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Kleinhans Music Hall Memories

Kleinhans Music Hall | Share Your Memories

 

Kleinhans Music Hall interior

Please use the link below to share your Kleinhans memories with us. You are encouraged to upload photos, videos and memorabilia too! These stories, photos, and videos will be added to our online Kleinhans Music Hall Scrapbook. 


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"Bob Dylan at Kleinhans. The first set was acoustic - just Bob & his guitar. It felt like church - you could hear a pin drop as we hung on every word."  

- Michael from Fredonia

 

 

"My boyfriend Mike and I have attended the Holiday Pops every year since we met 8 years ago." 

- Rebecca from Kenmore

 

 

"As Joe was often heard to remark, "Music brings unity to the community" and Kleinhans and the BPO remain a treasure for our community. " 

- Carol from Lockport

 

 

Michael from Fredonia  | Memories of Bob Dylan  Concert at Kleinhans Music Hall

Bob Dylan memorabilia from Kleinhans Music Hall Performance

Nov 20, 1965. I was 15. Bob Dylan at Kleinhans. The first set was acoustic - just Bob & his guitar. It felt like church - you could hear a pin drop as we hung on every word.  He only spoke twice - “My electric guitar never goes out of tune” as he tuned his guitar. And “I’ll be back with my band” at the end of the set. 

He returned with his band for set 2 - he didn’t introduce them, but it was The Hawks (Later called The Band). All hell broke loose. Half the crowd booed and stomped their feet. Cries of “traitor” and “pray for a power failure”. The other half (us included) loved it. I became a life-long fan. I asked my parents for Dylan albums for Christmas and they gave me all 6 of them. It was a life-changing event. Dylan went on to tour the US and the UK. The crowds booed but he persisted. I was there in Nov. 1965 in Buffalo, NY to see music history. It was awesome. 

Michael, Fredonia, NY

Peggy from Kenmore | Memories of Concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall

Ticket stubs from The Who and Cat Stevens at Kleinhans Music Hall

 I grew up on West Utica Street and as a child, we would walk down Richmond to Kleinhans frequently. The concert hall has been a part of my life from the start. In high school we would attend the intro to orchestra sessions and like hundreds of others, I have been attending concerts at Kleinhans since the 1960’s. 

I still have ticket stubs from seeing the Who in 1969 perform Tommy (first row balcony!!!) and Traffic in 1970 with Cat Stevens opening. I regrettably do not have my ticket stub from the Led Zeppelin concert which I also sat in the first row balcony (I think that was 1969 also). I still like to tell people about seeing rock bands at Kleinhans and how surprised (and jealous) they are that we once had that opportunity.

I have also been attending philharmonic concerts since that time also. My girlfriend and I would go on Tuesday evenings and get student discount tickets which allowed us to hear the orchestra for $8.00. I think this was early 70’s because I believe Michael Tilson Thomas was conducting – what a gift to be able to enjoy him. We are so lucky in WNY to have such a world class Orchestra and such a gifted maestro as JoAnn Falletta. Going to Kleinhans has always held somewhat of a nostalgic mystique for me and I look forward to any production that is done documenting it. 

Peggy, Kenmore, NY

Frank from Kenmore | Memories of St. Stanislaus Boys Choir at Kleinhans Music Hall

Memorabilia from St. Stanislaus Boys Choir and the Lennon Sister from 1960 performance at Kleinhans Music Hall

The Saint Stanislaus Boys Choir sang on same program with the renowned Lennon Sisters of Lawrence Welk fame at Kleinhans in 1960. The choir also sang on TV show “Pic a Polka”. In 1962 the choir sang in front of 300,000 people at Buffalo City Hall when President Kennedy spoke on Pulaski day.

