Press Releases

Posted on January 23, 2019

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services to Present Detroit’s Most Diverse Orchestra

The all-Black and Latinx Sphinx Symphony Orchestra performs at Orchestra Hall on Feb. 2

DETROIT – 2019 marks the fifteenth year of the partnership between Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and the Sphinx Organization, the national social justice nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. A recent element of the partnership is Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ sponsorship of the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra (SSO)—a key component of the Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latinx string players, Sphinx’s flagship program.

This will be the second year that Mercedes-Benz Financial Services presents the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, the world’s first Black and Latinx orchestra, comprising top classical musicians.

“CommUNITY starts here with each and every note played,” said Mary Beth Halprin, Director of Corporate Communications for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and vice chair of board of the Sphinx Organization. “The Sphinx Organization has impacted millions of individuals through education, instruments, grants, scholarships and audiences. We are grateful for the ability to multiply that impact through our long-standing partnership.”

Orchestra members serve as mentors to the Sphinx Competition semifinalists onstage and through master classes and lectures during the competition week . The SSO includes past and present members of nearly a dozen of the nation’s foremost orchestras, as well as faculty members of leading music institutions in the country. Some of the organizations represented include:

  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
  • The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • The New York Philharmonic
  • The Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera House
  • St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra
  • Harlem School of the Arts
  • Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Michigan School of Music

The SSO will perform in Detroit on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center as part of the 22nd annual Finals Concert of the Sphinx Competition. The orchestra will perform with the three Senior Division finalists as they compete for the $50,000 first-place Robert Frederick Smith prize and the $5,000 Audience Choice Award, also presented by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Concert tickets are available for an optional $5 donation at

Since 2004, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has supported initiatives across Sphinx’s program areas of Education and Access, Artist Development and Performing Artists. The long-standing partnership reflects Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ commitment to social responsibility, as well as strengthening local communities through its four main focus areas of outreach: arts and culture; community enhancement; diversity and inclusion; and education.

About the Sphinx Organization

The Sphinx Organization is the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Sphinx’s four program areas—Education and Access, Artist Development, Performing Artists, and Arts Leadership—form a pipeline that develops and supports diversity and inclusion in classical music at every level: music education, artists performing on stage, the repertoire and programming being performed, the communities represented in audiences, and the artistic and administrative leadership within the field.

Sphinx programs reach more than 100,000 students and artists, as well as live and broadcast audiences of more than two million annually. Read more about Sphinx’s programs at

About Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Mercedes‐Benz Financial Services USA LLC, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with a Business Center in Fort Worth, Texas, provides brand‐specific financial products and services for Mercedes‐Benz and smart automotive dealers and their retail customers. In the U.S. trucking industry, it conducts business as Daimler Truck Financial and provides flexible financial products and services for Daimler Trucks North America commercial vehicles branded Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built and Mitsubishi Fuso. It is a company of the Daimler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, which is one of the leading financial services organizations worldwide and was ranked in the top 10 of the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces by the Great Place To Work Institute in in 2016 and 2018. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC was also named one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in 2015 and 2016, and one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Women in 2016 by Great Place to Work and For more information, please visit or