Music Notes: Swinging In 2004 with the BPO

The BPO tries something new for its New Year's Eve concert.

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Philharmonic tries a new theme for the annual New Year's gala. Good morning. I'm Bill Raffel with Music Notes.

Ever since the BPO started the gala three years ago, the focus has been on Viennese music and the Strauss family in particular, following the custom of the Vienna Philharmonic. But this year, Assistant Conductor Ron Spigelman says they decided to try swing.

So we're 99.5% sure JoAnn Falletta will lead the BPO and Chorus in works of Jewish composers, including Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Ernst Bloch's Schelomo featuring Principal Cellist Roman Mekinulov, and Mahler's Fourth Symphony with Soprano Soloist Esther Heideman. Performances take place Saturday (1/3) at 8 p.m. and Sunday (1/4) at 2:30 p.m., with preconcert talks one hour earlier. Ron Spigelman will be on the podium for the annual New Year's Gala Wednesday (12/31) at 9:00 p.m. in Kleinhans. There is a dinner package available with catering by Oliver's starting at 6:00 p.m. And after the concert, the Barroom Buzzards will be on the Main Stage in Kleinhans while Sal Andolina and his Jazz All-Stars do the honors in the Mary Seaton Room, before a champagne toast and balloon drop.

Also this weekend, you can celebrate the official end of Christmas and the beginning of Epiphany with Roland Martin and the Chautauqua Chamber Singers. The annual Twelfth Night concert features Elizabethan costumes, readings, plus a visit from Bubba the Boar Head for the Boar's Head Carol. There'll be two performances in Jamestown's First Presbyterian Church Saturday (1/3) at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., before heading up to Saint Joseph's University Church in Buffalo on Sunday (1/4) at 4 p.m.