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Britain-bound Vocalis warms up with Broadway gala


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buffalo's virtuosic Vocalis Chamber Singers, pictured above, are bound for Britain, where they will be performing this summer at the prestigious Cambridge Summer Music Festival. They are preparing for the trip with a fundraiser Thursday, May 8, on in the beautiful lobby of Shea's Performing Arts Center. 

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served and the singers are performing classic Broadway songs. A silent auction features prizes including artisan jewelry, weekend stays at a Chautauqua Lake condo, the 1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast in Canandaigua, and Salvatore’s Grand Hotel. Other prizes include theater and concert tickets, a custom-designed dinner for six with a “Downton Abbey” theme, and an "English pub" dinner for up to 18 guests.

The gala takes place Thursday, May 8, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Shea's, 646 Main St. in downtown Buffalo. Tickets are $50 and may be had at


Artpark announces full summer lineup

Sara Bareilles, Aretha Franklin, Sammy Hagar and Michael McDonald are among the new acts announced for the Artpark summer season.

Here is the full schedule of shows. Tickets for shows just announced go on sale at 10 a.m. May 3.

First Niagara presents Tuesday in the Park

June 10Daryl Hall & John Oates

Advance General Admission $12

June 17 – Widespread Panic

Advance General Admission $7

June 24 – Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band

Advance General Admission $17

July 1 – Blue Rodeo with special guests 54-40

Advance General Admission $7

July 8 – Boston

Advance General Admission $12

July 15 – Megadeth

Advance General Admission $12

July 22Aretha Franklin (just announced)

Advance General Admission $17

July 29 – Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum presents Sammy Hagar

A Journey Through the History of Rock featuring Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham, & Vic Johnson

Advance General Admission $12

Aug. 5 Heart

Advance General Admission $12

Aug. 12Gregg Allman

Advance General Admission $7

Aug. 19 Styx

Advance General Admission $12

Aug. 26 Michael McDonald + Toto

Advance General Admission $12

Coors Light Wednesdays

June 18 – Arctic Monkeys

Advance General Admission $11

June 25 – Ziggy Marley & Steel Pulse

Advance General Admission $6

July 2 – O.A.R. & Phillip Phillips

Advance General Admission $11

July 9 – Sublime with Rome

Advance General Admission $11

July 16 Sara Bareilles (just announced)

Advance General Admission $11

July 23 – 3 Doors Down

Advance General Admission $11

A limited number of “Front of Stage” (standing room only) tickets will go on sale for shows just announced for $27 Tuesdays/$26 Wednesdays. All tickets increase by $5 the week of the concert.

Artpark announced a new “reserved seating”section that will go on sale for all outdoor shows on May 3. A limited number of chairs installed about 80 to 100 feet from the stage in the Amphitheater bowl adjacent to the sound board area (visit for map) will be sold for $26 for all Wednesday shows; $52 for Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band and Aretha Franklin; and $27 for all other Tuesday in the Park concerts. Previously purchased tickets may be upgraded to reserved seating, based on availability, at the box office only.

First Niagara presents Tuesday in the Park General Admission Season Packages are on sale now for $120 General admission. Price includes reduced facility fees.

Purchase tickets online at,, by phone at (888) 223-6000, or in person at the Artpark box office (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday).


The Madrigal Mystery Tour is waiting to take you away

Bravos in advance to the Freudig Singers just on the strength of the title of their next concert.

At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, at Buffalo Seminary, their Madrigal Mystery Tour will pair Beatles tunes with madrigals. You will get a Beatles tune, then a madrigal, then a Beatles tune, then a madrigal, and so forthe. Will "Summer is icumen in," here performed by a group called the Greenleaf Singers ...

... be paired with "Hear Comes the Sun"? Perhaps.

In any case, a wonderful concept. Tickets are $10. Details may be found on the Freudig Singers' website.

- Mary Kunz Goldman

British Poet Laureate schedules additional Williamsville reading Saturday

Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, has scheduled a second  Buffalo area poetry reading and talk in conjunction with her participation in the Williamsville Poetry, Music, Art and Dance Celebration Sunday afternoon at Williamsville East High School.
This Saturday at 5 p.m., Duffy will be reading from and talking about her work at
Calvary Episcopal Church, 20 Milton Street (near South Cayuga Road) in Williamsville.  Talking Leaves Books, which helped arrange the appearance, will be on hand with a supply of Duffy's books for purchase and signing. The event is free and open to the public.

Duffy is an award-winning Scottish poet and playwright and the author of over 50 poetry collections, books for children, and plays. Some of her best known collections include
"Standing Female Nude" (Anvil Press, 1985), "The World's Wife" (Picador, 2000), "The Good Child's Guide to Rock'N'Roll" (Children's poetry, Faber & Faber, 2003), "New Selected Poems" (Picador, 2004), and "The Bees," published in the U.S. last year by Faber & Faber.

In 2009, she was appointed to a ten year term as Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, becoming the first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly LGBT person to hold the position. 

