to the stage, ladies and gentlemen.

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Well, we're here with Daniel

from the DSO, Civic Youth Quartet ensemble.

You were fantastic.

- Thank you so much.

- Yeah, what made you choose the viola?

- I remember when I was little,

we had this, at my church there in the orchestra performs,

there was a gospel song,

but I was so moved by it,

and my friend was playing the viola.

So I wanted to kind of join in.

And so, yeah, I joined in the work,

the church orchestra next year, and it was so fun.

- [Satori] It's just such a mellow instrument,

and it makes such a difference in the quartet.

And what's your experience playing with the other young men

and young lady?

- I played here for three years now in the quartet,

and I just love playing in the quartet,

because you're the only one playing for your instrument,

your part, so just having your own voice and freedom,

being able to sing your own part.

That's so fun for me.

- What do you like most about being with the DSO ensemble?

- For me, it's like the community.

I think it's such a wonderful community,

where everyone can push each other

to learn and grow together.

And I've learned so much,

so many skills throughout my years at CYE.

- So what are the pieces that you played today,

and what do you like about them?

They're very different,

but they're complimentary, I thought.

- Yeah, so we played Borodin Quartet No. 2,

and Dvorak American Quartet No. 12.

And I love the Dvorak,

'cause, mainly because I get to play a wonderful solo.

- Well thank you so much, Daniel,

for joining us on Detroit Performs Live from Marygrove.

- No problem.

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- I am excited to be here with Ty.

Welcome, Ty.

- Thank you.

- You all play so well together.

I mean, you just coordinate,

and how long have you been practicing?

- We've been practicing together for about two weeks.

- You're wonderful together.

And I was curious when I was sitting out in the audience

listening, what is your experience when you're playing?

- I feel like when I start playing with the others,

I sort of forget what I'm doing,

and just go with whatever's happening.

We all have this pulse,

a beat inside of you that once you start,

you just feel it, I guess.

- [Satori] What do you like about

being part of the Civic Youth Ensemble?

- I really love the community,

and being with people who share the same interests,

and have a really high skill level.

- [Satori] And do you think

you're gonna pursue this as a career?

- [Ty] I'm not sure yet, but I'm hoping to, yes.

- Okay, well, I've had a fabulous time listening to you,

to hearing a little bit of your story,

and thank you for being here

with Detroit Performs Live from Marygrove.

- Thank you.

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- I am thrilled to be sitting here with Jackson.

And, Jackson,

welcome to Detroit Performs Live from Marygrove.

- Thank you.

- The music was going along, going along,

and then you came in with that beautiful high violin,

and it just struck my heart.

How long have you been playing?

- I've been playing like nine and a half years.

- [Satori] It's just lovely

in the way you guys play together,

and you've only played together two weeks?

- [Jackson] Mm, yeah.

- [Satori] What was that experience?

- Once I got to meet everybody, they're great,

and I felt pretty comfortable after the first rehearsal.

Just, I thought it was going to be a lot more chaos

than it was,

just because those pieces are pretty hard to coordinate,

but it really wasn't.

And it was really fun playing with everybody.

- And what does it mean to you

to be part of the DSO youth ensemble?

- It's a really great opportunity

to be with other people my age,

who are motivated with music, and even the teachers,

and everybody there is really great.

It's just fun, and a good learning opportunity.

- Well, thank you, Jackson. - Thank you.

- It has been a pleasure to listen to you,

and to hear a little bit of your story.

Thank you for being with us

on Detroit Performs Live from Marygrove.

I'm proud of these four musicians.

I'm happy they could showcase their gifts.

I'd like to thank the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

for bringing the youth quartet

from the Civic Youth Ensembles to the show.

Make sure to join us next time

on Detroit Performs Live from Marygrove,

where we promise to bring performances

that will thrill and excite you.

Yup, right here.

See you then.

- [Narrator] Funding for Detroit Performs is provided by

the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation,

The Kresge Foundation,

the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan,

the A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Foundation,

the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs,

the National Endowment for the Arts,

the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation,

and by contributions to your PBS station

from viewers like you, thank you.

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