Founded a decade ago by Detroit-born conductor Michael Ibrahim, who was born into a Syrian immigrant family and began playing the oud at age 10, the National Arab Orchestra is dedicated to preserving and performing classical and contemporary traditions of Arab music, providing opportunities to bridge social and cultural barriers through music. For this UMS debut concert, Lebanese singer Abeer Nehme joins the ensemble. Referred to as the “all styles specialist” for her ability to perform diverse repertoires ranging from liturgical music to traditional Middle Eastern music and contemporary Western music, Nehme is a recognized performer across Lebanon, the Arab World, Greece, and Syria. As a musicologist, she travels around the globe searching for the roots of folk and ethnic music by observing and participating in the cultural traditions of different groups. The concert will include pieces from the traditional classical canon of Arab music as well as newly arranged original works by contemporary Arab composers.