First, in response to a question about their arrangement of "Shenandoah" (track 8 @6:58):
Grisman: Jerry's commissioned me to write a guitar concerto for him, or some such orchestral piece of music. I sort of thought that "Shenandoah" would sound good with a string section, so I thought I'd try and write a chart for it.
And again, in response to a question about the various styles that they play (track 12 @6:24):
Grisman: Well, we haven't played with orchestra -- I mean Jerry's about to do that --
Garcia: Yeah I'm about to break into that world… I'm doing this thing with a local symphony orchestra… I'm getting some things written, David's writing one of them, six or seven or eight pieces that are short pieces for me and a symphony orchestra. They'll all be different, stylistically I mean, and I'm not sure what they're gonna be like, but that's the format, and the idea is just that I want to be able to play with a symphony orchestra. Actually, the conductor of this symphony, the Redwood Symphony down the peninsula in San Francisco, asked me if I'd be interested in doing some collaboration of some kind. I got thinking about it for a while and thought this'd be an interesting to do, so it's gained momentum and it's now the stage of the various composers who are involved are starting working on pieces. They'd be short pieces like 5 to 7-8 minutes long, something along those lines. But I'd like to be able to build up a repertoire of these things so I could do them with orchestras anywhere in the world… Well I don't know whether I'm gonna have white tie and tails or not. I suppose if I really had to.
Grisman: No, actually everyone in the orchestra is going to be given black t-shirts and sweat pants.
Whaaat? Both of them had deadpan responses to spare that morning, but this doesn't sound like he's being sarcastic. I don't remember seeing any mention of this anywhere before. I wonder if any actual music was ever written and, if so, what happened to it. Anyone?
This article on the Redwood Symphony from Sept 1995 mentions, "There had also been plans for a joint concert with the Grateful Dead until the death of Jerry Garcia. Garcia's [first] daughter, Heather, is one of the symphony's violinists." Fascinating.
For now, though, this is what we've got. If you haven't heard it in a while, it's a real beauty: