The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is offering four chances to experience the joy of music and magic of the holidays with exciting performances infused with the spirit of the season.
Everything kicks off at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, with Celtic Thunder's BPO debut. The Irish supergroup has earned fans all over the world through its PBS specials, its performances and recordings, and a fan-friendly cruise. Buffalo will be one of only 20 cities to enjoy Celtic Thunder's first-ever symphonic tour this holiday season.
Erin Freeman won the hearts of Western New York during her year as the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. She's back in town to lead the chorus and orchestra in "Classical Christmas: Messiah and More." This concert will feature the best-loved parts of "Handel's Messiah" sung by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and singers Michelle Areyzaga, Jessica Renfro, Matthew Anderson and Sumner Thompson. Other gems from the classical tradition on the program include Adolphe Adam's "O Holy Night" and musical takes on a sleigh ride from Leroy Anderson and from Frederick Delius. The concert will be performed at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12, and at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts are available prior to the Friday morning performance.
BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders will be on the podium Sunday, Dec. 14, for "Jingle Bell Jam." Part of the "BPO Kids" series, the family can celebrate the season together at budget-friendly prices, complete with a sing-along and the chance to have milk and cookies with Santa. Kids can come early and spread cheer to military personnel stationed far from home by making cards for them.
Former BPO associate conductor and Buffalo favorite Ron Spigelman will be back on the podium for BlueCross BlueShield "Swingin' Holiday Pops." James Torme, son of the legendary "Velvet Fog" Mel Torme, will be the special guest, lending his vocal stylings to standards such as "Silver Bells," "Sleigh Ride," and Mel Torme's signature song, "The Christmas Song." BPO clarinetist and jazz musician Sal Andolina will be featured along with his big band, putting their own stamp on Christmas standards "Good King Wenceslas" and "Sugar Rum Cherry."
The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus will perform on this program, which ends with an old-fashioned sing-along. Due to popular demand, there will be four performances of this concert: at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19; at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20; and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts are available before the Friday morning performance.
Group pricing is available for all four of these concerts. Those planning to attend with a group of 10 or more should contact group and corporate sales associate Ambrose Price at 716-242-7817 or [email protected] to learn about a discount.
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will also offer several performances around the region during the holiday season. They will perform on the Hilbert College campus at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, and will be part of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus's "Messiah" sing-along at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church, 8445 Greiner Road, Clarence. They are appearing on the free "Holidays Under the Dome" series at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at M&T Bank, 1 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo.
In the spirit of the season, Kleinhans Music Hall is a drop-off point for the Marine Corps' Toys For Tots program. Anyone wishing to donate can bring a new, unwrapped toy to the hall between Dec. 1-21 before concerts, on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and on Saturday mornings.
For tickets to any of these concerts, visit bpo.org or call 716-885-5000.