DSO wants to collect 2,500 new, used instruments for Detroit students who want to learn

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Have an old flute or clarinet you don't use anymore? The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will take it.

The DSO is collecting 2,500 new and used instruments this month as part of an inaugural instrument drive for its Detroit Harmony program. The program, announced two years ago, aims to put an instrument in the hands of every K-12 public, private or charter student who wants to learn how to play.

The DSO wants to collect 2,500 instruments for its new Detroit Harmony program.

The instruments will be refurbished before they're given out.

“Getting 2,500 instruments into the hands of Detroit students and enrolling them in a music program and lessons will be transformative for these kids,” 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.

Drop-off sites for instruments, which will be collected until the end of October, are located throughout Detroit and Michigan. They include: Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center; A & G Central Music; Cliff Bell’s, Detroit Wayne Music Studio; Marshall Music Co.; McCourt’s Music; Meridian Winds, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association; and select PNC Bank locations.

The marching bands for the University of Michigan and Michigan State University also are collecting instruments.

Detroit Harmony, which the DSO unveiled in 2019, is a citywide collaboration with music educators, performing artists, Detroit residents, civic leaders, and nonprofit music education providers to equip local students with instruments and teach them how to play. The orchestra completed the first phase of funding the same year the program was announced, raising $300,000 from local foundations. 

"It's a big, bold idea that will require big, bold commitments," said Mark Davidoff, the DSO board chairman, in 2019. "But we're full throttle behind it, and think we're onto something very, very important."

Go to dso.org/detroitharmony for more details.