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Buffalo Philharmonic honors WNY veterans with concert at Riviera Theatre

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Tue, Oct 27th 2015 04:20 pm

All tickets free courtesy of Russell J. Salvatore

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is giving back to veterans, their families and the community with a free concert 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda. This free event is made possible thanks to the generosity of restaurateur and philanthropist Russell J. Salvatore.

The theater dates to 1926 and is known for its meticulously restored interior and Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

"We are very excited to host this special Veterans Day concert with the BPO on our historic stage, and look forward to working with the BPO in the future," said Gary J. Rouleau, Riviera Theatre director of development.

Salvatore bought out the entire house for the event, allowing the Buffalo Philharmonic to distribute tickets through selected area veterans' organizations free of charge. A limited number of free tickets are also available at the box offices of Kleinhans Music Hall and the Riviera Theatre. 

"My deep admiration of our veterans makes it an honor to make this wonderful BPO concert free to veterans and the community," Salvatore said. "This makes a wonderful exclamation point to our three new additions to my Patriots and Heroes Park."

The iconic park is located on Transit Road in Depew outside Russell's Steaks and Chops, and includes memorials to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and to the victims of the Flight 3407 plane crash in Clarence, as well as the recently unveiled "The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," "A Tribute to America" and "A Tribute to the Purple Heart."

BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders will lead the concert. The fifth- and sixth-grade chorus from Meadow Elementary School in North Tonawanda will perform, as will the Buffalo Suzuki Strings. Garrett Martin, organist and music director for Buffalo's Westminster Presbyterian Church, will play the theater's famous Mighty Wurlitzer.

"We are very excited to honor our veterans with this spectacular program of great patriotic music," Sanders said. "Along with favorites like 'Battle Hymn of the Republic,' the Armed Forces Salute and 'Sousa Marches,' we are also excited to perform Aaron Copland's 'Lincoln Portrait,' narrated by North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas. And, it just wouldn't be right if we didn't feature the Mighty Wurlitzer!

"This is going to be a really fun night of music honoring our veterans at such an historic venue."

Tickets can be obtained at the box offices of Kleinhans Music Hall (3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo) and the Riviera Theatre, at the Veterans One-stop Center of WNY Inc. (1280 Main St., Suite 204, Buffalo), and at Niagara County Veterans Services (111 Main St. Suite 200, Lockport). For additional information and tickets, call Ambrose Price, sales coordinator, at 716-885-5001, the Riviera Theatre box office at 716-692-2413, or visit https://bpo.org/tickets-and-events/events/event:salute-to-veterans/ .

As Buffalo's cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, under the leadership of music director JoAnn Falletta, presents more than 100 concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra's home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark. For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org

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