Detroit Symphony Orchestra Musicians Offer Online ‘DSO Summer Institute’

Mike Lawson • News • July 20, 2020

Today, members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) begin a weeklong online training intensive featuring private lessons and masterclasses for college-level and pre-professional musicians. Conceived and developed entirely by DSO musicians with administrative support from DSO staff, the DSO Summer Institute will run July 20-25, 2020.

Seventy DSO musicians will work with 113 students from across the country, selected by audition for this full-scholarship learning opportunity.

With an array of virtual course offerings delivered over Zoom, participants will learn about the career of an orchestral musician: auditioning, receiving tenure, mental and physical wellness, and much more. Online private lessons and masterclasses with DSO musicians will be at the heart of each participant’s schedule. Discussions—including one with incoming DSO music director Jader Bignamini—and Watch Parties of archived DSO performances will also take place. The week will conclude with a mock audition.

“What excites me the most about the Summer Institute is that it complements our already existing education programs,” said Johanna Yarbrough, DSO horn. “The Institute is a high-caliber training opportunity for the future talent of the DSO Fellowship program and the orchestra itself. I look forward to working alongside some of the brightest young musicians in the hopes that one day they might sit beside us or become members of other orchestras.” 

“Summer music festivals were really important to my development as a musician, and the DSO Summer Institute is an amazing opportunity in a time when a lot of festivals have been cancelled,” said Hannah Hammel, DSO principal flute. “I’m particularly excited about how holistic the offerings are. The participants are incredibly talented, and I look forward to welcoming them this week.” 

“The outstanding work DSO musicians have put into the Summer Institute program, as well as the really strong applicant pool, shows the innovation and excellence of our orchestra,” said DSO vice president and general manager Erik Rönmark. “That our musicians’ own Summer Institute immediately follows our three-week partnership with Interlochen Center for the Arts’ summer online program also demonstrates our commitment to education. Special thanks to Johanna Yarbrough, Hannah Hammel, Kevin Brown, and Ralph Skiano for spearheading this new initiative.”

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