Cass Tech students Quinell May Jr., Anjel Mantel, and B'nathaniel Orlu were awarded a full sponsorship in the fall to perform in Spain and Portugal as integral members of the Community Chorus of Detroit (CCD).
These students had the opportunity to travel to Europe in early September and showcase the skills they learned in the CCD, a choir of 70. There are only four students in the choir. As the only three selected for the task, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.
The CCD is led by Thom and Diane Linn, who are both Cass Tech alumni. With weekly rehearsals on Sundays from 1:30-4:30 p.m., this choir was able to ensure, at no cost to the students, that May Jr., Mantel, and Orlu had all of the tools they needed to represent not only their school, but their city.
“Interacting with different cultures helped me to see life through a different lens,” May said.
The CCD is dedicated to serving the Metro Detroit area with emphasis on the city of Detroit. It is committed to maintaining the highest levels of artistic and professional integrity through its selection of great music, leadership, organizational development, religious expectation, and outreach.
The CCD was founded in 2010 by Diane Linn, the current executive director and board president. She was contacted by Dr. Jerry Blackstone, former conducting department chair at the University of Michigan, to discuss his vision of a community chorus in Detroit.
With Blackstone's recommendation, Joseph Baldwin, a master’s candidate at the University of Michigan, became the founding artistic director and conductor of the CCD. He remained with the chorus for two highly successful years before accepting a faculty position at Smith College. Upon his departure, the CCD conducted a national search for a new conductor, selecting Edward Maki-Schramm from 12 outstanding candidates.
In the summer of 2012, the CCD welcomed Maki-Schramm as its new artistic director and conductor to lead the chorus into its exciting future.
If any Cass Tech students grades 9-12th want to join the CCD, please see Quinell May Jr. The CCD is looking for six more student members.