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BPO Unveils 2005-06 Pops Season

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – BPO Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch announced the 2005-2006 Pops season in song Thursday. Hamlisch performed his musical news release at the piano on the stage at Kleinhans. The conductor also announced that he has renewed his contract with the BPO for two more years.

Hamlisch announced the new pops season with flourish and enthusiasm. Returning to the stage with him next season, is a line up of guest favorites including Doc Severisen and Burt Bacharach. Among others, the season will also feature the Kingston Trio and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, as well as a concert of movie theme favorites and the perennial favorite the Holiday Pops.

Hamlisch first signed on as Principal Pops Conductor for the BPO in 2003. But he's still singing Buffalo's praises.

"It's a wonderful orchestra number one. The audiences are always very, kind of exuberant. That's part of the pleasure I have," said Hamlisch. I mean, you go to other places and sometimes the orchestras aren't near as good as this one."

Hamlisch believes the Pops programing is crucial to building audiences and keeping the BPO strong. Executive Director Dan Hart agrees. And he says that's more important than ever with the County's current fiscal crisis. Some of the BPO's funding was restored. But the county is facing a new round of cuts. Hart says he's keeping his fingers crossed.

"I think it's a great testament to the legislators that a small portion was preserved for the cultures, and I think that speaks to really the growing awareness of what cultural, arts organizations bring to Buffalo and greater Western New York," said Hart.

Hart says it's sad, however, that most arts groups received no funding at all. He says with the fiscal picture so bleak, the entire arts community will have to come together to figure out a plan for the future.