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Ford and Detroit Symphony Orchestra Bring Chamber Music to Detroit Neighborhoods with New Free Concert Series

  • Chamber music series “DSO on the Go with Ford” will feature 10 free performances by Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians at neighborhood locations around Detroit
  • Series began July 22 with a performance by bassoonist Michael Ke Ma and cellist David LeDoux at Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC)
  • Performances support Ford’s longstanding commitment to Detroit cultural institutions, including DSO

Ford Motor Company and Detroit Symphony Orchestra are building on their long history together by launching a new performance series that brings live orchestral music into the neighborhoods of Detroit.

“DSO on the Go with Ford” will feature 10 free performances by DSO musicians at locations around Detroit. The first performance featured bassoonist Michael Ke Ma and cellist David LeDoux at Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) at 2826 Bagley St. in Detroit’s Mexicantown neighborhood.

“Ford Motor Company has been generously helping DSO reach new audiences as far back in history as the 1930s, when they sponsored our live radio broadcasts,” said DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons. “Our collective motivation to increase accessibility remains alive today with Ford’s support of our free Webcast series and now, with this new Detroit chamber music initiative, in bringing inspirational musical experiences to audiences across our community as well as around the world.”

Ford Motor Company Fund, the automaker’s philanthropic arm, is supporting the new music series as part of its longstanding commitment to DSO and to enriching communities where the company does business.

“DSO is one of the cultural jewels that make our city great, and we are excited to have its acclaimed musicians perform live throughout Detroit’s neighborhoods,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “This concert series also fits with our belief in expanding awareness of the incredible level of arts and music we have in our community.”

Ford also continues to work with the DSO in other ways to broaden the orchestra’s appeal and audience reach. Five members of the DSO’s brass section recently paid a visit to Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., where they put on an impromptu performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Contrapunctus IX while new Focus and C-MAX cars rolled off the assembly line. Earlier this year, Ford provided support to the DSO’s “Live From Orchestra Hall” series of free HD webcasts.

DSO on the Go with Ford will continue Aug. 5 at FREC, followed by a third at the same location Aug. 19. Additional concerts will be scheduled at a later date. FREC opened last year to support the rebuilding of Detroit neighborhoods by providing a community gathering space for residents to develop new talents, learn new skills and obtain needed services.

Ford has provided DSO with more than $17 million in support over the last 20 years.

About the DSO

Hailed by The New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. The DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with chart-topping musicians from Smokey Robinson to Kid Rock. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922 when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit

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