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First Niagara presents Music for Youth with Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

by jmaloni

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Tue, Oct 22nd 2013 03:25 pm

Nearly 40,000 students in Western New York will experience the music of the BPO

The First Niagara Foundation and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra are presenting the Music for Youth concert series. Nearly 40,000 students from across Western New York in grades K-12 will participate in the program over the course of the season.

The First Niagara Foundation provided the funding for the program. The Music for Youth concerts are designed to make the BPO experience meaningful and memorable for students by presenting the orchestral repertoire in an engaging and informative way. The music is linked to English Language Arts, social studies and other disciplines to show how music education is intertwined with all areas of study.

The first concerts of the series took place today at Kleinhans.

"We at First Niagara are committed to supporting organizations that enrich the community, specifically in the area of education," said Buford Sears, First Niagara Buffalo market executive. "We are proud to create opportunities for tens of thousands of children to experience a world-class BPO performance while integrating arts into learning and cultivating a life-long appreciation of music."

The series consists of 30 concerts and includes a combination of in-hall performances, contracted school concerts, and a live Internet program broadcast directly into schools that might not have the funds necessary to embark on a fieldtrip to Kleinhans Music Hall. Members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra say children involved in music programs develop strong critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities and communication techniques. In the longer term, children who have had an opportunity to cultivate an appreciation of music grow into adults who have the ability to think creatively, communicate effectively and work collaboratively.

"The BPO's education programs are designed with a team of educators so that they authentically connect to the curriculum and standards taught in our schools. This work is integral to the orchestra's mission and we couldn't do it without the support of First Niagara," said BPO Director of Education and Community Engagement Robin Parkinson.

Founded in 1935, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, under Music Director JoAnn Falletta, presents more than 120 classics, pops and youth concerts each year across all eight counties of Western New York. Since 1940, the orchestra's permanent home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen with an international reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bpo.org.

First Niagara Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1998 that is committed to supporting organizations in the communities in which members live and work. Its specific focus is on youth and education, community development and neighborhood revitalization. Last year, the foundation contributed more than $10 million in charitable grants to community partners. For more information, visit www.firstniagara.com/community.

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