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Detroit River & Skyline

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DETROIT – The Detroit Historical Society, through its Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward community engagement project, is pleased to partner with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on this year’s Classical Roots Celebration, taking place on Friday, March 3. Drawing inspiration from the 50th anniversary of 1967, this year’s program will see the world premiere of an as-yet-unnamed original composition by renowned trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard. The Detroit Historical Society has provided personal stories from our archive of nearly 400 oral histories to inform Blanchard’s piece as well as historic images to enhance the live performance.

Classical Roots aims to increase awareness of the contributions of African-American composers and musicians through performance and recordings, and to support increased opportunities for African-Americans in classical music through the DSO’s African-American Composer Residency, Emerging Composer Program and African-American Fellowship. This year’s program, conducted by Kazem Abdullah, will also honor jazz violinist and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter and feature Jeffrey Mumford’s cello concerto titled “of fields unfolding…echoing depths of resonant light.” Cellist Christine Lamprea, First Prize winner of the 2013 Sphinx Competition, joins the DSO as guest soloist for the cello concerto. Tickets are on sale now at dso.org/classicalroots.

Marlowe Stoudamire, Detroit 67 project director, says, “The DSO’s Classical Roots Celebration is an annual tradition, celebrating African American musicians and composers whose contributions transcend time and place while rooting us deeply in our community. The debut of Terence Blanchard’s piece demonstrates the role art can play in making history relevant in the present as we come together to tell our story and inspire our future.”

The Detroit Historical Society looks forward to continuing the conversation around this year’s 50th anniversary of 1967 with dozens of upcoming programs across the community and a comprehensive and interactive exhibition, Detroit 67: Perspectives, set to open on June 24, 2017 at the Detroit Historical Museum. Visit detroit1967.org for more details.

Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward is a community engagement project of the Detroit Historical Society that brings together diverse voices and communities around the effects of an historic crisis to find their place in the present and inspire the future. Get involved at detroit1967.org.

The Detroit Historical Society, established in 1921, is a private, nonprofit organization located in Midtown, the heart of Detroit’s cultural center. Founded in 1921, its mission is to tell Detroit’s stories and why they matter. Today, the Society operates the Detroit Historical Museum and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. In addition, the Society is responsible for the conservation and preservation of more than 250,000 artifacts that represent three centuries of our region’s rich history. Through its museum exhibits, school tour programs, community-based programs and history-themed outreach efforts, the Society serves more than 150,000 people annually.

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