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A Pops valentine with the BPO

John Morris Russell, the colorful maestro known in December as "Mr. Christmas," is returning to Buffalo. And this time, you can call him "Mr. Valentine."

Russell, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's principal pops conductor, is presiding over two Valentine's Day concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall, at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 10, and at 8 p.m. Feb. 11.

The concert features guest singer Lisa Vroman. Vroman is singing great love songs from Broadway and the American songbook, including music of Porter, Sondheim, Styne, Gershwin, Kander and Ebb, Lerner and Loewe, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. "Think of Me" and "All I Ask of You" from "The Phantom of the Opera" are also on the program. Vroman starred in "Phantom" in San Francisco.

The concert also includes instrumental favorites, such as the overture to "West Side Story," the haunting "Carousel Waltz" from "Carousel" and "Tara's Theme" from "Gone With the Wind." It ends imaginatively, with the riotous "Bacchanale" from Saint-Saens' "Samson and Delilah."

The Feb. 10 crowd is invited to come early, at 9:30 a.m., for complimentary coffee and doughnuts.

Tickets are $37-$82. Call 885-5000 or visit bpo.org.

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