WESTERN NEW YORK’S LONGEST RUNNING MARTIN LUTHER KING CELEBRATION, CONDUCTED BY ERIN FREEMAN
On January 19, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus had the great honor to participate in the 34th Annual Martin Luther King Celebration program at Kleinhan’s Music Hall. Organized by Bessie Patterson and the Concerned Citizens Following the Dream, the event included the BPChorus, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Soprano Karen Saxon, and a large chorus of singers from around the Western New York area. On the first half of the program, nearly 300 people filled the stage under the baton of BPC Music Director Erin Freeman to sing, play, and serve Dr. King’s dream. Music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, George Frederick Handel, George Walker, Morton Gould and local composer Ella Robinson shared the program with a rousing rendition of Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, a powerful Ain’t He Good, Children (led by Bessie Patterson), and Richard Smallwood’s Total Praise, with orchestra, flag ministry, and soloist Patricia Edwards. The second half of the program allowed local performing groups to celebrate individually. The BPChorus performed two a cappella numbers, Biebl’s Ave Maria and Soon Ah Will Be Done, arranged by William Dawson.
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