What is the High Wire Lab?

The High Wire Lab is a music series that elevates the experience between the artist and the audience. It engages with audiences ready to be educated, enlightened, informed and challenged. It walks us toward truth. The artists’ own voices, their own personal journeys, are front and center. To experience the High Wire Lab is to take bold steps toward what’s next.

Our Mission

The High Wire Lab exists to develop on-ramps for people in metro Detroit to explore and enjoy art music of our time.

This is done through the creation of a new, collaborative, community-wide model involving multiple arts groups, composers, creators, presenters, performers and audience members.

Curatorial Committee

The High Wire Lab is championed by a collective of some of Detroit’s most prominent names in new and contemporary music. The organization’s “Curatorial Committee” includes...

Shannon Orme

Shannon Orme joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2007 and continues to be an avid advocate for contemporary music. As a member of New Music Detroit, she collaborates regularly with today’s emerging composers and participates in the band’s annual 12-hour marathon, Strange Beautiful Music.

Orme also trained at the world’s leading new music festivals including the Luzern Festival Academy under Pierre Boulez and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. She regularly performs offstage in the community for audiences with special needs. As a result of her commitment to this work, Orme was one of five musicians nationwide to receive the 2016 Ford Musician Award for Excellence in Community Service, sponsored by the Ford Motor Fund and the League of American Orchestras.

She currently holds a studio at Wayne State University and spends her summers at the Grand Teton Music Festival. She is a Buffet Crampon Performing Artist.

Check out more of Shannon’s work at newmusicdetroit.com.

. . .

Shara Nova

Born in "The Diamond state" of Arkansas to a family of musical traveling evangelists, Shara Nova (formerly Worden) moved across America throughout her youth, then went on to study classical voice at The University of North Texas. After moving to New York City, she assembled her chamber pop band, My Brightest Diamond, in 2001, subsequently releasing four albums on Asthmatic Kitty Records.

Nova has composed works for yMusic, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Young New Yorkers' Chorus, Brooklyn Rider, Nadia Sirota and Roomful of Teeth, among others. Her baroque chamber p’opera You Us We All premiered in the US in October 2015 at BAM Next Wave Festival. Many composers, songwriters and filmmakers have sought out Nova’s voice, including David Lang, David Byrne, The Decemberists, Bryce Dessner, Steve Mackey, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Sufjan Stevens and Matthew Barney.

Nova is a Kresge Fellow, Knights Grant recipient and a United States Artist fellow, and is putting the finishing touches on the next My Brightest Diamond album A Million and One, set for release in June 2018.

Check out more of Shara’s work at mybrightestdiamond.com.

. . .

Rudy Lauerman

Since 1994, Rudy Lauerman has directed music programming at the Detroit Institute of Arts. During that time he has developed one of the country’s premier art museum music series which boasts a large and devoted audience. He has applied a creative and eclectic taste, building a diverse program that reflects the range of musical interest in Detroit while broadening the audiences’ musical taste by introducing them to new genres and artists they may not be familiar with.

It is hard to name a type of American music that Lauerman has not presented at the DIA, from classical, jazz and electronic, to blues, folk and Tex-Mex. In addition to presenting music from throughout the U.S., Lauerman has brought artists from around the world to Detroit, including fado singers from Portugal, instrumentalists from France, throat singers from Tuva, folk music from Quebec, a Mexican Prog-Rock band, an Australian piano duo and contemporary African music from Mali. He also provides a venue for local musicians to present their creative projects.

. . .

Maury Okun

Maury Okun is President of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and ArtOps. In this capacity, he has overseen the remarkable growth of three of the area's strongest small arts organizations. He retired as Principal Trombonist of the Michigan Opera Theatre in 2014 and is a co-founder of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings.


The High Wire Lab is a partnership between the Maxine & Stuart Frankel Foundation and ArtOps, presented in collaboration with Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings and Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.

Additional support for the High Wire Lab comes from the following: