Buffalo Suzuki Strings’ (BSS) Friendship Touring Ensemble students have returned from their 10-day tour to Beijing, Changzhou (Buffalo’s Sister City), and Shanghai China. The 14 students who come from all over Western New York including Clarence, Orchard Park and Willliamsville, will perform their 90-minute concert program, share stories about China along with photos, at Buffalo Suzuki Strings’ Musical Arts Center this Saturday, April 21st at 3:00 pm at 4 Webster Street in North Tonawanda. This concert is free and open to the public.
Additionally, beginning at 1:30 pm, there will be an art display of paintings by Buffalo artist, the late Robert Blair. Blair’s son, Bruce Blair, will be at the event to show and discuss his father’s different artistic works. This is Buffalo Suzuki Strings’ second collaboration with Bruce and his father’s artwork. Tours of the 1928 E.B. Green building that Buffalo Suzuki Strings resides in today, will also be available for those interested in the rich history of this WNY structural gem. The multi-arts afternoon event is called “Soundscapes” from Beijing to Blair.
BSS’ Friendship Touring Ensemble was formed in 1983 with the purpose of being a model and inspiration to other Suzuki programs in the United States and abroad. With a national and international reputation for excellence, during the past 30 years, the Ensemble has performed in over 20 countries, beautifully representing Buffalo and Western New York.
This year’s Friendship Touring Ensemble is comprised of violin, viola, and piano students ages 14 to 18. While in China the Ensemble performed three concerts.
Mary Cay Neal, Founder and Executive Director of Buffalo Suzuki Strings and the Friendship Touring Ensemble says, “After each tour that I have conducted for the past 30 years it is always a joy to return home and perform our concert program for our own Western New York community and neighbors.”
Founded by Mary Cay Neal in 1969, Buffalo Suzuki Strings is modeled after Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s Talent Education Program in Matsumoto, Japan. Buffalo Suzuki Strings is committed to carrying out the pedagogical vision of Dr. Suzuki. While there are many Suzuki teachers, it is unique to have an entire school steeped in the Suzuki method. In fact, Buffalo Suzuki Strings is one of only a few schools in the United States to teach the Suzuki Method with such a broad range of instruments: violin, viola, cello, piano, classical guitar, harp, and Early Childhood Music Education.
Throughout its 49-year history, the school has produced students who play at the highest levels. Buffalo Suzuki Strings’ students have performed with all of the orchestras in Western New York, including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Its Friendship Touring Ensemble has performed in 28 countries around the world – putting Buffalo, NY and Buffalo Suzuki Strings on the world map for Suzuki musical excellence.
Buffalo Suzuki Strings provides a child friendly, conservatory-like atmosphere dedicated to teaching the Suzuki method of music to children birth to age 18. Instrumental instruction at Buffalo Suzuki Strings includes violin, viola, cello, piano, classical guitar, harp, and Early Childhood Education. We believe that all children are born with the ability to become fine musicians and noble human beings if taught and nurtured in the Suzuki way.