Two-day free event spotlights BPO community connections
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is inviting the community to a free, two-day "A Celebration of Music with BPO and Friends" at Buffalo's Canalside on Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14. The event will showcase the many facets of the BPO and its connections within the community, and celebrate summer on Buffalo's waterfront.
Two stages will offer continuous performances. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and spend the day at the festival.
Festivities kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday with a variety of children's activities that continue throughout the afternoon. Children can get their faces painted and make their own musical instruments with assistance from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
Saturday's schedule features a 2 p.m. performance by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, and a 2:45 p.m. performance by the Buffalo Chamber Players, an ensemble comprised of many BPO musicians and other professional musicians. At 3:45 p.m., the BPO's percussion section will perform, along with Williamsville East graduate and Friends of the BPO Scholarship winner Joe Desotelle. Desotelle has been a student of BPO percussionist Dinesh Joseph for years, and will further his musical education at The Juilliard School this fall.
TheAfrican-American Cultural Center's Dance and Drum Performance Company, which has collaborated with the BPO many times on family and education concerts, will take the stage at 4:15 p.m. BPO clarinetistSal Andolina was featured in the 2012-13 season's final pops concert, and returns to the spotlight with a 5:15 performance with his quintet.
At 7 p.m., BPO associate conductor Matthew Kraemer leads the orchestra in "Broadway Bound." The orchestra will be joined by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Broadway vocalists Gary Mauer and Elizabeth Southard in presenting a program of favorites from "Porgy and Bess," "Phantom of the Opera," "The Music Man" and other classic and modern shows. The concert is expected to conclude at approximately 9 p.m.
Mauer and Southard harmonize offstage as well as onstage. They are married with two children and, when they're not performing, they can often be found hang-gliding or scuba-diving. Mauer has garnered critical acclaim for his performances of The Phantom in Broadway and touring productions of "The Phantom of the Opera," and was featured on a recording titled "Broadway's Fabulous Phantoms." No stranger to symphonic performance, he has also performed with some of the nation's top orchestras under the baton of luminaries such as Marvin Hamlisch and Peter Nero.
Southard has found success as Christine in several productions of "The Phantom of the Opera," performing opposite Mauer on many occasions. She has also performed in national tours of "The Sound of Music" and "Showboat." She has a deep commitment to regional theater and maintains an active vocal studio.
Activities resume at 1 p.m. Sunday. Throughout the afternoon, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery will help children make their own musical instruments, and there will also be face-painting and other family activities.
Children will have the opportunity to meet a BPO musician and see their instruments up close starting at 1:45 pm. Students considering a career as a musician can also ask questions of the orchestra members. English hornist Anna Mattix, trombonist Tim Smith, and principal timpanist Matthew Bassett will be available to talk with visitors.
The festival concludes with "Superheroes at the Symphony" at 3 p.m. Kraemer will conduct this family-friendly concert that features the BPO performing music from "Superman," "Spider-Man," "The Incredibles," and "X-Men," among others.
All events are free of charge. "A Celebration of Music with BPO and Friends" at Canalside is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The BPO was one of only four arts organizations in Western New York to receive funding from this special statewide initiative undertaken in cooperation with the Regional Economic Development Councils. The program allocated $4 million across the state in a rigorous and competitive grant application process to identify arts project that are catalysts for building and maintaining strong and vibrant communities.
For directions to the site and further information on summer activities at Canalside, visit www.canalsidebuffalo.com. Call the BPO at 716-885-5000 or visit www.bpo.org for up-to-date details on all summer events.