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Detroiters get first chance to hear new compositions by Black composers

Matthew Evan Taylor COURTESY PHOTO

Matthew Evan Taylor

Writing cutting-edge new music is hard enough, but assembling a whole orchestra of qualified musicians to play it while it is being composed is near impossible.

Fortunately, a new partnership between the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and EarShot (the National Orchestra Composition Discovery Netwrok) is giving four emerging African American composers an opportunity to develop their newest works with an orchestra at their disposal and under the guidance of mentor composers. At a free concert, titled 2014 New Music Readings for African American Composers, scheduled for Orchestra Hall on March 9, the DSO will perform these compositions for the public.

Erica Lindsay, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Kevin Scott and Matthew Evan Taylor were selected from a national pool of contending composers to participate in the workshop. Mentor composers will help them tweak their work as will feedback from DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin and “key orchestra members,” according to a press release.

In addition to the 2014 readings, EarShot and the DSO offer free workshops for the public on March 10 from 1-7 p.m. Workshop topics range from funding opportunities for composers to legal issues and the evolving nature of the concert music industry.

Although tickets for the performances and the workshops are free, reservations are required. Visit to register or learn more.

— Staff report

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