Kids of all ages throughout the city are getting a special treat for their ears this week, as violist Dominic Johnson performs and conducts workshops here in our community.
Johnson — a Chicago-based musician who has performed on worldwide stages — is scheduled to visit about 10 area schools and community centers Monday through Friday as part of his role as the Racine Symphony Orchestra’s artist-in-residence for the 2015/16 season. But classical music won’t be the only kind of music Racine’s youngsters (and others) may hear.
In addition to playing a traditional viola, Johnson plays electric viola and is known for his work as an arts innovator. Audiences are just as likely to hear him play rap, jazz and electronic music as they are to hear him play Mozart.
“My specialty is to be well-versed in as many styles and forms as possible,” the violist says in his bio at http://dojomusic.tumblr.com/About.
His many accomplishments include co-founding and directing Chicago’s New Millennium Orchestra (morchestra.org/dominic-johnson-executive-director-and-viola), which made the Chicago Sun Times’ “Best Classical Performances of 2014” list. And on Saturday, Oct. 10, Johnson will perform with the RSO as the orchestra opens its season of Masterworks concerts with a program titled “With Strings Attached” at the Racine Theatre Guild, 2519 Northwestern Ave.
Concert time is 7:30 p.m., but those who arrive by 6:30 p.m. will get the bonus of a pre-concert conversation, presented by Johnson.
During the concert portion of the evening, Johnson will perform Hindemith’s “Trauermusik” with the orchestra. The program will also feature RSO Maestro Pasquale Laurino and Concertmaster Alexander Mandl performing Bach’s “Double Violin Concerto” and vocalist John Komasa singing a collection of Polish songs composed by Chopin.
Tickets for Saturday’s concert are $23 in advance and $25 at the door. Go to www.racinesymphony.org for more information.
First, though, Dominic Johnson will lead a free, family music program at the Dr. John Bryant Community Center, 601 21st St., on Thursday, Oct. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. The program is being presented by the Racine Symphony, in partnership with the City of Racine Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. It is open to all ages and no registration is required. It’s just one of the many ways the RSO carries out its mission to enrich, educate and entertain our communities through the power of music.
Attention flower children!
As long as we’re on the subject of arts innovators: George’s Tavern, 1201 N. Main St., is offering an interesting lineup of free jam music and poetry on Friday, Oct. 9, beginning at 8 p.m.
Madison’s FlowPoetry (voted Madison’s favorite spoken word artist this year and last) will open the evening with his free versification and jammy rhymes (www.wijam.net/flowpoetry.html). The entertainment will also feature musicians Brendan Demet, of the jam band Evergreen, performing a rare, solo set (www.facebook.com/EvergreenJams); and headliner Glostik Willy, a psychedelic jam band from Ohio (http://glostikwilly.com).
Adam Gregory Pergament (aka FlowPoetry) says this entertaining package will appeal to those who enjoy rock music, creative expression, original songs and “the carefree psychedelic attitude of the flower children of the 1960s!”
For more about George’s, go to http://georges-tavern.com.