Frank, Kenmore

Sharon from Lancaster| Memories of Kleinhans Music Hall 

photos of the Verdi statue outside of Kleinhans Music Hall

Entering Kleinhans was always uplifting, but it changed when I joined the Musical Heritage Society, and included the BPO in my estate plans.  I felt that I was directly connected to the past, present and future of the Music Hall.  Even though I am not a Buffalo native, and my introduction to Kleinhans only occurred a few decades ago, it has become a welcoming space, and part of my life.  I share three photographs of the Verdi sculpture, showing him to be a "man of all seasons."

Sharon, Lancaster

Heidi from Williamsville | Memories of the Holiday Pops at Kleinhans Music Hall

photo of family attending the Holiday Pops

My parents would take my two daughters to the Holiday Pops since they were very young. My Dad has passed, and they are in their 20s, but we keep the tradition going!

Heidi, Williamsville

Roderick from Cheektowaga | Memories of the Concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall

ticket stubs from The Outlaws and Judas Priests at Kleinhans Music Hall in 1980 and 1979.

Probably started with school field trips to see the BPO . . . DVORAKs New World Symphony is a favorite . . . Then there's THIS . . .

Roderick, Cheektowaga

Elissa from Buffalo| Memories of City Honors Graduations at Kleinhans Music Hall

scrapbook with photos of Elisa's City Honors graduation at Kleinhans Music Hall

I am the graduation coordinator for City Honors School. City Honors is the only Buffalo Public School to use Kleinhans for graduation. I've been running graduation since 2007 and so I am sharing a bunch of pictures of the ceremonies through the years. Now Governor Kathy Hochul spoke at graduation in 2015. In 2011, there is a picture of Pulitzer Prize winner Jake Halpern speaking (a City Honors grad).

Elisa, Buffalo

Rebecca from Kenmore| Memories of the Holiday Pops at Kleinhans Music Hall

scrapbook with photos of Rebecca and her boyfriend attending the Holiday Pops concerts

My boyfriend Mike and I have attended the Holiday Pops every year since we met 8 years ago. That love for the warmth and beauty, (and fun) of the BPO evolved into becoming annual subscribers. We enjoy bringing my mom and his mom to dinner and concerts with us each season. Mike and I love coordinating our outfits and wearing vintage clothes to the BPO. We decided that when he turns 40, I would buy him the music note pajamas from the BPO, and that year is this year, 2021! Every year leading up to this year I have bought him a different music note gift. Our love for the BPO is a love for great music, time spent together and warm annual memories at a gorgeous old venue in our hometown. We are proud to be BPO subscribers and supporters of the arts in Buffalo. We love the BPO! 

Rebecca, Kenmore

Wendy from Grand Island| Memories of Classical Music at Music Hall 

scrapbook with programs from Mozart's Requiem at Kleinhans Music Hall in 1951

Music always seems to be at the forefront of my childhood memories. The oldest of three children, I loved spending weekends as a young child with my aunt and uncle, Peggy and Joseph Wincenc.  

Their home was a hive of activity and music, and I attended many concerts at Kleinhans as I was growing up. Joseph was the Assistant Conductor under Joseph Krips and I loved being at the music hall with all the excitement of preparation before the concert. My mother regularly took my siblings and I took concerts and I appreciated learning about classical music.

Carol Wincenc went on to become a premier flutist of world renown and I've heard her perform at Kleinhans more times than I can count! Her parents were always so proud of her hometown performances and I'm sure she'll be back again to perform.

I believe Peggy was also involved behind the scenes at Kleinhans and felt strongly about exposing children to classical music through the Young Audiences program.  

As Joe was often heard to remark, "Music brings unity to the community" and Kleinhans and the BPO remain a treasure for our community. 

Wendy, Grand Island

Carol from Lockport | Memories of Love at Kleinhans Music Hall

photo of a necklace with "I'll never stop loving you"

Music always seems to be at the forefront of my childhood memories. The oldest of three children, I loved spending weekends as a young child with my aunt and uncle, Peggy and Joseph Wincenc.  

