By DON GLYNN
Niagara Gazette — Several hundred students in four Niagara County school districts will participate in a program that the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra presents March 12 at Kleinhan's Music Hall.
The concert titled "Dance, Drum and Fiddle," conducted by BPO Associate Conductor Matthew Kraemer, will be broadcast live to more than 60 school districts throughout Western New York through a partnership with Time Warner Cable and with support from Western New York BOCES.
Among the school districts participating: Niagara Falls, Lewiston-Porter, Niagara-Wheatfield and North Tonawanda. Kate Mockler, communications coordinator for the BPO, said the teachers in each district have received lesson plans to integrate the concert into their classrooms. The plans will align with New York state standards and the common core standards for English language arts.
The concert will feature music from Asia, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and the U.S., with guest artists representing many of the regions portrayed in the pieces, Mockler noted.
The Karen Baptist Church Choir from Buffalo's growing Burmease community, sponsored by the International Institute of Buffalo will lend their voices to "The Karen, My Nation," representing Asia. Ade Williams, winner of the 2012 Sphinx competition, will perform the third movement of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. The Sphinx Competition is a national event for young black and Latino string players designed to develop and recognize classical musical talent in those communities. The African American Cultural Center's Dance and Drum Performance Company will bring to life Akinla from the African Suite by Fela Sowande.
"Bringing music to the next generation is a key component of our mission at the BPO," said Robin Parkinson, education director for the orchestra."Buffalo is one of the few orchestras in the nation that is fortunate enough to have their concert hall in a residential neighborhood, and the cultural diversity of the area surrounding Kleinhan's is remarkable."