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Detroit Youth Choir Welcomed Back to Detroit with Homecoming in Campus Martius

September 23, 2019

The Detroit Youth Choir returned to their hometown after making it to the final round of “America’s Got Talent.”

By Rachel Pepe

Photography by Quinn Banks

Metro Detroiters filled Campus Martius Friday for a homecoming event to welcome the Detroit Youth Choir back after a successful run on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

The event hosted by Local 4 News allowed the 52 students in the choir and director Anthony White to see how many people supported them and wanted them to succeed on the 14 season of the show.

Mayor Mike Duggan showed his gratitude to the choir as he presented them with the key to the city of Detroit. He had a replica of the key made for every child so each could have one for their home. The youngest person to previously hold the key was rapper Big Sean in 2017.

“You’re going places far and wide…but the city of Detroit will always be your home,” Duggan said.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan presents the key to the city to Detroit Youth Choir director Anthony White at the choir’s homecoming celebration on Sept. 20, 2019.

A crowd member at the Detroit Youth Choir homecoming in Campus Martius holds up a celebratory sign on Sept. 20, 2019.

The Detroit Youth Choir came in second place on the show. The first place winner, Kodi Lee, a blind musician, walked away with $1 million.

Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of the Kresge Foundation, and Tonya Allen, president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation, announced that business owners and philanthropists across the city created their own first place price. The two women presented the choir with a $1 million endowment to help support the Detroit Youth Choir and future participants.

As the endowment grows, grants will allow the choir to further invest in their purpose of providing children with positive youth development.

The foundations and businesses that contributed to the endowment include: Skillman Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Ballmer Group, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, DTE Energy Foundation, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Bank of America, Huntington Bank and Dakkota Integrated Systems.

Anthony White

The Detroit Youth Choir and director Anthony White at the Detroit Youth Choir homecoming celebration in Campus Martius on Sept. 20, 2019.

“They represented the city with class and soul, and their success will continue to inspire children in Detroit for years to come,” Allen said in a statement. “For that, we hope they feel profound pride.”

The choir is expected to perform at America’s Thanksgiving Parade down Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving day.

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