Arts and Entertainment

'John Denver: A Tribute Concert in Words and Music' comes to Clinton

The Clinton Library invites the public to a free concert celebrating the life and music of John Denver at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 at Clinton Community Hall.

Bryan Stratton, a musician and composer, presents a concert each year on Dec. 31 in honor of Denver’s birthday.

Denver, who was born in 1943, would have been 68 this year if he had not died in a plane crash on Oct. 12, 1997.

Stratton has been a fan of Denver since 1973 and has spent a large part of his life learning to sing and play his songs. The Clinton Library is the lucky recipient of Stratton’s generosity this year. The performer will play and sing many of Denver’s hits and lesser-known songs, and also share stories about the life and music of one of America’s musical icons.

Born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., Denver was a singer, songwriter and environmentalist. He started playing the guitar when he was 11, and changed his stage name to John Denver. He combined pop, folk and country music in a unique style and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996.

Stratton received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Western Washington University and has taught in public and private schools in Washington and Idaho. He also writes songs of his own and composes classical music.

Stratton worked in the education department at the Seattle Symphony and managed Soundbridge, the Seattle Symphony’s music education center at Benaroya Hall. For the past five years, he has worked for Sno-Isle Libraries as the children’s liaison for the Brier Library and is currently the branch manager at the Darrington Library.

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