Popular BPO guest conductor Paul Ferington is stepping down. He wants to relax, enjoy his family and spend more time composing and arranging.
But first, bravo to him for going out with a bang – by conducting the BPO on Friday in the traditional Independence Day Eve Buffalo Bisons concert, followed by fireworks. Ferington has conducted this annual concert on a volunteer basis since 1998, and Friday’s concert includes patriotic selections as well as his own innovation, the Armed Forces Salute. Initiated by Ferington at his first Bisons concert, the Armed Forces Salute involves playing the anthems for each branch of the American armed forces, as veterans of each branch stand up in turn.
The concert follows the Bisons game, which starts at 6 p.m. Friday at Coca-Cola Field. Following that bittersweet event, the orchestra stays busy for the rest of the week:
• At 8 p.m. Saturday, as part of the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, the BPO plays a pops concert with patriotic music and music from “Star Wars.” Fireworks follow. Find tickets at Ellicottvilleny.com, or call (800) 349-9099 or 699-5046.
• At 6 p.m. Sunday, free concert at Niawanda Park, Tonawanda.
• At noon Tuesday, the BPO makes its annual appearance at M&T Plaza downtown. Free.
• At 7 p.m. July 9, free concert at Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora.
For information on BPO events, call 885-5000 or visit bpo.org.
– Mary Kunz Goldman