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Buffalo Brass Choir kicks off third season at Hamburg United Methodist Church

MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE — Pictured, preparing for the first concert in the inaugural Music Concert Series, are planning committee members Andrew Abbott, Rollin Shoemaker, Janice Jones, Linda Ward, Darryl Whitcomb, Paul Staley, Betty Fox and Patricia Adema. Photo submitted by Rose Caldwell.
HAMBURG — Nick DelBello is a man of music. He became involved with music when he was 7 years old and currently plays trumpet and piano.

A graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a master’s degree from the University of Miami, Fla., DelBello is now a music teacher at three elementary schools in the city of Buffalo and a faculty member as a professor of music at local colleges.

Two years ago, he joined forces with friends from college, to put together a group concert. From there, they experienced liftoff and began fundraising and getting advertisers. The group is now a professional, paid ensemble known as the Buffalo Brass Choir.

This choir is made up of between 15 and 20 brass and percussion players from the Buffalo area. DelBello is the conductor and music director.

The group is comprised of many from various areas. Southtown spotlights include Rich Riederer, a band teacher at Frontier High School and Matt Miraglio, band director at Hamburg Middle School. The conglomerate choir has wrangled in talent from Orchard Park, Canisius College, Buffalo State College, Grand Island and Dunkirk.

Almost everyone in the group is a graduate and professional performer, with the exception of trombone player Sarah Lewandowski, a student from SUNY Fredonia who DelBello said has been a reliable performer since the group was created.

This choir has developed a Buffalonian presence, during the past few years. Last year, the choir worked a mini residency at Fredonia High School. The choir has plenty of performances lined up for the upcoming season, which will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The group will perform the holiday program “A Big Band Christmas,” on Friday, Dec. 13 at Kenmore East High School and at Hamburg High School on Saturday, Dec. 14.

During the past two seasons, the band has had three members from the Buffalo Philharmonic-Orchestra featured in its midst.

This spring, the members will have BPO member Don Harry perform with them, as a guest.

The opening performance for its third year will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the Hamburg United Methodist Church. The program has pieces that will showcase brass specialties.

On the program is a piece entitled “Fanfares and Fugues.” Fanfares, which are short, instrumental soundings to introduce a person of importance, have had a historical tie to brass instruments. “There is a long tradition of brass in military settings,” DelBello said.

A fugue is a musical technique within a composition. The performance will include fugues by Johann Sebastian Bach and Edward Elgar.

The final piece of the program was written by the late French composer Henri Tomsi, who died in 1971. “Fanfares liturgiques,” translated to liturgical fanfares, are “small little movements that each have a liturgical background,” according to DelBello.

He said that pieces go through a dark first passage and have endings that are grand and triumphant. These fanfares are known as performances for brass ensembles and are commended by many, since they are difficult in endurance, according to DelBello.

To view the Buffalo Brass Choir’s 2013 – 2014 full schedule, visit

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