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BPO names music library in honor of major donor

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Tue, May 30th 2017 07:25 pm
A little-known aspect of the Buffalo Philharmonic's operations is in the spotlight after a major donation.
 
Bradford Lewis, Ph.D., was first introduced to the BPO when he was a graduate student at the University at Buffalo. He has been a season subscriber ever since 1969, and served on the board of trustees from 1990-95 as chair of the education committee. He has also had a longtime passion for librarianship, spending nearly 15 years volunteering with the music collection of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System, which holds the largest collection of American sheet music in the U.S.
 
So when he made a substantial gift to the orchestra through the "Crescendo Campaign," it was natural to recognize his gift by naming the orchestra's music library in his honor.
 
The naming ceremony will take place at the music library in Kleinhans at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, May 31. Music Director JoAnn Falletta and Executive Director Daniel Hart will extend their thanks to Lewis, and formally dedicate the music library to him.
 
The library is nestled beneath the stage, and is staffed by two full-time librarians, a part-time assistant, and a dedicated corps of volunteers.
 
The volunteers maintain and expand the orchestra's collection of music, manage the flow of rented music throughout the season, and prepare the music for use by the musicians. They work with the string principals to hand-copy bowing directions into each part - with the wind and brass principals to ensure accurate transcription, and with the conductor to determine any changes that need to be made.
 
The full-time librarians, Patricia Kimball and Travis Hendra, can be spotted a few minutes before each performance begins, setting out the scores for the conductor. They estimate the library works with 1,000 pieces of music per season. The library also has a collection of 3,000 pieces.
 
Kimball is the longest-serving member of the administrative staff, having been with the orchestra for 31 seasons. She holds a B.S. in music education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and worked in the music-publishing field, first as a rental library manager with European American Music, and later with the prestigious music publisher G. Schirmer.
 
Hendra has worked for the BPO for seven seasons. He holds degrees in tuba performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as post-graduate studies at the University of Kansas. He has previously held library positions with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops, Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony and Colorado Music Festival.
 
The "Crescendo Campaign" began in 2014, with the goal of increasing the orchestra's endowment to provide a stable, renewable source of income for the organization. The campaign has raised $27 million of its $30 million goal. Once its goal is met, the BPO's endowment will be five times as large as its annual operating budget, which is the industry standard for an orchestra.
 
"Brad's passion for music has inspired all of us, and we are honored that he has chosen to support the philharmonic in this extraordinary way," Falletta said. "Our music library is the heart of our organization, and their superb work enables the BPO to serve our community week after week with concerts of all varieties. Brad has been a beloved personal friend, and I am so proud that our library will bear his name."
 
For more information about the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit www.bpo.org

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