BIRMINGHAM - Thursday night was Alabama Symphony Orchestra (ASO) conductor Daniel Cho’s first time drinking beer while performing, he said. 

The ASO performed on Thursday night at Monday Night Brewing in Birmingham. The concert, hosted by ASO’s Junior Patrons, was free to the public. 

Music lovers drank craft beer while listening to an assortment of classical pieces. The concert featured a range of composers, from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Ottorino Respighi to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The orchestra even performed a classical rendition of “Elenor Rigby” by The Beatles.

Between performances, Cho told the audience that Mozart was one of his favorite composers.

“Mozart is one of my favorite composers because he particularly captures peace and tranquility, which is something that you’ll be hearing today,” he said. “... “I feel the same way that I do when I hear Mozart’s music that I do when I see a really pretty tree.”

The ASO has its roots in the early 1900s. The Birmingham Symphony Association was formed in 1933 and performed throughout the next three decades before changing its name to the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1956. It changed its name again in 1979 to the ASO, responding to support and interest from elsewhere in the state. 

The ASO performs regularly at several venues throughout Central Alabama, including the University of Alabama Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Center, Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall, the Alabama Theatre, the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center Concert Hall and others.

Its Junior Patrons group is a community of professionals under 40 who support the orchestra. Junior Patrons obtain discounted tickets, participate in socials and volunteer for the orchestra.

“We are artists,” Cho said as the concert ended. “Our dreams since we were children were to perform for our community … This is why we do what we do: to enrich the cultural landscape of Birmingham and Alabama as a whole.”

Learn more about the program on the ASO’s website

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.