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ARCO Performs at Buffalo Sabres Game

The Amherst Rock Concert Orchestra (ARCO), directed by Patrick O’Donnell, brought their show on the road and performed at a Buffalo Sabres game at the KeyBank Center.  The students transformed their traditional classical instruments of violins, violas, cellos, and basses into rock machines with music spanning from “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes to “We Will Rock You” by Queen.  Their sound was enhanced by the addition of drums and bass guitars.  The performance was enjoyed by members of the Amherst Central School District community and Sabres fans alike.


Watch a video of their performance.


The name of the group is a play on words with “arco” being a music vocabulary word meaning to play with the bow on a string instrument.  The Amherst Rock Concert Orchestra (ARCO) was formed at Amherst Middle School to give the opportunity to broaden students’ horizons with various musical genres including rock, pop, fiddle, jazz and more.  Students develop a variety of string playing techniques while building a true sense of community in the orchestra program.  Members span the three grade levels at Amherst Middle School, including 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.  Experienced players are able to inspire the next generation of the group while young players level up and develop lasting friendships with upperclassmen.

The performance at the Sabres game is now part of a list of past community performances including the Rock Star Program at the Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls, NY, and the Independent Health Family Branch YMCA Cycle Live classes (a fundraiser with live music performed for spinning classes).

The group looks forward to continuing to grow their community outreach.  They have enjoyed support from multiple organizations and grants including the Amherst Alumni Association, Subaru Loves Learning, and Kohls.