Letter from Cornelia Pokrzywa


Dear DSO Board Members,

Educational offerings are supposed to be the cornerstone of the DSO’s community outreach programs. Over the years, thousands of metro Detroit children have visited Orchestra Hall to hear Peter and the Wolf, Pictures at an Exhibition, The Typewriter, and now . . . the Candy Band???

I fail to see how this programming fits the mission of the institution. The goal of Tiny Tots is to prepare children’s ears and minds for symphonic music. For many years now, Maestro Thomas Wilkins has offered children entertaining and informative anecdotes as part of a program featuring the very finest musicians showcasing the range of their instruments. Featured programs such as Benjamin Britten’s Introduction to the Orchestra helped children “unpack” the symphonic experience, leading to greater appreciation of more challenging repertoire. While the Candy Band has in the past been featured as a “sideshow” in the Super Saturday program, I see that the group is the sole offering for the upcoming Tiny Tots concert on January 29th. I challenge you to consider the impact of this kind of programming on your future audiences. Do you want to bring them back to Orchestra Hall, or not? What is the plan for reaching new audiences and influencing a new generation of symphonic patrons? I wonder, and many people wonder, when we see programming like this. Our DSO musicians are the reason people bring their children to Orchestra Hall. Please do everything in your power to bring them back to the audience.

Cornelia Pokrzywa
Rochester Hills, MI
Parent and Audience Member

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