For the first time since before the pandemic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s “Classical Roots” concert celebrating the works of Black composers and musicians, is returning fully in person for the 2023 season.

The performances, which will be held March 3-4, are led by the DSO’s newly appointed Assistant Conductor and Community Ambassador Na’Zir McFadden. The annual concert was performed fully remotely in 2021 and performed in a hybrid format in 2022.

One Detroit contributor Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ FM met up with McFadden at Orchestra Hall for a conversation about the 2023 “Classical Roots” concert. Plus, Sharpe gets a lesson in conducting from McFadden.  

Cecelia Sharpe and Na'Zir McFadden

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Na’Zir McFadden gives One Detroit contributor Cecelia Sharpe, left, of 90.9 WRCJ FM a lesson in conducting. | Photo by One Detroit

They talk about the role of the conductor in the orchestra, and McFadden gives a preview of what attendees can expect to hear at the concert and some of the special guest performances. Plus, McFadden shares the mission of the “Classical Roots” concert and the impact he hopes it will have on audiences.  

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