The Akron Symphony Orchestra’s October 17 concert at E.J. Thomas Hall will mark the 150th anniversary of the raid on Harper’s Ferry with a world premiere, The Passion of John Brown, and appearances at local schools by the composer, Jesse Ayers. The Passion of John Brown will be narrated by WEWS news anchor Leon Bibb and be performed on a program with Kevin Puts’s John Brown’s Body, a musical setting of the poem by Stephen Vincent Benet. In the lobby at the concert, the Summit County Historical Society will display an exhibit focusing on the American abolitionist John Brown. Ayers, a professor of music at Malone University in Canton, Ohio, will visit area schools on October 13 to speak with students about his new work and about his life as a composer, and there will be an additional performance of the work for schoolchildren on October 15.

Photo of Jesse Ayers by Katherine Ayers

Posted October 9, 2009