Their home was a hive of activity and music, and I attended many concerts at Kleinhans as I was growing up. Joseph was the Assistant Conductor under Joseph Krips and I loved being at the music hall with all the excitement of preparation before the concert. My mother regularly took my siblings and I took concerts and I appreciated learning about classical music.

Carol Wincenc went on to become a premier flutist of world renown and I've heard her perform at Kleinhans more times than I can count! Her parents were always so proud of her hometown performances and I'm sure she'll be back again to perform.

I believe Peggy was also involved behind the scenes at Kleinhans and felt strongly about exposing children to classical music through the Young Audiences program.  

As Joe was often heard to remark, "Music brings unity to the community" and Kleinhans and the BPO remain a treasure for our community. 

Carol, Lockport

Mark from New York | Memories of Getting Married at Kleinhans Music Hall  

photos of Mark's 2017 wedding at Kleinhans Music Hall

My wife and I were married at Kleinhans in September 2017 and appreciated the beautiful architecture and space. 

Mark, New York

Carl from Lancaster | Memories of Country Music at Kleinhans Music Hall

photos of the 1970 Buck Owens show at Kleinhans Music Hall

I attended classical music programs at Kleinhans as a student at PS 78, and my Amherst High School graduation was held there in 1970, but my favorite memories stem from the country music performances I saw there. Ramblin' Lou Schriver promoted many country shows at Kleinhans. I saw my favorites, Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, several times. I recall the anticipatory excitement when the house lights darkened and the performers took the stage; all you could see were their forms passing by the red power lights of their amplifiers! We would gather at the backstage door before and after the shows, seeking to get a snapshot and an autograph. I've included snapshots from the 1970 Buck Owens show. Other shows I remember well-featured are Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Ray Price, Ernest Tubb, Conway Twitty, and Hank Snow. I also saw Gordon Lightfoot at Kleinhans. As a member of Buffalo's Stone Country Band, we had the privilege of opening a show at Kleinhans for singers Dick Curless and Hank Thompson.

Carl, Lancaster

Joan from Elma | Life-long Memories of Kleinhans Music Hall

phot of Joan from Elma | Life-long Memories of Kleinhans Music Hall

Kleinhans and I were "born" in the same year.  My dad took me to the first Marine Band concert when the building was quite new.  With very thick, light blue rugs adorning the beautifully designed stairs ascending them was like walking on clouds.  It was the first time I was in such a luxurious building and intermission allowed us to tour.  Dad continued to take me to the band concerts, and my music teacher took us when it was our school's turn.  Those started my love of "Big" classical music.  The more brass the better.  I also took up the French horn and played from Jr. High through college.

In college I wrote up my impressions of the Sunday afternoon concerts for Dr. Wincenc’s class.  My musical education continued.  I was able to purchase Flex passes and contribute to the BPO and Kleinhans Music Hall campaigns.  

I took my great nephew to a children’s concert.  He was dressed in a white shirt and tie.  The woman who took out tickets complimented him which started his enjoyment of the day.  We went to the Mary Seaton room to try different instruments.  Try as hard as I could, he chose the violin over the trumpet to play through high school.  

Now, I take full advantage of the beauty and acoustics of the music hall and have season’s Coffee Concert Balcony maestro tickets and have listed the BPO in my will.

May Kleinhans Music Hall, home of the BPO continue their partnership continuing to impress young people to enjoy one of Buffalo’s treasures.

Joan, Elma

Karen from Hamburg | Memories of Dancing at Kleinhans Music Hall

photos of dance recitals at Kleinhans Music Hall

Although my mother, Catherine Mullen Bauer, and aunt, Margaret Mullen Schum, aka the Mullen Sisters, had been teaching dance for many years and having annual recitals at various local venues, June 14, 1952 was their first show held in the BIG auditorium at Kleinhans Music Hall.  As a nine-year old, I sat with my dance class in the balcony as the lights dimmed and the National Anthem was played by Hazel Feldman, one of our studio pianists, and a five-piece orchestra. When it was our turn to perform, I remember the sound of our tap shoes clickity-clacking on the concrete floor of the tunnel that took us backstage….an exciting yet somehow scary trip.  Dancing on that huge stage in front of family and friends and hearing their applause was such a thrill.  At the end of the show, all 400 plus performers filed back onto the stage for our finale. Through the years, one of the highlights of the recitals at Kleinhans was the Mullenettes, a kick-line tap routine performed by advanced tap dancers.  

