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Hamlisch holidays

Marvin Hamlisch is making his list and checking it twice, and he's getting ready for quite the Holiday Pops concert. Hamlisch, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's principal pops conductor, has become known for his dry holiday wit. Snow, Hanukkah, Santa's elves -- it's all fair game for the maestro. It'll be fun to hear what he comes up with this year.

Though he's pretty brassy on his own, Hamlisch is going to be joined this weekend by some special guest stars, the Empire Brass. One of North America's foremost brass ensembles, the quintet should be able to add that bit of Christmas pageantry you can get only from the blast of a trumpet or the growl of a trombone.

The mighty Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, directed by L. Brett Scott, will join these already considerable forces.Four shows are scheduled. Catch Hamlisch and his henchmen at 8 tonight; at 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. All concerts take place in Kleinhans Music Hall. Admission is $25 to $72. For information, call 885-5000.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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