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Smallwood Drive Choral Students to Sing in the BPO Link Up Program

Choral students in grades 3-5 at Amherst Schools are headed to Kleinhans Music Hall for the first time since 2019 to be part of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Link Up music program. 

Chorus students at Smallwood Drive and Windermere Boulevard elementary schools learn the concert repertoire in chorus at their building and then sing at Kleinhans with the BPO accompanying them.

The concert will be in person at Kleinhans on Wednesday, March 9 at 7 p.m. No tickets are required and the performance is free to attend. Families are encouraged to check the COVID protocols at Kleinhans, as audience members need to be fully vaccinated to attend performances.

The song list includes "Come To Play" by Thomas Cabaniss, "Simple Gifts" by Joseph Brackett, "Variations on a Shaker Melody" from Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland, "Ode To Joy" by Ludwig von Beethoven, "New World Symphony" by Antonin Dvorak, "To Make Words Sing" by Thomas Cabaniss with text by Langston Hughes, "Finale" from the Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky, and "Oye" by Jim Papoulis.

“The students have been enjoying learning the repertoire and are interested in the background stories and histories of the songs we have studied,” said Julie Furlong, Smallwood Drive music teacher. “They are particularly fond of the fairy tale story of the Firebird Suite, and are excited to hear the music as played live by the BPO!”

The last time Amherst Schools participated in the Link Up program was Feb. 7, 2019 at Kleinhans Music Hall. In the past, Amherst elementary bands and orchestras have played in the Mary Seaton Room prior to the BPO portion of the concert, but this was not an option due to COVID restrictions.

The Link Up program was developed from Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute (their education program), and is available to professional orchestra and school partnerships worldwide. The BPO and Amherst School District first participated in the Link Up program in the 2010-2011 school year and have been doing the program biennially since then with a one-year COVID delay from last year.