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A New Program of The Motor City Lyric Opera


Rooted in the belief that all individuals deserve access to beautiful music, Detroit Song Collective is a collective of performers, artists, teachers and musicians whose goal is to reach out to audiences and young talent in the greater Detroit community; to share important pieces of music; and to do so at the highest level. By bringing quality musical performances to students and the community and designing training and outreach programs to assist the development of talented and motivated young artists, Detroit Song Collective will enhance and enrich the lives of its audiences and students.


Music programs in schools have been proven to keep students engaged in the classroom; improve early cognitive development, math and reading skills; develop critical thinking skills; and foster confidence among students. But despite the verified and lasting impact music education has on students, many children in low-income communities still do not have access to it. While Detroit is largely on the rebound, social issues continue to plague the city’s residents, and access to quality education, let alone exposure to music, remains a critical issue facing the community’s future.


Based on a shared belief that the expression of the arts is a humanistic universal right that transcends social and economic boundaries, and should be available to everyone, MCLO has engaged Detroit Song Collective (DSC) to identify opportunities to expand its impact to high school age students. DSC will focus on both high school programs and individual young vocalists from Detroit and greater Southeast Michigan who would benefit most from being exposed to the highest level of artistic music and training.


In an effort to make performances more accessible and meaningful to its audiences, DSC will integrate elements of education into every performance. Each performance will be a collaboration between the musicians and artists onstage, as well as between the performers and the audience. Before each performance, the audience will be given information on the composer/(s), poetry/text and relevant context. After each performance, the audience will be invited to stay for a Q&A period with the performers to continue the conversation about the music they experienced, and how it impacts themselves and the community. The outreach performances in high schools will include a master class led by Dr. Jonathan Lasch and Caitlin Lynch. This is an exceptional and unique opportunity for young students to receive feedback and mentorship from professional singers, free of charge.      


Dr. Jonathan Lasch and Caitlin Lynch are professional singers living in Ferndale, Michigan. Jonathan and Caitlin met in 2006 while singing with Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program and married in 2010. After living and performing across the U.S. and globally over the past several years, they decided to move back to the Detroit area in 2017 to be closer to family and to collaborate with some of the most talented artists and musicians in the area to bring musical performances of the highest quality to the people of Detroit. Jonathan is a tenure track Professor of Voice at Wayne State University in Detroit and Caitlin continues an exciting and prestigious performing career, singing with some of the best opera companies and orchestras all over the world.

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