School of Music, Theatre and Dance

OU/DIME Detroit students organizing benefit hybrid concert, ‘Playing It Forward’

Concert will feature young artists from Michigan and Colorado, and raise funds for the Detroit Impact Center

icon of a calendarNovember 8, 2021

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OU/DIME Detroit students organizing benefit hybrid concert, ‘Playing It Forward’
Play It Forward
"Playing It Forward" will be presented in-person and via Zoom at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 at DIME Detroit.

This December, Oakland University students, in collaboration with the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME), will present “Playing It Forward,” a hybrid concert benefiting the Detroit Impact Center, a nonprofit that works with west side Detroit youth to teach, mentor, guide, motivate and encourage them.

The concert — which will be presented in-person and via Zoom at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 at DIME Detroit (located at 1265 Griswold Street) — was developed by students in the music industry workshop project class who were tasked with conceptualizing a project and working together in a group to complete the specified and realistic project during the fall semester.

“This class is all about hands-on learning with students getting real-life music industry experience in planning, promoting, prepping, and executing the event,” said Drew Schultz, OU@DIME faculty member. “It’s the best way for students to learn and experience what it’s like to work in the music industry.”

OU and DIME Detroit partnered in 2020 to provide Bachelor of Arts degrees in music performance, songwriting, music production and music industry studies to students wanting to pursue a career in commercial music.

“As a first year OU/DIME student, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Music Industry Workshop Project student Sophia (Pixie) Gabriel. “Being a songwriting major, I haven’t learned too much about putting on events and I’ve always seen it as a weakness. Drew threw us right into planning, we took it step by step, and I feel like I’ve already learned so much that I can use in my musical career. I’ve learned that consistency in promotion is key, as well as variety in how you communicate with your audience.”

Guitar student Jay Racey said that “before taking this class, putting together an event like this would have been overwhelming. The collaborative aspect of our student group has made the process seem more doable. I’ve never put together anything like this, so figuring out all of the steps we need to take, one by one and in advance, has made it a lot less intimidating.”

“Being fairly new to the music scene, this event is something that I’ve only ever dreamed of working on” said freshman Music Industry Studies student, Neisa Moumdjian. “The MIWP class and event planning process has opened my eyes to the wonders of working in the music industry and collaboration. Being a part of an event that is for such an amazing cause is truly inspiring.”

The “Playing It Forward” hybrid benefit concert will include acoustic/MTV Unplugged-style performances from the artists involved.

In addition to students Riley Grant and Jahleel Hunley from the Detroit Impact Center, the concert will feature a varied list of acts from Detroit and Colorado, including pianist, singer and songwriter Delaney Natke; MC / Producer and DIME-Detroit alumna Frankie P.; Jazz-inflected dreamy Pop group Fun Machine; rock band Alavon Black; pop-punk band Killing Pixies, and alt-rock/hickpop band The Beekeepers.

“It is an exciting time for Detroit Impact as we are celebrating thirty years of providing these programs and services to the community,” said DIC founder Calvin Colbert, a songwriter in his own right who worked in the 70s with Motown / Westbound Records vocal group The Fantastic Four.

“Collaborating with Oakland University and DIME-Detroit is an opportunity for us to expand,” Colbert said. “Although our mission statement specifies the west side of Detroit, our aim truly is without boundaries as we are looking to tap into the life of any young person who wants an opportunity to make a difference. Our interests are aligned with the students in this class and ‘Playing it Forward;’ creating sustainability into our future, stabilizing our community centers and providing opportunities to expand the horizons of our young people. We want to encourage everyone to support by logging into the virtual event or attending in person.”

Artists will perform via Zoom from all over the country, as well as live at DIME’s, Underground Detroit, a live music venue. In-person audience members will also see the live-streamed performers projected onstage, and audience members attending via Zoom will see the live acts streamed from the Underground stage.

In the spirit of the holidays, the theme of the event is gratitude; each artist will perform a song featuring a message of thankfulness and tell a relevant story from their own career so far.

Audience members can donate both virtually via GoFundMe and in-person. For those who prefer to donate in person, a donation box will be available at the event and both cash and check will be accepted. A link to the GoFundMe page will be available to access throughout the entire event via zoom for those attending virtually, and is below if only wants to donate before the show:

Please visit this page to apply for in-person and online tickets:

About The Detroit Impact Center

The Detroit Impact Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 that operates as a part of a vision of community development, focusing on Detroit’s West side neighborhoods. DIC strives to help low income and at-risk youth to develop a sound value system, strong personal motivation and positive self-esteem through social engagement, crisis management, leadership development, and several other educational programs. The non-profit is a cooperative effort with parents, churches, schools, the business community, and neighborhood residents. DIC provides enrichment classes for students to learn leadership skills, financial literacy, S.T.E.A.M. concepts, and coding & technology in addition to afterschool and weekend programs.

About DIME Group (DIME Detroit, DIME Online)

DIME is a group of music institutes dedicated to teaching the next generation of modern musicians and entrepreneurs. DIME Group has been named in Billboards Top Music Business Schools for the second year running (2020 & 2019). DIME is a Pathway Partners for DSA providing lessons and curriculum in songwriting, the art of emceeing, music production and music business.

Founded by music industry veterans Kevin Nixon and Sarah Clayman, DIME offers advanced music students a unique study experience in contemporary music, with expert musicians and music industry professionals teaching programs in guitar, bass, vocals, drums, songwriting and music industry studies. Nixon and Clayman launched DIME Detroit in 2014, joining the effort to revitalize and reinvigorate Detroit’s music landscape.

DIME Online programs are delivered entirely online, allowing students true flexibility in their studies. Among the higher education awards that will be offered to students via DIME Online are: RSL Level 4 Extended Diploma in Creative Industries, and RSL Level 5 Extended Diploma in Creative Industries. DIME also owns Original 1265 Recordings, an independent record label distributed worldwide by Caroline/Capitol Music Group.

About Oakland University

Oakland University is a doctoral, Carnegie Classification R2 “High Research Activity” university located in Oakland and Macomb counties, Michigan. The main campus is located on 1,443 acres of scenic land in the Southeast Michigan cities of Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills. The university also maintains program space at the University Center in Clinton Township and at the Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens. 

Oakland University offers bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees and certificate programs, and is dedicated to delivering a distinctive college experience. Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences (which includes a School of Music, Theatre and Dance), the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing, and The Honors College.

At Oakland, the student experience is enhanced as students work alongside inspired faculty and community mentors in laboratory, field and corporate workplace settings. Students enjoy small class sizes, countless research and social opportunities, and a high rate of job placement after graduation. In fact, 96 percent of OU graduates stay and work in the state. This rich campus atmosphere is complete with residence halls, Greek life, Division I athletics and more than 300 student groups that lend to the total college experience. Learn more at

For more information on the OU@DIME enrollment process visit www.dime- or email

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