DTE Energy Foundation brings DSO to communities across Southeast Michigan based on popular votes

Detroit – For 50 years, the DTE Energy Foundation has supported the DSO and its cultural programs. That generous support continues and will once again bring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) out into the community for a free concert series this fall, conducted by DSO Assistant Conductor Michelle Merrill.

“Performing throughout metro Detroit is the perfect way to kick off the concert season each year, and the Foundation’s generous partnership makes it possible for us to reach ever increasing and diverse audiences,” said Anne Parsons, DSO President & CEO. “We are honored to make ourselves accessible to the very community that sustains us through work that is rewarding to our collective well-being.”

Where will the concerts be? That’s up to the people of Southeast Michigan.

Back by popular demand, the DTE Powers DSO venue competition challenges metro Detroiters to influence where the orchestra plays through a nomination and voting process. Once the stages are selected, the orchestra will perform four concerts September 23-25, 2016.

Interested parties may nominate a venue in their community at

“The concert series is just one of the many ways that the DSO inspires individuals, families and communities across Southeastern Michigan,” said Faye Nelson, vice president at DTE Energy, and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “Since 1966, the DTE Energy Foundation has partnered with the DSO, a true cultural institution, and we’re proud to provide more opportunities for people to see these world-renowned musicians.”

DTE Energy Foundation Presents the DSO in Your Community has been taking music to diverse and underserved communities throughout Southeast Michigan for the last five years.


Southeast Michigan residents are encouraged to nominate their neighborhood venues, organizations, schools, places of worship, community centers, etc. to host a free community concert by the DSO. Nomination instructions can be found at Nominations should be sent to by noon on June 8. Members of the public will then be encouraged to send comments online to support these nominations. A panel will review all nominations and comments of support, and select four venues to host a free DSO community concert. Nominations by a community must include a suitable venue and the expressed ability to provide a standing-room-only audience.

Nominee profiles will be posted at by June 28, at which time support comments from the community will be welcomed. Nominees selected to host free DSO community concerts will be announced on July 26.


Eligibility for selection will be based on the following criteria (outlined fully at

  • Venue within a 45-mile radius of Orchestra Hall (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).
  • Venue appropriate to accommodate a full orchestra with a stage/performance area minimum 50’ x 40’
  • Fully accessible venue meeting all ADA requirements, including ample and convenient parking
  • Venue/facility donated for the free DSO community concert
  • Audience capacity of 400+ and secured by the nominee
  • Compelling narrative – how would a free DSO community concert impact your community? (150 words or less)
  • Ability to co-promote the event
  • Up to four (4) letters of support representing diverse cross sections of the community (community/civic leaders, business leaders, students, community members at large)

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 ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. 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. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg 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, which now reaches tens of thousands of children with the new Classroom Edition expansion. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences. For more information visit

About the DTE Energy Foundation

The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.1 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.2 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2015, the DTE Energy Foundation provided $15 million in grant support to nonprofits throughout the company’s service territories. As one of Michigan’s leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress.