What’s the Detroit Song Collective? That’s what we asked founding performers, Caitlin Lynch and Dr. Jonathan Lasch. Catch the duo this weekend for one—or both their performances of “Bach to Bernstein,” where the singers will be joined by an instrumental ensemble led by violinist Sonia Lee and pianist Jean Schneider.

Playlist below to get you in the mood.

Detroitisit: What is the Detroit Song Collective?

Detroit Song Collective: 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 and training for outreach programs to assist the development of talented and motivated young artists, the Detroit Song Collective is focused to enhance and enrich the lives of its audiences and students.

Opera Singer Dr. Jonathan Lasch

DII: How’d it get started?

DSC: 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. The Motor City Lyric Opera (MCLO) was the perfect organization to collaborate with in the creation and realization of Detroit Song Collective. MCLO is well respected and established in the community and their mission married beautifully with that of DSC; to serve the community we love so dearly.  Jonathan is a tenure track Professor of Voice at Wayne State University in Detroit and Caitlin continues a prestigious performing career, singing with some of the best opera companies and orchestras all over the world. 

DII: Why Detroit? 

DSC: Detroit is our home and after years of travel, we plan to settle in here for the long haul. With all that Detroit has going on right now, we feel that we are still managing to fill a unique artistic void- we are working with visual and musical artists. We have plans for a training program. We will incorporate dance in future programs. We will make this art form of “song” accessible and meaningful for the people in and around Detroit.

For someone who has never been to one of your performances, what can they expect this weekend?

They can expect to feel comfortable and welcome. We will always build a bridge between performers and audience members. They can expect a personal and intimate vibe with a wide range of musical styles. There will be two singers (Caitlin and Jonathan) and seven instrumentalists. The music and poetry is relevant, moving, and hopefully healing, something we believe the world needs now!

All proceeds from our performances go to MCLO’s anti-bullying children’s opera outreach. Most of the music programs in Detroit have been cut drastically and MCLO brings the music to the children free of charge. 

A bit about yourselves—

DII: How do you listen to music at home?

DSC: Playlists on iPhone and listen from phone at home and in car and at the gym. We love apple music. 

DII: Last album you’ve listened to in its entirety?

DSC: Prologue by Milk Carton Kids (Jonathan)

DSC: Blue by Joni Mitchell (Caitlin)

DII: Favorite opera?

DSC: Falstaff by Verdi (Jonathan)

DSC: Suor Angelica by Puccini (Caitlin)

DII: Piece of music everyone should listen to? 

DSC: Dover Beach by Samuel Barber (which is on the program this weekend!)

Rhapsody in Blue- Gershwin 

Le Nozze di Figaro overture – Mozart

DII: Favorite venue to see a live performance? In Detroit? The World? 

DSC: Minnesota Orchestra Hall, Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor, Detroit Opera House, Metropolitan Opera NYC.

DII: Tell us something we don’t know. 

DSC: Mary Callaghan Lynch, founder and artistic director of The Motor City Lyric Opera, was Aretha Franklin’s operatic voice coach. 

Caitlin and Jonathan got engaged in Detroit while singing lead roles in Don Giovanni by Mozart in 2010 with Michigan Opera Theater.

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