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For the first time in decades, International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians meets in Buffalo

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Mon, Aug 21st 2017 12:45 pm
When the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians last met in Buffalo, Jimmy Griffin was the mayor, and the Buffalo Sabres still played at the Aud.
The organization representing the top 52 orchestras in the nation hasn't held its conference in WNY since 1988. But thanks to the efforts of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra French horn Daniel Sweeley, who sits on the national board and serves as the BPO's delegate to the organization, ICSOM is meeting at the Adam's Mark Hotel from Aug. 22-26.
Each member orchestra will send at least one representative to the conference, and other leading figures in the industry are expected to attend. BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta will speak on one of the panel discussions, as will BPO tuba Don Harry. Discussion topics will include diversity in the workplace, pension concerns, negotiating health care, and crafting community relations program for musicians. There will be a talk on orchestra stability from those coming back from near extinction, and those that have avoided it.
Overall, 110 people are expected to attend.
The event will also include a volunteer service involving the BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids program taking place at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, at the Adam's Mark Hotel. The BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids program has served children with special needs for several seasons, and is an integral part of each BlueCross BlueShield BPO Kids concert. The program offers noise-cancelling headphones, quiet pre-concert activities, and seating near exits so that children with sensory sensitivities or similar issues can better experience the concert. ICSOM delegates will perform for the families in this program in an informal environment, and offer an instrument demonstration.
"Much has changed in our city and our orchestra since 1988, and I'm happy to showcase both," Sweeley said. "It was a natural choice to hold the conference downtown so our guests can enjoy Canalside and the many wonderful restaurants. The guests will enjoy an outing to Niagara Falls during the week. I'm grateful for the financial support both from the BPO and the American Federation of Musicians local 92."
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is a founding member of ICSOM. ICSOM's mission is to promote a better and more rewarding livelihood for the skilled orchestral performer and to enrich the cultural life of society. The BPO and American Federation of Musicians Local 92 are serving as hosts, with BPO Associate Librarian Travis Hendra as conference coordinator.
As Buffalo's cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning BPO, under Falletta's leadership, presents more than 100 concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra's home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark with a reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the U.S. During Falletta's tenure, the BPO has rekindled its history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of 40 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels.
For more information about the BPO, visit www.bpo.org

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