Detroit Evening Report: Kwanzaa celebrations in Detroit

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A 30-foot tall Kwanzaa kinara in Detroit

The Motor City Kwanzaa Kinara in 2022.

Detroit’s Cass Technical High School’s Harp and Vocal Ensemble is almost 100 years old.

The program was founded in the mid-1920s and is just one part of a rich musical history at Cass. WDET’s Jerome Vaughn spoke to Lydia Cleaver, the director of the harp and vocal program, in 2016.

The program has survived and thrived, Cleaver says, because students of the program continually return to lead it. Cleaver is an alumna of the program herself. She says she’s seen how it has changed as forces from within and outside the district have changed how they prioritize music education.

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.