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Pops secret

He's making a list and checking it twice, and Marvin Hamlisch, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's principal pops conductor -- is sure to have a humdinger of a Holiday Pops program planned for this weekend. The first performance of the glittering annual event takes place tonight at 8 p.m. at Kleinhans Music Hall.

Hamlisch dropped into town a few weeks ago and, we hear, quietly conducted a massive local talent search. The BPO has been mum on exactly what he came up with, which doubles the surprise factor for this weekend's concert. As always, though, the concert will feature the intrepid, venturesome Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, and also Hamlisch's dry New York sense of humor, which has put him over the top with Buffalo audiences.

Five Holiday Pops performances are scheduled. The show goes on tonight at 8 and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 and 8 p.m. In the holiday spirit, the audience is invited to bring a nonperishable food item to any of the concerts to help the Food Bank of Western New York.

Admission is $25-$72, with discounts available. For more information, call 885-5000.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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