The remarkable Detroit Vision Ensemble is an all-male choral group at the Detroit School of the Arts. The vocal ensemble was created by music director Cheryl Valentine to showcase men’s voices, but also to provide a community of support.
Bass singer Derrick Bynum said he considers the other members part of his family. “The feeling of having your brothers around you and singing with your brothers— it’s magical,” Bynum says with a smile.
The group frequently performs with visiting musicians and orchestras and travels internationally singing jazz, Motown, gospel and classical. Recently, PBS aired their story as part of he NewsHour program.
Valentine says she is filled with hope every time she hears them sing. “I hear relief from problems they may have. For some, I hear leadership. I hear a longing to make the world better.”
The Detroit School of the Arts is a public school with a mission to provide rigorous coursework that “will prepare students for an internationally competitive society.” Every year, an impressive 98 percent of the students graduate and receive financial awards for college.
This report originally appeared on Detroit Performs, a production of member station WTVS, Detroit Public Television, Ch. 56. The video was produced by Sarah Zientarski-Smith, edited by Tina Brunn. Matthew Brunn was the director of photography with additional camerawork by Orlando Ford and Shakeb Ahmed.
Local Beat is an ongoing series on Art Beat that features arts and culture stories from PBS member stations around the nation.