Detroit Symphony starts amateur orchestra

Detroit Symphony starts amateur orchestra


norman lebrecht

September 11, 2016

In an initiative apparently without precedent in America, a major city orchestra has created a structure for adult amateur string players to form an associated ensemble.

The new orchestra is open to all adult string musicians with two years’ experience. The first rehearsal is due on Oct. 11 at the Max M. and Marjorie Fisher Music Center.



  • margaret koscielny says:

    It’s NOT the first. There was such an orchestra in Jacksonville Florida after ww2, called, the Jacksonville Philharmonic. The musicians were graduates of various local high schools, and veterans of the local WPA orchestra. There were also trained musicians, such as graduates from conservatories, in the US and Europe, but, there was no paid, professional symphony in the city until 1950.

    There must have been similar orchestras in other towns after the war.

  • Lee Anderson says:

    Read the article Margaret – the Detroit Symphony is organizing it – of course there are many amateur orchestras all over the world but I have never heard of the professionals helping get them going. They are usually viewed as a threat to the pro orchestra. Bravo to the Detroit Symphony for having vision

  • James says:

    Isn’t there something like this in Chicago?

    • BillG says:

      I believe, (NOT SURE, DON’T HAVE 100% CERTAINTY, OTHER WEASEL WORDS) the one in Chicago was originally established as a “farm team” for the CSO. I think it was the Chicago Civic Symphony.

      • James says:

        That’s the one I was thinking of (what’s a “farm team”, though?), thanks!

        • BillG says:

          It’s an expression from American Baseball. A club in the major league will own one in a lower level league. It’s used to train players that have the potential but haven’t polished their skills to major league level.

  • Doug says:

    Hmmmm. when I was a music student in Detroit in 1980-82 I was a member of the Detroit Civic Orchestra, also under the wing of the Detroit Symphony. We also were given the opportunity to perform in the newly re-discovered Orchestra Hall with some of the most outstanding acoustics of any hall in the world.

  • jaxon says:

    This sounds a lot like the SF Symphony’s Community of Music Makers, just a bit more formalized.

    It would be nice if there was a link to an article about this. I’m not going to hunt around on the internet for one. I imagine this post was written based on a press release the author received. I wonder if the press release made claims about this being the “first ever” etc.