I started playing piano since I was about 4 years old because my mom was my piano teacher. I was never a big fan of practicing when I first started, but I stuck with it because I wanted to play with my mom and perform piano duets. I began playing violin at the age of 9 and played with several orchestras and churches. But most of all, I truly enjoyed spending time with my mom as I played the violin and she accompanied me on the piano. 

I am currently a fourth year medical student at Wayne State School of Medicine and truly believe that music and healing have a strong correlation. When exams and daily schedules are hectic, picking up the violin to play music in the evening after work is always a perfect cure to relieve stress and refocus for the next day. There are numerous studies showing how studying classical music helps professionals become better team players in the real world and I strongly believe that this is a vital characteristic in today's hospital workforce. This is why I believe in the Detroit Medical Orchestra's mission to bring music in physicians' and patients' lives.

I'm also a big fan of Detroit and want to see it thrive. My favorite thing to do is to go for a long run along the Detroit River, go workout at the Downtown YMCA, and meet up with good friends at the Sugar House in Corktown or spend an afternoon at the Detroit Institute of Arts. 




I started playing violin when I was eight years old, and for a long time, I wanted to be a high school orchestra conductor. When I was seventeen, I changed my mind and decided I wanted to be a doctor instead. I went to Memorial University of Newfoundland to get a B.Sc., but I also played in the Music School orchestra. I started playing with the Detroit Medical Orchestra in their second season, and I’ve been with them ever since. Medical school is very demanding and tends to dominate my life, so it this orchestra is a welcome opportunity to set that aside for a few hours a week to use a different set of neurons for a while. I believe that our performances are a respite for the community of Detroit as well, and we work hard to make sure those performances are vitalizing to our audience.


I started playing violin at age 4 and practiced begrudgingly for about a decade until one day I realized how much I actually liked it. Since then I haven’t stopped playing and I have been active in Detroit’s classical music scene studying with Geoff Applegate, formerly of Detroit Symphony Orchestra, playing as both a member and later as a mentor to DSO’s youth program, and I won the Eugene Bossart Prize while at the University of Michigan.

Playing in the DMO is a natural progression and I find myself rehearsing in the same space in Orchestra Hall that I had once rehearsed in as a teenager.  Like music, medicine can touch people in personal and profound ways – my medical school entrance personal statement was about Brahms’ 4th Symphony.

Besides its music, I love Detroit’s food: BBQ from Slow’s, pizza from Motor City Brewing Company, and sea salt chocolate chip cookies from Avalon Bakery.


When I started to learn the piano at age 8, my sole motivation was to be just like my older sister. After the requisite years of reluctant practicing, I finally realized how much I loved playing just for the sake of making music. When it came time to pick an instrument for band in middle school, I chose to learn the oboe and have been playing since. As I entered into college, though my heart was already set on becoming a doctor, I began to study under Jan Eberle, who supported me to pursue a music degree through Michigan State's College of Music. (To her I am deeply indebted!)


Currently, I'm a second year medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine. I feel incredibly lucky to not only get a top rate education here, but to also be able to give back to the Detroit community. Playing in the DMO is a welcome chance for me to take a break from the rigorous memorization of medical school to collaborate with some incredible professionals from the area. The fact that we can share these performances with the public and generate support for local charities is icing on the cake. I am excited to see where the next few years take the DMO and our impact on the city!


I began playing the violin at the age of seven when a friend taught me how to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on her violin. Since then, I have played in many ensembles and even traveled the world playing my violin with performance groups. Music remains a very important part of my life and it even led to me meeting my husband in the Michigan Pops Orchestra at the University of Michigan.

I joined Detroit Medical Orchestra  because I can't imagine life without being able to make music - it has always been a joy and comfort for me to part of a musical community.  DMO is a truly unique organization that gathers professionals in different stages of their career and from a  myriad of medical fields. I'm honored that I get to continue doing so with my fellow med students as well as with other physicians and Wayne State colleagues.

Currently, I am a third  year medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine. My main interests professionally are in surgery and women’s health.  After medical school, I will continue my medical career with the United States Navy as a physician and officer.





Since I learned to play the violin in 4th grade at Lakeview Public Schools, it has always been challenging to Find a balance between music and other academic pursuits. When I graduated Wayne State in 2013 with my B.S. in Biology, I knew how much I would miss playing three times a week with the University Orchestra. As a graduate student at Wayne State School of Medicine, I might not have had time for musical pursuits without the DMO. I’m so grateful to be part of an organization of health care professionals who use their musical talents and passions to benefit the community.


As a pre-medical student, the DMO gives me an opportunity to talk to medical students, residents and physicians about how to prepare for the next steps in my education. And as a board member, I get the chance to help plan concerts and events that allow us to make classical music more accessible to the Detroit community. Most importantly, I’m able to play in an ensemble and add to my own classical repertoire while contributing my sound to the greater picture.


I was first exposed to music when I started playing the piano when I was 5 years old. I had seen an older friend in a recital, went home, and fiddled with a small keyboard until I had learned "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Eventually I began competing in the state and national level with the American Guild of Music and the Michigan Music Association.


