Inaugural Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Set for Dec. 16


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The DSO will perform with renowned deaf musicians at The Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience on Dec. 16.

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Classical music will meet hip hop, pop, and world-class percussion when Eminem publisher 8 Mile Style Music presents The Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience, starring three renowned deaf artists performing an unprecedented concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at Orchestra Hall in Detroit.

Grammy winning percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, America's Got Talent finalist Mandy Harvey, and hip-hop star Sean Forbes, all three of whom are deaf, will headline an immersive orchestral experience to benefit the Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN), a Detroit based non-profit created to make music and culture accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community. D-PAN was co-founded in 2006 by Sean Forbes and Detroit music producer Joel Martin (Bacow).

As part of the event, the entire concert's performances will be given in American Sign Language (ASL) accompanied by large screen videos with lyrics presented for each song.

Grammy winning Sly5thAve will conduct arrangements of Detroit-centric hits by hometown composer Jake Bass, with performances by Grammy and Academy Award winning musicians Jeff Bass and Luis Resto. In turn, the Motown Museum in Detroit is sponsoring a set of Motown classics arranged by music legend Paul Riser.

"The DSO prides itself on being the most accessible orchestra on the planet, so we were eager to collaborate on the very first Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience when the idea was brought to us," says Erik Rönmark, vice president and general manager of the DSO. "It's a one-of-a-kind event with outstanding musicians who happen to be deaf, and we are excited to see it come to fruition here in Orchestra Hall."

The DSO event follows the recent introduction of DPAN.TV, a global online streaming channel that offers news, videos, and information, all in ASL (more than 100,000 subscribers). Based in Ferndale, DPAN.TV has 25 employees, all of whom are deaf or hard of hearing.

"I want people to experience music the way I've always presented it, in American Sign Language, with visual lyrics, and, of course, loud and fun," says Forbes. "What's gratifying is I'm doing this in my hometown with the famed DSO, and with legends and dames, too."

The event will be live-streamed on select PBS affiliates through Detroit Public Television.

Tickets for The Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience are available on the DSO website here, or by calling 313-576-5111.

D-PAN, a registered 501(c)3, was founded in 2006 to make music accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community. Since then, D-PAN launched DPAN.TV — The Sign Language Channel — making news and information accessible online to everyone. D-PAN reaches the deaf and hard of hearing community as well as interpreters, educators, students, parents, and family.

The DSO makes its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. The organization will celebrate its centennial in 2019-2020. 

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