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BPO Performs Music of the Grateful Dead: February 16

BPO Performs Music of the Grateful Dead: February 16

Posted: February 3, 2012

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO), along with the Buffalo-based band Forever Young, will play tribute to a legendary psychedelic band, Thursday, February 16, at the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for Philharmonic followers to hear an iconic rock band and for rock fans, it’s a good chance to hear a symphony orchestra,” noted Paul Ferington, lecturer of music, who is conducting the BPO performance. “It’s a win-win.”

Performing in concert with rock groups is the direction many philharmonic orchestras are going, Ferington said. “It’s a way to develop new audiences and is a great exposure to live music.”

This particular concert, featuring a dozen well-known Grateful Dead songs, also gives a historic nod to a 1970 concert in which the BPO played with the Dead's original members—at a time when few orchestras were performing with popular bands.

“It was very cutting edge and ahead of its time,” said Brad Fuster, chair and associate professor of music.

Long known as one of the most avant-garde ensembles in the country, the Grateful Dead traveled extensively from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s, building a strong fan base and influencing generations of musicians.

“We love bringing the BPO to campus, and we wanted something with crowd appeal,” said Fuster said. “The Dead have a tremendous following.”

Two summers ago, Fuster played percussion with the BPO in an outdoor Grateful Dead tribute concert held in West Seneca. He said it was hugely popular.

BPO musicians, several of whom also serve on the Buffalo State faculty, are excited about the chance to perform the storied band’s music with Forever Young. The playlist includes such favorites as "Sugar Magnolia," "Eyes of the World," "Truckin’," and "Looks Like Rain."

President Aaron Podolefsky will introduce the performance and welcome the BPO to Buffalo State. The concert is part of Buffalo State's Year of the Arts initiative.

It is definitely a show not to be missed.

Tickets are $35-$40 for the general public and $20 for all students with ID and alumni.

To order tickets, call (716) 878-3005 or go to www.buffalostate.edu/pac.

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