Detroit Symphony Orchestra music director Leonard Slatkin shared the stage with his Los Angeles childhood friend, six-time Grammy winning songwriter Randy Newman to perform at the annual Heroes Gala on June 6.
This year’s benefit concert was the highest grossing fundraising event in DSO history. The event raised more than $1.4 million to support for music education programs for the youth in metro Detroit.
Candace Campbell, head secretary of Cass Technical High School, attended the gala and said she believes funding for music education in public schools is a much needed cause.
“Working at a public school setting, we always need more instruments, time with teachers and lessons,” Campbell said. “More support for music education, especially in public schools, would be great. We have the whole city of Detroit we need to reach out to.”
Chris Campbell, WDET radio host of The Progressive Underground, added that music education at a young age is very important to him, because it can make a life-changing impact.
“It opens up worldviews and cultural perspectives,” he said. “It creates acceptance of diverse cultures and impacts society in such a beautiful way.”
Newman, who many know from his song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from the “Toy Story” film soundtrack, said in the press release that it’s always a thrill and an honor to write for and conduct a symphony orchestra.
“To work with Leonard, who is my good friend and the best musician I know, is as good as it gets for me,” he said in the press release.
Slatkin commended Newman’s impact on music throughout his four-decade career as he introduced him to the concert audience.
“Randy Newman changes the way we listen to music and its words,” Slatkin said during the introduction. “Where most of us may look at the world through rose colored glasses, Randy looks at a rose through world colored glasses.”
According to the press release, the benefit concert also honored Wayne State Alumnus and CEO of Guardian Industries Bill Davidson for funding domestic and international tours for the DSO, and his family for continuing his legacy.
“Bill was not necessarily a fan of classical music, but his devotion to the DSO was different, with it he saw excellence,” Slatkin said in his speech.
With over 1,500 guests in attendance at the event, DSO Board Chairman Phillip Fisher, President and CEO Anne Parsons, and two Civic Youth Orchestra students presented an award to Davidson’s family, according to the press release.
Gov. Rick Snyder congratulated the family in his speech during the event.
“We have that focus, we have that leadership, let’s continue reinventing Michigan and making Detroit even greater in future years than it is today,” he said during his speech.
Article via: The South End