ASO plays Grateful Dead music

October 24, 2011
By Jill Moon
The Telegraph

GODFREY - Composer Lee Johnson took the innovative, improvisational music of the Grateful Dead and turned it into a symphony.

Alton Symphony Orchestra’s Maestro Leon Burke III again will conduct Johnson’s "Dead Symphony" during the orchestra’s 2011 Fall Concert, "Symphony in the 21st Century," at 7 p.m. Saturday at Hatheway Cultural Center on the Godfrey campus of Lewis and Clark Community College.

Burke, who has conducted Johnson’s "Dead Symphony" before, worked with ASO Vice President John Chick, who also plays violin, and librarian Scott Hawley, who also plays oboe, to obtain Johnson’s score, which ended up being out of print.

This led to the board members and conductor talking personally to Johnson, who became inspired to come to the performance himself. Not only will Johnson be present at the performance, but he also will lead a free lecture about composing in the 21st century, including composing scores for film, at 4 p.m. Friday in the Ringhausen Music Building at LCCC.


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