In 1983, many of my former dancing classmates returned to that stage for the school’s 50th anniversary show when we reprised a Mullenette-style tap routine.  

Eventually, Catherine and Margaret retired and their granddaughter and great niece, Kelly Geiger Cammarata, became the director.  Sadly in 2020, after 87 years of existence, the school became a casualty of COVID-19 and closed.   However, throughout the 43 years of that time when Mullen Sisters School of Dance presented their recitals in Kleinhans Music Hall’s big auditorium, many thousands of dancers experienced that thrill of performing in this magnificent building…memories we will never forget!  

Karen, Hamburg

Carolyn from Williamsville | Memories of Children’s Concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall

photo of a boy learning to play the violin in the Mary Seton Room before a performance of Peter and the Wolf

I had season tickets to the children’s concerts for my grandson Austin and myself. Before Peter and the Wolf, there was an experience in the Mary Seaton Room where children could try out instruments and attempt to play them. Austin spent a lot of time with a violin and really enjoyed himself. It certainly brought the concert to life for him.

Carolyn, Williamsville

Deborah from Hamburg | Memories of High School Performance at Kleinhans Music Hall

newspaper clipping of a 1966 musical from St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute staged at Kleinhans Music Hall

I was a senior at Mt. St. Mary Academy in 1966.  That year I was part of a musical that was staged at Kleinhans and produced by St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.  In the part of a gypsy with magical powers part of my role was to come onstage and pretend to make the orchestra pit rise up to the proper level.  I remember that it took a while and my arms were shaking by the time it was over.

Deborah, Hamburg

Katie from Buffalo | Memories of Bonding with Father at Kleinhans Music Hall 

photos of Deborah and her father, John. S. Loder

Kleinhans was where I bonded with my dearly departed father John S. Loder who was a very regular patron. We both met the incomparable Garaud MacTaggert there and he and I are still friends to this day! 

Katie, Buffalo

Jonathan from Pittsburgh, PA | Memories of the BPO at Kleinhans Music Hall

photo of a couple

2000, 2001? I was in the balcony. The first chord, the first note from the BPO felt like warm water washing over me. I was stunned. It would have been creepy were it not so pleasant. 

Jonathan, Pittsburgh, PA

Laura from Williamsville | Memories of Rock Concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall

memorabilia from Kleinhans Music Hall including ticket stubs, programs, phots and records

I saw Supertramp at Kleinhans in 1975 before they gained great popularity in the US. It was an amazing concert. I loved their music so much and coupled with the acoustics at Kleinhans it was one of the best rock concerts I had ever been to. Most of the concerts I had gone to were at the Aud. But then in 1980 I saw Peter Gabriel shortly after he separated from Genesis. I still get goosebumps thinking about the concert. I loved Genesis and my favorite vocals were always Peter’s. He actually walked down the aisle of Kleinhans reaching out his hand to people. I wasn’t in the aisle seat but my friends knowing how much I loved him let me push through and touch his hand. It definitely was my best rock concert experience.

