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DETROIT, (June 8, 2015) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) Fifth Annual Heroes Gala on Saturday was the highest grossing fundraising event in the institution’s history, surpassing the previous record set by the Grand Opening of the Max M. Fisher Music Center. The event raised more than $1.4 million in support of the DSO’s commitment to transforming the lives of children and youth across our region through music education.

The benefit concert, featuring legendary singer, songwriter and composer Randy Newman performing with the DSO, preceded a gala celebration honoring the Davidson/Gerson family. More than 1,500 guests were in attendance that evening, when DSO Board Chairman Phillip Fisher, President and CEO Anne Parsons, and two Civic Youth Orchestra students presented the award to Karen Davidson, Ethan Davidson, Dorothy Gerson, and Ralph Gerson on behalf of the family. Governor Rick Snyder gave congratulatory remarks following video greetings from Mayor Mike Duggan and DSO Director Emeritus Bill Berman.

The DSO fondly remembers Bill Davidson’s passionate belief that full community engagement is not possible with concerts at Orchestra Hall alone. He proved his wisdom by funding domestic and international tours for the DSO, and his family has continued that legacy by supporting our travel to southern Florida and New York City. This season, the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert series has served thousands of families around metro Detroit, and we look forward to the continued evolution of that initiative.

The DSO founded the Heroes Gala in 2010 in honor of the remarkable men and women who impact the vision, values, and success of the organization. Previous honorees are Jim Nicholson, President and CEO of PVS Chemicals Inc.; Lloyd Reuss, former President of the General Motors Corp; Barbara Van Dusen, beloved supporter of the arts in Detroit; Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures; and Matt Cullen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rock Ventures LLC.


The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in December 2012, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season and acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter, Jeff Tyzik was appointed Principal Pops Conductor in November 2012. The DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with chart-topping musicians from Smokey Robinson to Kid Rock. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922 when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall and the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.



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