“Many of our community members would not otherwise have access to our musicians.”

Kareem George

A member at Skyline Club, Southfield, Mich., since 2013

BY LOUIS MARROQUIN / PHOTO BY PETER BAKER — Spring 2014

Who he is: As the managing director of community programs for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, he develops ways outside of the traditional theater setting for the DSO to engage with residents of Detroit and its suburbs.

Why it’s important: Through special performances, educational classes, and music therapy programs at area schools, churches, hospitals, and senior-citizen facilities, the DSO takes its music to the audience and gives back to the community that supports it. “It makes the orchestra more accessible to a broader segment of the population.”

This season: Due to popular demand, the DSO added a seventh neighborhood to its concert-series programming.

Making a difference: “I have participated in music therapy sessions with children who were valiantly fighting for their lives, and I saw how something as simple as having a clarinetist play ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ provided comfort for them and their families.”

Musical background: An accomplished flutist, he moved into orchestra management 10 years ago when he was diagnosed with focal dystonia, a neurological disorder that results in involuntary muscle contractions.

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