It was recently suggested that the loss of national exposure from the TV show Detroit 1-8-7 would impact Detroit more than the loss of the DSO.
On the one hand, we have a great TV drama (love it!) with highly skilled actors portraying interesting detectives in a gritty city dealing with murder and mayhem. Background shots showcase the many sides of Detroit from empty, burned out buildings to Detroit’s best landmarks.
Along with national exposure, the show brought jobs and dollars to Detroit. If you haven’t watched it yet, please give it a chance. It plays on Tuesday night, channel 7 at 10 p.m. Even though the show is attracting its fair share of viewers nationally, rumors are that it may be canceled.
The loss of this show would mean that Detroit was no longer viewed by millions of people nationally on Tuesday and Detroit loses the presence of these great actors, the jobs and the money generated by the show.
On the other hand, we have Detroit’s nearly 100 year old destination orchestra currently rated as one of the top ten in the country. To be a destination orchestra means that career musicians aspire to play for this orchestra and plan to stay. Musicians literally come from all over the world to audition for openings. Right now the DSO is made up of a select group of musicians at the top of their field.
The roughly 85 DSO musicians plant roots in our community and raise families here. They play in Orchestra Hall, recognized as one of the world’s foremost music halls for its incredible acoustics. The world’s finest soloists and conductors frequent Detroit during a normal concert season to perform with the DSO for our Metro Detroit audiences.
DSO recordings and weekly Radio Broadcasts are played all over the world to international audiences. For decades, the DSO has performed outreach activities in the community schools to help educate our children. The DSO civic youth orchestras perform regularly at Orchestra Hall. Many students in the metro-Detroit area are taught by DSO musicians and aspire to careers in music. Church and college choirs perform with the DSO at Orchestra Hall, and the Sphinx Competition provides opportunity and exposure to promising minority musicians.
The DSO audiences patronize the businesses and bring life and vitality to the streets around Orchestra Hall. The DSO is a staple ingredient in a very solid line-up of cultural activities and venues that Detroit provides for Midwest and Canadian audiences. Orchestra Hall is considered an anchor for the redevelopment of the Woodward Avenue and Mid Town redevelopment initiative.
The loss of the DSO is not just an end to nearly a century old tradition in Detroit; it means that Detroit loses all of the above.
What do you think?
Dave Assemany for Save Our Symphony