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BPO Kicks Off February With Project Trio

It’s not very often that the world’s only beat-boxing flutist comes to Buffalo, but it’s happening next month.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will welcome the genre-bending group, Project Trio, for a series of performances in early February. The Brooklyn-based ensemble is comprised of three classically trained musicians – double bassist Peter Seymour, flutist Greg Pattillo, and cellist Eric Stephenson – who first met while studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music. The trio’s improvisational skills allow them to stretch the limits of their genre and incorporate a wide range of musical styles into their performances, from jazz to rock, hip-hop and pop.

The group and their unique improvisational take on classical music has skyrocketed to fame through their use of social media (their YouTube channel has over 80 million views and 96,000 subscribers). But what makes the group and their visit to Buffalo particularly special is their focus on education and outreach to young listeners and musicians.

In their mission statement, the group states that they are “dedicated to galvanizing artistic awareness through performance, education and community engagement. We believe that there is a direct correlation between artistry and scholastic achievement. Creativity encourages critical thinking. By combining classical repertoire with elements of hip-hop and popular music, Project Trio engages today’s younger audience.”

Next week, they’ll be bringing that mission to several schools on Buffalo’s West Side. Through the BPO’s West Side Connections program, local students will have the opportunity to not only hear Project Trio’s music, but also meet them in person and absorb some of their musical knowledge and experiences. The artists will visit four local public schools next week – D’Youville Porter Elementary, Native American Magnet, and Herman-Badillo Bilingual Academy, and Hutchison Technical High School.

“The West Side Connection was developed in response to the growth of the international populations on the West Side of Buffalo and through a desire to make an authentic connection with our international community through the powerful entry point of music,”  said Robin Parkinson, BPO Education Director. “Project Trio uses a wide range of musical styles and cultures to demonstrate that all music ties us together.”

Parkinson notes that Project Trio’s versatile style is a perfect musical metaphor for the program’s goal to celebrate diversity through music, and is particularly engaging for a younger audience. “They are good at connecting the familiar with the unfamiliar and they encourage their audience to explore their own innate musical abilities,” she said. “For instance, they do a beatboxing lesson in the middle of the show and get the audience to play along.”

The BPO’s award-winning educational program takes this opportunity to engage with visiting musicians beyond the West Side, by providing other schools the option to tune in to the artist sessions. “While the live audience is made up of the students in the schools surrounding Kleinhans, the concert is available on demand to any teacher in Western New York’s eight counties,” said Kate Mockler Jenkins, BPO communications coordinator. “In the past, we’ve even had participation from the juvenile detention center, from the Newstead Learning Center, from a couple of schools in Pennsylvania. All of the Catholic schools and Buffalo Public Schools use the on-demand option, too.”

Project Trio will begin their stint in Buffalo with a collaborative performance with the orchestra at the BPO Kids concert on Sunday, February 4 at 2:30 p.m. at Kleinhans Music Hall, conducted by Stefan Sanders. Families can arrive early to take advantage of pre-concert activities, which begin at 1:30 p.m. Tickets for the Sunday’s show range from $9-14 and can be purchased here. 

On Tuesday, February 6, Project Trio will host their own concert at 7 p.m. in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans. Tickets are priced at $25 for adults and $15 for students and can be purchased here

Finally, on Wednesday, February 7, Project Trio will perform its education concert that will be livestreamed to about 20,000 students throughout Western New York. To learn more about the group, visit their website or check out their YouTube channel.

The BPO is featuring several other events in February, listed below:

Bach & Dvorak at Clarence 

Concertmaster Dennis Kim leads a chamber orchestra from the BPO in this intimate concert experience, featuring Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Double Violin Concerto, and Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings.

Thursday, February 1, 7:00 p.m.

Clarence Presbyterian Church

9675 Main Street, Clarence

Tickets: $15 adult, $10 student

 

Bach & Dvorak at St. Stanislaus 

Friday, February 2, 7:00 p.m.

St. Stanislaus R.C. Church

123 Townsend Street, Buffalo

Tickets: $15 adult, $10 student

 

Rock and Rhapsody

Pianist and vocalist Tony DeSare lights up the stage with music by everyone from Elton John, Billy Joel, John Lennon, and Ray Charles, culminating in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Saturday, February 3, 8:00 p.m.

Kleinhans Music Hall

Tickets: $29-$84

 

Evolution of the Modern Orchestra 

Associate Principal bassist Brett Shurtliffe explains the progression from the earliest orchestral ensembles to today’s symphony orchestra, with a focus on his own instrument’s predecessor, the ancient viol.

Monday, February 5

Downtown Library, 1 Lafayette Square, 12:00 p.m.

Orchard Park Library, S-4570 South Buffalo St., 6:30 p.m.

 

Scheherazade

JoAnn Falletta conducts one of her favorite pieces: Scheherazade. Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä performs Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. A 15-minute symphony by Wang Jie completes this dynamic program.

Saturday, February 10, 8:00 p.m. 

Sunday, February 11, 2:30 p.m. 

Kleinhans Music Hall

Tickets: $29-$84

 

Evolution of the Modern Orchestra 

Sunday, February 12, 7:00 p.m.

Audubon Library, Amherst

 

Glenn Miller Orchestra

With its unique sound, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is considered to be one of the greatest bands of all time. Add the amazing big band talents of the brass and winds in the BPO, and the rich depth of the strings, and you’ve got one fantastic concert.

Friday, February 16, 10:30 a.m. 

Saturday, February 17, 8:00 p.m. 

Kleinhans Music  Hall

Tickets: $36-$86

Piano Masterclass with Fei Fei Dong

Fei-Fei Dong was a top finalist in the Van Cliburn competition and has performed widely as a soloist and chamber musician. She will instruct Western New York’s young pianists in this masterclass.

Thursday, February 22, 7:00 p.m.

Kleinhans Music Hall

 

Schumann & Beethoven

This concert pairs Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor with Beethoven’s graceful Symphony No. 4.

Friday, February 23, 10:30 a.m. 

Saturday, February 24, 8:00 p.m.

Kleinhans Music Hall

Tickets: $29-$84

For more information on upcoming events with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, visit their website

This content is part of a sponsored series in partnership with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Written by Sarah Maurer

Sarah Maurer

I moved to Buffalo to attend Canisius College in 2007 and began writing for Buffalo Rising as a journalism intern in 2010. Working with Newell and meeting numerous entrepreneurs, activists and everyday folks who were working to make their city better made a huge impact on my decision to stay here. After witnessing all the positive development and grassroots initiatives happening in neighborhoods throughout the city, I was inspired to pursue a term of service in AmeriCorps and a career in Buffalo's non-profit sector. I currently work in the housing department at the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY and am excited to be a part of their ongoing efforts to revitalize the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood. I also volunteer as the project coordinator for Artfarms Buffalo. I continue to write for Buffalo Rising because I love having the opportunity to stay connected to those working toward positive changes for the Queen City.

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