As much as I loved the piano, I felt the need to supplement it somehow; I felt the urge to play music in a group setting, and what more iconic instrument to do that than be a part of the sea of violins in an orchestra? So, I started to play the violin at the age of 10, somewhat later than my peers.  With prior knowledge of the piano, however, I was soon able to participate in Michigan youth orchestras like the Oakland Youth Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra throughout middle and high school. I had a brief hiatus from the violin during my undergraduate studies, but once I came to medical school and heard about the DMO, I was excited to pick up music again!


What I love most about playing in the orchestra? No matter how much stress I have when I arrive at rehearsal, that part of my mind turns off once we start playing and is replaced by a state of serenity.


Professor and Chair of Urology at Wayne State University
Chief of Urology at Karmanos Cancer Institute

I come from an extended family of musicians, and my two teenage boys play violin.  I’ve played in many orchestras over the years, including medical orchestras in other cities.  I love getting to know good music and therefore I’m in the DMO more for the rehearsals than for the actual concert.  The concert is just the “icing on the cake.”


I am currently the principal chair of our viola section and I have been playing the viola for 19 years.  There is nothing more exciting than coming to rehearsal every Sunday, with other musicians and friends, to make music. When I am not rehearsing with the DMO you can find me on the pediatric floors at Children's Hospital of Michigan in downtown Detroit.  I will be starting the third year of my pediatric residency this summer with plans to pursue a Allergy and Immunology
Fellowship once I graduate.  Pediatrics is a lot like our orchestra, it requires all different players, passion, knowledge and skill in order to provide the best type of care for our patients and audience. When it comes to pediatrics there is nothing that makes me happier than to see the smile on our patient's faces and their families when we have made a difference.

I have lived in Michigan all my life and Detroit has become a secondhome to me during my medical school career and residency.  A few of my favorite things to do downtown are: Catch a Tiger's Game at Comerica Park, meet up friends for Happy Hour and Burgers at Roast and lastly witness some of the most amazing performances at Orchestra Hall with
the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and their guest musicians.

The Detroit Medical Orchestra started out as a conversation between concertmaster Michelle Ubels, M.D. and I years ago in a WSU-SOM Aesculapians Meet and Greet event. What started out as a conversation has turned into years of passion, amazing music and long lasting friendships.



One of my earliest memories of enjoying music is dancing with my sister while my dad played goofy songs on his trumpet.  I was about 6 years old at the time and it was soon after that I began piano lessons.  My mom took lessons as well and we performed duets together at our piano recitals.  I joined the band as a flutist in 5th grade and continued to play in school and at my home-town church through my freshman year of college.  As I got further into my pre-medical studies, I stopped playing flute altogether.

After completing my medical training, I returned to Detroit in 2005.  As I settled into my life as a hospital pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, I realized how much I missed classical music and the flute. 

After 14 years, I picked up my flute once again and started private lessons.  It was right at this time that I received an email from Michelle Ubels, founder of the Detroit Medical Orchestra, about an orchestra she was starting for those in the Detroit medical community. I was delighted to join and have truly enjoyed playing extraordinary music and working hard to improve my skills on the flute.  Most of all, I am thrilled to have met a diverse group of fellow musician friends who love music and the city of Detroit.


After working abroad at the Centre Hospital Universitaire de Butare, Rwanda, Dr. Ball returned back to Detroit, MI and joins the board again. 


Theodore B. Jones, M.D. is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta GA. He received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX.  After serving for three years in the National Health Service Corps in Arkansas, he completed afellowship in maternal fetal medicine at Wayne State University/Hutzel Hospital in Detroit MI.  He has been a faculty member at Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) since fellowship completion and is currently an Associate Professor. He is Medical Director and founder of the Perinatal Infectious Disease Clinic at the University Health Center, the only obstetrical clinic for pregnant women with HIV infection in the state. Since 1999, there have been no infected babies born to mothers compliant with the clinic program. In addition, he is the obstetric principal investigator for perinatal HIV infection prevention studies sponsored by the International Maternal Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trial Network (IMPAACT).  Department administrative posts have included Residency Program Director, Associate Chair for Education, interim Chair for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division Director for Maternal Fetal Medicine, and Chief of Obstetrics for Hutzel Women’s Hospital. Currently, he is Vice Chairman for WSU/Oakwood Programs in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Academic Chair and Residency Program Director at Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center in Dearborn MI.

Since arriving in Detroit in 1989, he has been involved in choral music. A member of the
Brazeal Dennard Chorale and various choirs at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit MI, he is a frequent baritone soloist in classical music as well as music featuring African American composers. In 1995, he sang with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the premiere recording of Hannibal Lokumbe’s African Portraits. An important reason for staying in the Detroit area has been his appreciation for the rich musical legacy that existed here before his arrival and that continues to mature and thrive. A violist in high school and college, the Detroit Medical Orchestra represents the best aspects of music making with its vision of community partnership and emphasis on performance excellence.


