John is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Hartt School of Music with a degree in Music Theory and Piano, and graduated with distinction from Butler University’s Jordan College of Fine Arts with a master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting.
John has been serving as the Music Director for the Fort Smith Symphony for 20 years, and along with the musicians, staff, board of directors and community, he has led a transformation of a small community symphony to a large fully professional regional orchestra.
John and the orchestra has received the League of American Orchestras’ Helen M. Thompson Award; the Mayor’s Achievement Award, and the Mayor’s Civic Center Award for the Performing Arts. John is the recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Arts Award “Individual Artist Award.”
Simply a great show. We talk music of course, but also the planning logistics of creating the shows, the travel of musicians, importance of attention to detail, how John got his start, and art. Some World War I & II stuff is thrown in as well.
Music and Composers (this is just a few we discussed):
Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin
Extreme Orchestra Opening Night – documentary (this is about John and the Fort Smith Symphony)