Michigan State University and Detroit School of Arts to honor Black composers with free concert

'Music Honoring Black History Month with the MSU Wind Symphony' is scheduled for Feb. 6

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State University Wind Symphony will kick off its partnership with the Detroit School of Arts next month with a special performance at Detroit School of Arts in honor of Black composers.

The event, called “Music Honoring Black History Month with the MSU Wind Symphony,” is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 6, at 3 p.m. at the Detroit School of Arts. The show is free and open to the public and will feature composers Kevin Day, Omar Thomas and Damien Crutcher.

“This concert is a wonderful way to highlight the influence and depth of Black composers in classical music within the context of Black History Month. I am so pleased to welcome the MSU Wind Symphony to Detroit,” Crutcher, an MSU College of Music alumnus, conducting faculty member at Wayne State University and conductor with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra said in a statement.

Crutcher added, “This concert will include Omar Thomas and Kevin Day speaking from the stage as well as having their music performed. It will be an artistic, engaging and educational event, and with this repertoire and the guests that are participating, it is historic and an excellent sign of things to come.”

Crutcher also serves as the managing director of Detroit Harmony and the founder of Crescendo Detroit, a nonprofit “focused on transforming the lives of Detroit school-age children through intense instrumental music, vocal music and dance programs that promote artistic excellence and character building,” according to a statement. He will guest conduct the MSU Wind Symphony with MSU conductors Kevin Sedatole, Arris Golden and David Thornton.

“I think it is important for the musicians in our Wind Symphony, for the College of Music, and for our partners in Detroit to create opportunities like this to bring our artistry to the city and especially the students who will be able to see and hear diverse composers celebrated,” Sedatole, MSU professor of music and director of bands, said in a statement.

Sedatole added, “This concert honors excellent Black composers, and we are happy to be working with the DSA to share it with the entire community.”

Even though tickets for the Feb. 6 concert are free, advanced tickets are required for entry. To reserve a ticket, call the Detroit School of Arts’ main office at 313-494-6427 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tickets will be available at will call or may be picked up at DSA. The show will also be broadcast online, thanks to the support of Detroit Public Television, via the MSU College of Music YouTube channel.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the concert is required of all attendees for ages 12 and up. For more information, visit the MSU College of Music’s website.

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