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Buffalo Silver Band blares through rain

The Buffalo Silver band played Angola’s Summer Lawn Chair Concert Series in the New Angola Theatre on June 25.
ANGOLA — Following heavy rains, Angola’s Summer Lawn Chair Concert Series was moved from the village’s Centennial Park to inside the nearby New Angola Theater on June 25 for a 7 p.m. performance by the Buffalo Silver Band.

The second installment in this year’s run of free concerts was sponsored by Angola’s Friends of the Village Inc.

The Buffalo Silver Band, led by director Bill Cocca, holds the distinction of being one of the few British-style brass bands in Western New York. According to the group’s website at www.buffalosilverband.org, the classification of a British brass band is based on the presence of instruments such as cornets, flugelhorns and alto horns, which are less common in American music.

Also detailed on the Buffalo Silver Band website is a summation of the group’s history, dating back to 1915.

“Next year is a big year for us,” said Cocca, during Wednesday night’s performance. “We’re approaching our 100th anniversary.”

The Buffalo Silver Band went on to perform a varied array of pieces that included British folk songs such as “Blow Away the Morning Dew,” ragtime songs like Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag,” and even Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.

“One of the things we try to do as we program the performances is to create a kaleidoscope,” said Cocca, after the band’s rendition of Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.” “We try to choose music from as many countries, places or styles as possible.”

As the band took a brief break, midway through the evening’s performance, a 50/50 ticket raffle was held for attendees. Those who entered had the chance of winning a cash prize and New Era baseball caps.

A portion of the proceeds from the raffle goes to the Angola Park and Gazebo Committee for further advertising of the summer concert series and to the Friends of the Village Inc., which raises money for other local festivities, such as Angola’s seasonal Christmas in the Village event.

The Buffalo Silver Band returned to the stage for the second half of the concert, which carried on the night’s eclectic theme by incorporating songs such as John Williams’ “Superman Theme” and the Belgian folk song “Watching the Wheat,” before the group closed out the evening with a rendition of John Phillip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.

“Music is universal,” said Cocca. “It doesn’t matter if it has an American accent or a British accent. It’ll strike you, the way it’s supposed to be.”

The 32nd Summer Lawn Chair Concert Series, presented by the Angola Park and Gazebo Committee, Evans Recreation and the Village of Angola, will continue every Wednesday this summer at the William G. Houston Gazebo in Centennial Park, with the New Angola Theater as a back-up rain location.

The next concert, scheduled for July 2, will feature the oldies and classic rock cover band the Road Runners, followed by the Pyramid Dance Band on July 9.

Refreshments will be available at each show.


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