Buffalo String Works' 2020 Benefit Concert
Buffalo String Works' Concert and Pop-up Lessons in the heart of Elmwood Village
To say things have been a little crazy would be the understatement of the year. Its no secret the world has collectively sort of lost its mind recently, its times like this that we like to look back and remember some of the good times, and why as photographers we do what we do. There was an event in the very recent past- when things were still normal- that serve as a shining reminder to why we are in the business of photography. We had the absolute pleasure to serve as the photographers for the Buffalo String Works' annual benefit concert held at Elmwood Village's famous Hotel Henry in Buffalo, NY. BSW is a local western NY non-profit that "strives to foster vibrant, inclusive communities through the transformative power of music." They do this by offering music programs primarily serving refugee students, a truly admirable goal and one we are humbled to have been a part of. While the whole evening was fantastic, our favorite part was the Pop-Up Lessons held by the students themselves to meet with the attendees of the evening and become teachers themselves.
Photos from an Evening of Music and Magic at Hotel Henry
We arrived an hour or so before the start of the event and were able to catch the students' final rehearsal before show-time. The air was electric with excitement, young students bouncing in anticipation to put their skills on display, supportive parents grinning ear-to-ear seeing how much work each of their children have put into to get to this point, dutiful administrators like executive director Yuki Numata Resnick making sure all the boxes were checked with the last minute run-through of the night's events. They had held events like this every year, but never at this scale. This was the first year at the Hotel Henry, a big upgrade from the living rooms of parents they use to hold concerts in. BSW has had an explosive rate of growth both in its scope and size of the community they are able to serve and we are glad we were able to see where they are and where they are heading, its truly inspiring. This growth is due in no small part to the hard work and dedication from the aforementioned Yuki and other co-founders; Megan McDevitt, Virginia Barron, and Elise Alaimo Golove not to mention their amazing team of staff and volunteers. Pair this with this year's special guests Duo Sonidos, an internationally-acclaimed guitar and violin duo based in Boston, MA, who brought a charisma and heart to their opening performance and there is no way anyone left that evening feeling anything less than stunned.
The real magic started when the attendees begun to arrive. The students had wrapped up their finishing touches and were already out and about with the guests, holding mini-concerts and Pop-up lessons for anyone who wished to listen and learn. They set-up individual stations with their instrument of expertise and then the students became the teachers, showing some basics of each instrument and letting those brave enough try their hand at playing them.
Duo Sonidos Open for the Superstars of The Buffalo String Works
The lights go down and now its showtime, Duo Sonidos give an inspired and moving performance captivating everyone and filling the halls of Hotel Henry with the sweet sound of music. After their spectacular finish and impassioned speech by violinist William Knuth, Duo Sonidos take their bow and set the stage for the true stars of tonight's show, the students of Buffalo String Works. Each and every kid up their gave their all and left the crowd exuberant. For the next hour or two the sounds of orchestral music filled the auditorium only falling quiet after the thunderous applause from the audience. We loved being a part of this event and can't wait to see what is in store for the future of Buffalo String Works.