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Give for Greatness at the BPO

The BPO's Paul Ferington - an often overlooked treasure on the local music scene.

Maestro Paul Ferington conducts a free BPO Broadway Spectacular to support the arts

Paul Ferington is a local musical treasure. This Sunday, April 29, he will conduct the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in Broadway Spectacular, the annual Give for Greatness concert at Kleinhans Music Hall, beginning at 6:30pm. It’s a big free concert with a $5 suggested minimum donation featuring the music of Broadway and the ballet. Expect a splashy and generous program that includes music by Rodgers and Hammerstein, the Gerswhins, Leonard Bernstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rossini, and Stravinsky, and features singers from MusicalFare Theatre and Randall Kramer on the piano.

“This is a way to celebrate all of the arts we have in our community,” says Ferington. “And it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to hear our orchestra!”

Buffalo so adores charismatic BPO music director JoAnn Falletta—the longest-standing director in the beloved orchestra’s long history—that it can be easy to overlook what a gem we have in Paul Ferington.

During his 27 years as a member of the BPO conducting staff, he has conducted the orchestra in more than 435 concerts at 65 varied locations around Western New York, Northern Pennsylvania, and Southern Ontario—and, of course, at Kleinhans.

“The arts contribute so much to the quality of life in our community,” says Ferington. “That’s what we’re celebrating with this concert. We’ve planned a friendly and uplifting celebration with open seating. There will be music from The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, Funny Face, and West Side Story, and Phantom of the Opera, as well as ballet music from Rossini’s William Tell and Stravinsky’s Firebird. Randy Kramer will play the piano.”

Ferington is a graduate in orchestral conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He was a conducting student of Max Rudolph, Robert Shaw, Erich Kunzel, and Thomas Schippers. He has been a guest conductor and recital accompanist nationally and internationally, and has served as coach/accompanist for such legends of opera as Kathleen Battle, Barbara Daniels, and Tom Fox, as well as pianist for conductors Yehudi Menuhin, Erich Kunzel, Robert Shaw, Julius Rudel, James Levine, and the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus.

In addition to his duties at the BPO, Ferington is an adjunct professor of music at Buffalo State College, where his online course Music & Political Action is enormously popular, attracting a long waiting list of students each semester. He also serves as conductor and music director for the recently formed college/community Buffalo State College Philharmonia Orchestra.

In April 2010, in recognition of his 25 years of service to the BPO, Maestro Ferington was honored by the musicians of the BPO with a newly commissioned work, Christopher Rogerson’s Luminosity, which debuted at the annual Donor Concert with JoAnn Falletta conducting.

Reservations are not necessary for the Give for Greatness concert, which, in addition to the BPO and Randall Kramer, will feature the talents of Pascal Frisina, Ellen Horst, Tom Owen, Theresa Quinn, Jennifer Stafford, and the cast of MusicalFare’s A Grand Night for Singing. While a $5 contribution is suggested, audience members are encouraged to give generously. Funds will be used to support smaller cultural organizations in this region.

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