Community Engagement

Providing high-quality and meaningful community engagement, both in schools and for young professionals, is a core part of DCWS’ mission. Over 36 years, our commitment has expanded to impact children as young as five all the way through college. In schools and on the concert stage, young people benefit from our artists’ expertise and our audiences’ enthusiasm every season.

In addition to working with middle and high school students in masterclasses, open rehearsals and adjudication, DCWS has two major curriculum-based elementary school programs: Science & Sound and Bremen Town Musicians. Both initiatives engage students directly in the creation of art, are interactive and sequential and tie to school curriculum and core standards.

Community heART Highland Park
Established in 2016, Community heART utilizes the arts to strengthen the Highland Park community. CAHP aims to support and develop collaborative activities through promoting the city’s existing vibrant cultural assets and providing residents with access to resources. During the pandemic, CAHP has continued to engage the community through its re-granting program, drive-in events, WHPR radio broadcasts and more. The program is supported by a generous grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation 


Bremen Town Musicians
Bremen Town Musicians takes the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale and brings it to life in a narrated sing-along story with call-and-response and Q & A. Pre-K through second-grade students participate in a scripted story that utilizes five of our artists. Classical tunes are played alongside familiar children’s songs to capture the spirit of the donkey, cat, dog and rooster who set out on a journey to become musicians.

Musical Elements teaches several aspects of classical chamber music using hip hop as an educational mediumMusical Elements
Musical Elements was introduced in our 2021-2022 season and will be presented at public schools in Wayne and Oakland counties in 2022-2023. The program was commissioned by DCWS and composed by Southfield based composer and educator Kris Johnson. Musical Elements teaches several aspects of classical chamber music using hip hop as an educational medium. Students in grades K-5 learn about the woodwind, brass, and string instruments as well as the musical elements of melody, harmony, unison, articulation and tempos. The presentation is a combination of a scripted lesson, slideshow, and musical performances involving DCWS players and a hip hop artist. 


Science & Sound
In Science & Sound, third-grade students get a first-hand look at how pitch, frequency, vibrations and wavelengths are produced by musical instruments. Four artists weave a step-by-step process where students touch the instruments, experiment and build their own instruments out of recycled goods.

DCWS staff is working with a new Education Advisory Committee made up of a cohort of educators from around the region to help guide our efforts in providing enriching artistic experiences for all students.

Want to learn more or bring these programs to your school? Contact Jainelle Robinson, Community Engagement Officer, at robinson@art-ops.org or at 248-559-2095.

Young Artists

DCWS annually sponsors a young composer-in-residence and young ensemble-in-residence in collaboration with the University of Michigan and Oberlin Conservatory. Each year, one school provides DCWS with a young composer while the other provides a young ensemble. The composer typically writes a work that the ensemble premieres for a DCWS audience. DCWS is proud to promote the future of chamber music by hosting these young artists in performance and professional development opportunities as they build their careers.

In the 2022-23 season, we welcome:

Novus Reed Quintet
The Novus Reed Quintet is a chamber ensemble comprised of current University of Michigan students. The members (Nadia Para, Triniti Rives, Haruka Taguchi, Ben Richard, and Ben Taylor) have a passion for sharing the reed quintet repertoire with new audiences and are advocates for new music as a whole. Novus has received special recognition at both the Coltman Chamber Music Competition and the Briggs Chamber Music Competition. Novus has had the privilege of receiving musical guidance and mentorship from world class musicians including Professor Bill King, Alban Wesly of the Calefax Reed Quintet, and members of the Akropolis Reed Quintet.

Ryn Lazorchak, composer
Ryn Lazorchak (b. 2002) is a composer, improviser, and arranger based in Arlington, Virginia. Lazorchak is interested in the connection between timbre, texture, and emotion. Their work unites influences ranging from contemporary and early 20th century concert music to jazz and prog rock. Lazorchak is currently pursuing a BA in computer science and a BM in composition from Oberlin College and Conservatory, where they have studied under the tutelage of Dr. Jesse Jones and Dr. Elizabeth Ogonek, in addition to Dr. Stephen Hartke, Dr. Michael Frazier, and Prof. Jihyun Kim. Further compositional mentors have included Dr. Daniel Felsenfeld and Dr. Dennis K. Sullivan II.

Want to learn more about internships? Contact Chloe Tooson, Artistic Operations Manager, at tooson@art-ops.org or 248-559-2095.