Community,Our People | September 23 2016

Detroit student enjoys motors and music at FCA US



The Detroit Symphony Orchestra performs at the Chrysler World Headquarters and Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Building an automobile is much like conducting a symphony orchestra. There are many moving parts, each one in tune with the next. When all of the parts move in sync, the result is a beautiful machine.

A different sound recently filled the Chrysler World Headquarters and Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Mich. The noises associated with vehicles being created and tested were replaced by the soaring notes and harmonies from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) as the renowned team of musicians performed an exclusive lunchtime concert for FCA employees and contractors.

The playlist included the classical compositions of the likes of John Williams and Duke Ellington.

The concert ended with a special guest. Lester Tuggle took the conductor’s rostrum and the baton, leading the orchestra in “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.


Michelle Merrill, Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Lester Tuggle pose after Merrill passed the baton to Tuggle at FCA US.

Tuggle is more than a guest of the DSO and FCA US. He is a junior at Detroit Cristo Rey High School and participates in a corporate work study program at FCA, which provides students a learning opportunity in the automotive industry.

Each year, FCA hosts approximately 20 students who are matched with different departments at FCA, based on the students interests. Those areas include HR, Product Design, Purchasing, Supply Chain, Product Planning and more. The students spend four days in a classroom and work one day a week on site.

Tuggle says he was honored to be chosen to conduct the DSO.

He dreams of being an automotive mechanical engineer.

So he may return to Auburn Hills in the near future, orchestrating a next-generation muscle car, minivan or pickup truck.

That would be a wonderful finale.