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Buffalo Suzuki Strings celebrates 50th anniversary, 'Celebrating Our Past, Inspiring Our Future'

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Tue, Jun 4th 2019 10:10 am

Buffalo Suzuki Strings will celebrate its 50th anniversary this Saturday and Sunday at 4 Webster St., North Tonawanda – BSS’ home.

Both Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and the Erie County Legislature have issued official proclamations to recognize this milestone and to congratulate founder Mary Cay Neal on her accomplishments.

Saturday will be dedicated to BSS alumni and alumni parents. Alumni from the past 50 years will fly to Buffalo from all over the world and gather at 3 p.m. to have a play-in that will include many songs from the Suzuki music books.

Many BSS alumni have children that now study in Suzuki programs around the world and some right here in Buffalo where their parents grew up studying music. So, Sunday will be an afternoon for current BSS families, alumni and friends. The afternoon will begin at 3 p.m. with a professional musicians concert of BSS alumni. The concert will kick-off with the first two students of BSS from 1969 performing together. The concert will be followed by a celebration party.

Founded by Neal in 1969, Buffalo Suzuki Strings has been a music education institution for hundreds of WNY families over the past 50 years. Neal studied directly with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and is a pioneer in bringing the Suzuki Method to the U.S. in the 1960s.

Neal said she is looking forward to celebrating the rich history of the program’s last half century.

“Reflecting on the last 50 years brings me great joy,” Neal said. “The program evolved over time, one baby step at a time, similar to the Suzuki way of teaching. The program began in my living room with just two students learning violin and, today, we have our own beautiful facility with 250 students learning violin, viola, cello, piano, classical guitar, harp and early childhood music education through the Suzuki Method. The upcoming weekend celebration will be special as we celebrate past students, parents and teachers that will attend, current BSS families and the WNY community, which has been a tremendous support to our organization for the past 50 years.”

Throughout its almost 50-year history, the school has produced students who play at the highest levels. BSS students have performed with all of the orchestras in Western New York, including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Its Friendship Touring Ensemble has performed in 28 countries around the world.

Visit www.buffalosuzukistrings.org.

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