DSO plays for thousands of students through webcast

The Detroit News

Students at Yes Academy in Detroit listen to the first-ever webcast by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday.

Detroit — The Detroit Symphony Orchestra performed Wednesday for an audience of 30,000 students in nearly 300 city schools through an expansion of the symphony's webcast program.

"An American Adventure," conducted by new DSO assistant conductor Michelle Merrill and hosted by actor and musician Damon Gupton, included performances of works by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Antonin Dvorak and John Williams, among others.

In April 2011, the DSO began weekly free webcasts of its performances in a series known as Live from Orchestra Hall. Wednesday's concert marks an expansion of that program to school audiences.

Besides the Detroit schools, the webcast was shown to an additional 10,000 students in 125 other schools across the country.

Mary-Kate Boyles, 7, listens during a webcast by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to students at Yes Academy in Detroit on Wednesday. "This was the first day I've ever heard it. It was beautiful," Mary-Kate said.

For years, the DSO has performed live for students at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in its Educational Concert Series.

"Every student deserves access to the creative arts, regardless of circumstances," DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons said. "With the wonders of technology and the DSO's belief in accessibility, we are so thrilled to be able to deliver this opportunity directly into classrooms within Detroit and across the country."