Jazzy Holiday Pops

I had an amazing time, today! I went on a bus day-trip with the Busy Buddies group to Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, NY to hear the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The performance was John Morris Russell’s Jazzy Holiday Pops with conductor John Morris Russell. There were also performances by Erica Gabriel – soprano, George Brown – tenor, the Darlene Ceglia’s Dance Project, and trio “Normal Street Entrance” to enhance the experience against the beautiful music of the Buffalo Philharmonic.

First – this is my very first time ever at Kleinhans Music Hall and I have to say I was impressed! What a beautiful venue! I don’t believe there is a “bad seat” in the house. The acoustics are amazing. They serve complimentary donuts and coffee in the lobby with ample seating for everyone to relax while waiting for “showtime”. And…..it was especially impressive how they handled bus groups – which I was a part of: they asked everyone who was in a bus group to remain seated after the show and they called each group when their bus was in queue outside the entrance – no standing around in the cold waiting for your bus or walking out into a large parking lot to get to it. Nice!!!

They also, like most venues right now, require full vaccination for entry – no vax, no entry – and they also require masks to be worn at all times while inside the building. We got off the bus at the entrance and they very quickly and efficiently looked at our vaccination records and photo ID and we went on inside. The sad thing was that we had to show a photo ID that they matched to the name on the vaccination record…..apparently, there is a problem with those who don’t want to be vaccinated using either a friend’s vaccination record or a phony one to get into places that require vaccinations. Come on — if you don’t want to be vaccinated, that’s up to you, but accept the consequences of that decision — there are going to be places you won’t be able to go to without the vaccination — fact of life at this point. Anyway…..I liked that and was happy to show my vaccination record!

The music was incredible…..I always enjoy hearing a philharmonic orchestra – especially with a pops performance. The soloists and dancers made it so much more entertaining, as well.

Here are some photos:

The first few are of the orchestra warming up as the audience was finding their seats.

Erica Gabriel – soprano – stunning!!!

Darlene Ceglia’s Dance Project – dance group – so talented!!!

George Brown – tenor – fabulous!!!

More from the dance group

John Morris Russell – conductor — what a showman!!! During the instrumental part of one of Ms. Gabriel’s songs, he danced with her…..what a treat!

“Normal Street Entrance” – trio – very nice, indeed!!! They did a medley of Irish Christmas songs!!!

Amy Licata – violin, Brett Shurtiffe – double bass, Matt Sperber – guitar

The dance group dancing to “Sleigh Ride”

Ms. Gabriel and Mr. Brown jazzing it up!

Guess who got to sing with the Buffalo Philharmonic???

Yep — ME!!! I sang a medley of classic Christmas Carols!!!

OK……so, it was the audience sing-a-long part of the show……

but, I DID sing…..and the BPO was playing the music!!! hahaha

After the show, we went to Panes Restaurant in North Tonawanda for lunch…..it was really good!!! I had the roast beef and baked potato dinner…..the other choice was chicken parm…..and I think there was a third choice, but I didn’t see anyone have anything but the other two choices. Everyone enjoyed their meal — the bread was AMAZING……they make their own and sell it there (I bought some to have for my Christmas Eve celebration with family — I popped it in the freezer to keep till I need it). There was also vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup for dessert.

So good……beef was tender and jammed with flavor and the baked potato was perfect!!!

It was an amazing day with friends……I went with the Busy Buddies group I belong to and a friend from my school days sat with me on the bus, at the show, and at lunch. So glad I did this day trip — it was a perfect way to enjoy the holiday season!

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