On Sunday, Duffy will be the featured guest of the Williamsville Poetry, Music, Art and Dance Celebration from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Williamsville East High School, 151 Paradise Road in Amherst.

--R.D. Pohl


Upbeat BPO concerts put swing into spring


By Mary Kunz Goldman

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has a couple of snazzy concerts planned for Kleinhans Music hall over the next couple of weeks. This weekend features percussionist Colin Currie on Saturday and Sunday with a percussion concerto by Jennifer Higdon that has sparkle. And Saturday, May 3, brings a big band salute with conductor Matt Catingub, pictured above.

The orchestra likes to do big band salutes around this time of year -- maybe it's a way of warming things up when the weather seems slow to change. Conductor Matt Catingub is presiding over a concert including numbers associated with Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and other legends. Catingub, conductor of California's new Glendale Pops Orchestra, has a flair for the retro. One jazz disc a few years ago by the Honolulu Symphony (Catingub is of Polynesian descent) featured arrangements of his featuring florid strings that could take you back to the 1940s and '50s.

We give you the sultry sounds of the Matt Catingub Big Band.

Catingub and the BPO play the blues, and other big band delights, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.

Tickets are $28-$76. For info on BPO events, call 885-5000.

Louisiana-Exchange open studio event planned for Saturday

Tingley-tomasello studios main wall

Artists in two buildings near Buffalo's Old First Ward will fling open their studio doors to visitors on Saturday between 12 and 6 p.m.

At 225 Louisiana St., artists Chris Kameck, Marissa Lehner, Frederick Mount and Gary Sczerbaniewicz will display their work.

At 567 Exchange St., a dozen more artists and design studios will host visitors. They are:

OGRE, Joel Brenden, Anne Muntges, Adam Weekley, Chuck Tingley, Rich Tomasello, Charlie Ertel, Matthew John Pasquarella, Tom Sander, Philip Kuznicki, Studio 33 Design Concepts and WEBB Exchange.

--Colin Dabkowski

Albright-Knox’s Board of Directors and staff are committed to the importance of public art and we enthusiastically applaud the City’s renewed efforts to commit funds to its public art program.  This will be an important addition to the public art initiative that Erie County approved in its most recent budget

Rare Gershwin opera is half of downtown double bill

By Mary Kunz Goldman

Buffalo Opera Unlimited has an unusual double bill planned for May 16 and 18 at the 710 Main Theatre downtown. That is the swanky little theater by Shea's Performing Arts Center.

The company is performing a little-known jazz opera by George Gershwin called "Blue Monday." I found this little clip of the one-act opera on YouTube -- a production from Italy, the video info suggests.

The other opera on Buffalo Opera Unlimited's bill is the premiere of "The Fall of Stag Lee" by Darryl Glenn Nettles.

Led by Tim Kennedy, Buffalo Opera Unlimited has done a fine job in the past with off-the-beaten-track American music. One enjoyable concert centered on the music of William Grant Still. It is great that they are forging forward with this new adventure.

Performances are 8 p.m. Fri., May 16 and 2:30 p.m. Sun., May 18. Tickets are $30 and more details are on the 710 Main theater's website.


Live chat at noon: Miers on Music

Acclaimed Buffalo brass bands join forces for free concert Saturday

Buffalo Band Photo (1)

By Mary Kunz Goldman

The Buffalo Niagara Concert Band, pictured above, wins rave reviews wherever it goes, which includes the recent Association of Concert Bands' National Convention in Allentown, Pa. An all-volunteer, 70-musician group formed in 2009 at American Legion Post 1041, the band plays classics by composers including Percy Grainger as well as Sousa marches and Broadway medleys. Its director is Amy Steiner.

The band has a concert planned for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at St. Joseph University Church, 3269 Main St. On Facebook, the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band promises that they will play the music that won over critics in Allentown, Pa.

It will be a combined concert with the Buffalo Silver Band, a band in the rare British brass band tradition. The Buffalo Silver Band recently won the prestigious Hannaford  Cup in Toronto’s Festival for Brass.

The concert is free. As the Buffalo Silver Band says on Facebook:  "If you spent all of your money on Cher tickets this week, you don't have to feel guilty about going out twice in one week. This will be just as much fun, and did we mention, free?"

Here is a taste of the smooth and polished artistry of the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band.

Thursday Theater Roundup: BUA's 'Blanche' wraps up; Subversive's 'View from the Bridge' continues

BRIDGE = first posed 008 updated

Andrew Gollhardt, James Heffron and Thomas LaChiusa star in Subverisve Theatre's production of "A View from the Bridge."

The Thursday Theater Roundup features currently running productions that have received three or more stars from our reviewers. Here are this week's picks:

"Blanche DuBois Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire," through Sunday in a Buffalo United Artists produciton in the Main Street Cabaret. ★★★

"A View from the Bridge," through May 3 in a Subversive Theatre production in the Manny Fried Playhouse. ★★★½

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