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Plymouth Symphony Changes Name to Michigan Philharmonic

The 66-year-old community symphony orchestra wanted to reach a broader audience outside the Plymouth, Canton and Northville area.

The Plymouth-based musical group known as the will go by a new name from now on -- the Michigan Philharmonic.

According to Executive Director Beth Stewart, the group made the decision to change the name because it made them "feel somewhat limited over the years."

"The level of musicianship has grown exponentially since we brought (music director) Nan Washburn on board, and so has our geographic reach," Stewart said. "We feel that the new name will open up a lot of doors for us."

Washburn, once a professional flutist, has been the group's music director and conductor for 11 seasons.

Stewart said the group hopes to book more concerts outside the Plymouth, Canton and Northville area, where it plays the majority of its shows. Stewart said, however, that this area will continue to be the group's focus.

"We added the tagline 'The Pride of Plymouth for 66 years' to continue to recognize that Plymouth is our hometown, it's where we come from," Stewart said.

She said the name change will also make it easier to market the group's educational program to schools outside the immediate area.

"We're talking with Southfield Public Schools right now to bring in our educational program," Stewart said. "That would have been a tougher sell with our old name."

The name was officially changed on Wednesday, when Stewart announced it to stakeholders and season ticket holders.

She said some of the events Michigan Philharmonic will play at this summer include the Canton Liberty Fest on June 18 in , Plymouth's Fourth of July Celebration in on July 2 and a fairy tale children's concert on July 23 at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores.

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