Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The City of Architecture

Yesteray the Concert Band had the distinct honor to play in one of the greatest theaters of North America: Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, N.Y. In a city noted for its amazing architecture (including notable buildings designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, Louis Sullivan, Frederick Law Olmstead and Frank Lloyd Wright), Shea’s Buffalo Theater is an outstanding venue for any performing group. The original architects, Rapp and Rapp of Chicago, used designs made by Tiffany Studios to finish the luxurious interior, which includes eight-foot tall chandeliers and amazing plasterwork. Shea’s is one of only four Tiffany-designed theaters still in existence. It is also important to note the herculean effort that the city of Buffalo made to restore this theater, in terms of volunteering, financially supporting, and legally getting the theater into the right ownership.

More than 2,500 Buffalonians nearly filled the gargantuan theater and enthusiastically responded to the our performance. They especially enjoyed the Vivaldi solo for piccolo flute performed by Chief Musician Lue Dollard and the percussion solo by Beall performed by Musician First Class Jason Niehoff, whose dramatic antics during his cadenza offered many opportunities for applause before his piece was over.

During the day, many of us took the opportunity to sample the fantastic food offered by the city of Buffalo—especially important was determining which Buffalo wings were the best. There was no conclusive answer, but the process was very satisfying!

Chief Musician Stan Curtis plays trumpet in the Concert Band.

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