The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will return to Academy Park on Saturday, July 1, for a 7 p.m. concert at the Alphonso I. DiMino Memorial Band Shell. The free event is presented by the Lewiston Council on the Arts and sponsored by DiMino’s Lewiston Tops.
This is the second year the BPO will perform on this stage, which was designed to accommodate such prestigious acts. An inaugural concert last summer was a highlight of Lewiston’s bicentennial celebration.
Anthony DiMino said, “It was so inspiring that I did it for a second year in a row.”
He explained, “I built a bandshell to be used, first of all. And what other way of showing off this facility then, really, the best band, basically, in the area? I mean, they are a famous band, the philharmonic; they record all over the United States. It's a big deal. It's a big deal for not only Lewiston, but basically the whole community at large.
“It's a free concert, in a beautiful setting, and I believe that more people come down here to listen to music that they would not normally listen to any other day of the year. It's the philharmonic. It's not on the radio, per se, or mainstream. This is something very special, and I hope that people from Niagara Falls to North Tonawanda to Buffalo come down. And, if you've never heard the philharmonic before, here's your opportunity. Free. Come on down. Plenty of parking. It’s at night. It’s going to be a beautiful day, it’s the kickoff of the fourth of July holiday.”
Lewiston Council on the Arts Executive Director Maria Fortuna Dean said, “Kick off the summer with some incredible music in the heart of the village! Bring your blanket or some chairs. Brickyard Brewing Company will be on hand for delicious alfresco dining.”
She further shared that the BPO, led by Argentinian conductor Fernanda Lastra, will perform a fun, family-friendly concert of favorite tunes – from “Star Wars” and “Frozen” to Copland and Sousa – and will feature a special guest: mezzo-soprano Rebekah Grande.
Grande, the first-place winner of the Friends of the BPO Scholarship Competition, will make her debut performance.
Dean explained, “Rebekah got her start in musical theater, performing at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan and at the SUNY Fredonia Summer Music Festival, and would routinely bring down the house by belting out ‘Defying Gravity.’
“However, her voice teacher and choir and theater directors recognized the potential in her mezzo soprano instrument, and encouraged her to ‘just give classical music a try.’ Rebekah was soon bitten by the classical music bug, and is excited about the possibilities opening to her.”
Grande said, “I feel like a kid in the candy store!”
She will begin her studies in the fall, as a vocal performance major at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory.
DiMino and Dean watch special guest star Rebekah Grande.
The BPO at the bandshell in 2022.