For over 45 years the violin has played an integral role in my life.  I started playing at 9 years old since my father was a violinist.  As a teen-ager I  wore  a Milwaukee brace for scoliosis and was unable to participate in sports, but was still able to play by hooking the violin onto the brace.  I played in the Detroit Youth Symphony in the early 1970's where a young bassoonist assigned to us by the symphony by the name of Paul Ganson urged us to donate our allowances to save an old auditorium named Orchestra Hall.  The only residents of Orchestra Hall at the time unfortunately were the homeless staying in a delapidated structure.

As a high school student and as an adult I've played in several community orchestras and have played in assorted Michigan  landmarks including many old churches and the old JL Hudson building , Hill Auditorium and Orchestra Hall .  When interviewing for Wayne State Medical school I was fortunate that the interviewer was knowledgeable about classical music and that is what we talked about.  I am an alumni of Wayne State University Medical School  Class of 1984.


 When I was chief resident in Internal Medicine at Sinai Hospital of Detroit  the program director decided that residents needed to demonstrate cultural expertise. I played the violin and the residents still showed up the next day.  When I see people from those years they always ask if I still play.

In my Mid 40's I started to play again and had the privilege of taking lessons from Mr. James Waring. When Dr. Cher called saying there was an orchestra at Wayne State composed of med students I jumped at the chance.  The notes look more blurry and neck is defintely less flexible,  but music nurtures the soul in a unique way.  That coupled with the fact  I get to interact with young people just starting their professional life has been a distinct privilege. 


My mom studied piano as a child but had to give it up when she went to college.  She got herself a piano when I was 8, thinking that with her youngest child in first grade she would have time to get back into practicing.  Instead, after several months of enduring my enthusiastic but cacophonous improvisations, my parents found me a piano teacher, and I studied classical piano and cello, which I started a year later, through high school. 


My college career started in math, but I missed playing music and transferred to Berklee College of Music to try to learn to improvise and to focus on music.  After returning to Detroit, I completed a Master's degree in Music Improvisation in 1995, and have been a private piano teacher and freelance musician and piano tuner since then.  Dr. Cher's invitation to join the DMO gave me a perfect reason to pick up my cello which had been languishing under the piano for years. It has been a great experience in many ways, and anyone who is thinking of joining the DMO definitely should!  ​


My dad taught Anatomy at the WSU Medical School for 36 years, and I like to think of my participation in the DMO as being partly in his honor.  He was not a musician, but was one of the greatest listeners and appreciators of music I have met.  I'm sure he would have been delighted with the idea and the reality of the DMO.  My mom taught in the WSU Anthropology Dept. for 50 years.  She has not missed a DMO concert since I joined the orchestra.





Jerry Mangona was graduated from the University of Michigan in 2001 after which he began his career as a financial advisor at Edward Jones Investments, where he opened a branch office in Ann Arbor, Michigan which now has over $50 Million in assets under care.


Music has been a constant presence for him, beginning classical organ training at the age of 4. He continued on to study classical piano through his youth and then attended the University of Michigan, studying jazz performance for sometime before leaving the School of Music for a career in business. His musical career includes several years as a piano accompanist for the Cecchetti Council of America, a baritone in the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club, a vocalist in the Compulsive Lyres accapella group, and various other blues and jazz bands through the years. He now serves as the board chairman of the Detroit Passport to the Arts non-profit organization, dedicated to connecting young professionals in the Detroit area to the arts and culture scene in the city.C


Currently Jerry lives in the Historic Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan. He is a triathlete, enjoys sailing, spending summer nights at Comerica Park.



Vice Dean for Medical Education and Professor at Wayne State University

Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Wayne State University



Dr. Schenk is a 1983 graduate of the Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM). While Dr. Schenk is not a member of the orchestra, she believes in the importance of music to the health and wellbeing of physicians who express themselves through music and to music as a healing art.  As a recent addition to the Detroit Medical Orchestra Board of Directors, Dr. Schenk hopes to contribute as someone who appreciates the work of the orchestra and as someone with knowledge about the school of medicine and related institutions in support of the orchestra.


 Dr. Schenk completed residency training in Family Medicine and practiced in rural Virginia on the Delmarva Peninsula as a NHSC scholar.  Dr. Schenk then completed a fellowship in Preventive Medicine at SUNY Buffalo and joined the WSUSOM faculty in 1991 in the Department of Family Medicine’s family medicine and occupational medicine residency programs and as a research scientist at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in the Division of Epidemiology.  Dr. Schenk was appointed Chair of the Department of Family Medicine in 1998 which went on to become the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences for which she was the inaugural chair.  Dr. Schenk is now the Vice Dean for Medical Education providing leadership in the areas of medical student and resident education, combined programs with the MD degree such as the MD/PhD and MD/MPH programs, and continuing medical education programs for physicians.  Dr. Schenk has been a teacher, advisor, and mentor to medical students and family medicine residents for over 23 years.  Dr. Schenk has received numerous awards including the WSU President’s Exceptional Service Award, three WSUSOM College Teaching Awards, and the Leonard Tow 2006 Humanism in Medicine Award.   Dr. Schenk was also recognized as the Grand Valley State University 2012 Distinguished Alumnus and the Wayne State University School of Medicine 2012 Distinguished Alumnus.  Dr. Schenk has supported medical student programs and activities for many years including the Robert R. Frank Student Run Free Clinic.