Laura, Williamsville

Mike from Cheektowaga | Memories of Talas at Kleinhans Music Hall

photo of Talas

We had twin boys in January of 1997. They are professionals now with advanced degrees! How time flies! On November 29th 1997 ten months after our children were born Talas had their 1st reunion concert at Kleinhans. My wife and I had not been out of the house since the twins were born. We were in survival mode just trying to figure it out and care for these handfuls while occasionally trying to get some sleep! Just surviving would be a good way to put it. For ten months holed up in newborn twins/survival mode!  I won front row seats to the Talas show in a radio contest. We had both separately grown up seeing Talas in the bars and parks all over WNY. It was something we had in common when we first met. So we ventured out for the very first time after the birth of our twins together to this sold out reunion show! We even had a drink! We got a babysitter for the 1st time! It was hard to leave them that night but a great night out was ahead of us. It was a great show! Talas didn’t disappoint! The crowd was alive! The band was on just like the days of old! But quite frankly both of us couldn’t wait to get back home to check on our sons so we left during the encore lol. They were sleeping just fine when we got there. Great night. A great venue to see a concert or any kind of show. Thanks Kleinhans!.

Mike, Cheektowaga

Meg from Amherst | Memories of the BPO Family Series at Kleinhans Music Hall 

photos of kids dressed up for the Halloween costume parade across the Kleinhans stage.

We love coming for the BPO’s family series with our four kids. We mark every Halloween with the costume parade across the Kleinhans stage. In May 2016, the family series ended with a "Kids Take the Stage" show, and put out a call for kid musicians to play “Ode to Joy” on stage at Kleinhans. Our eldest had been playing cello since he was 3, and was a ripe old 5 when he signed up to play in the kid ensemble. We still love watching the video of his rehearsal--a little tiny cellist alongside some very kind big kids--and reliving the first (and so far, the only) time our own Charlie Maxwell played with the BPO!

Meg, Amherst

Sue from West Seneca| Memories of Dance Recitals at Kleinhans Music Hall

photo of a girl at her dance recital at Kleinhans

From the age of 5 to 13 I took dancing lessons from Bernet Dietsch who held our recitals at Kleinhans. One evening when I was around 10 I did a solo where I discarded various items of clothing to different kinds of music.  One of these items landed on a spotlight which caused it to smoke. At the end of my dance someone cautiously retrieved the smoldering item and all was well. 

Sue, West Seneca

Mary from Williamsville | Memories of Jean Luc Ponty at Kleinhans Music Hall

photo of Tom in front of a car

It was October, 1980.  My brother, Tom, was a big 'smooth jazz' fan, and he bought the entire first row at Kleinhans Music Hall for family and friends to see Jean Luc Ponty, the famed jazz violinist.  It was a fabulous concert and we had a great time together.  I remember JLP going up and down the aisles both in the orchestra AND BALCONY, playing his jazzy violin with virtuosic flair, interacting with fans and to everyone's delight.  This is a very special memory for our family, as we sadly lost our brother in April 2021 to Covid-19 and are forever grateful for this JLP experience at Kleinhans.  

Mary, Williamsville

Paul from Cheektowaga | Memories of Concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall

photo of a family from a Daemen college graduation and ticket stub from  Cat Stevens at Kleinhans Music Hall

When I was 15 my brother took me to see Cat Stevens at Kleinhans. I have also seen Bruce Springsteen and George Carlin at Kleinhans. My most happiest and proudest memories of Kleinhans Music Hall is when my wife and I saw our daughter receive her bachelor and masters diplomas for Daemen college.   

Paul, Cheektowaga

Kenneth from Buffalo| Memories of Piano Recitals at Kleinhans Music Hall

1961 program from a piano recital at Kleinhans Music Hall

I hated my piano recitals, but we had them every year at Kleinhans Music Hall. It was mostly stage fright, I think. Here is the front of the program for 1961.  

Kenneth, Buffalo

Jim from Buffalo| Memories of Jazz at Kleinhans Music Hall

program from the 1957 performance including the Jazz for Moderns tour featuring Chico-Hamilton, George Shearing, and the Australian Jazz Quintet

Growing up on Plymouth Ave., on the Italian West Side, I could have thrown a baseball from my mom’s vegetable garden and hit Kleinhans Music Hall. In fact, I could see the acoustically perfect structure from my backyard. As a teenager my friends and I hung around the stage door and watched the musicians enter with their instruments. We couldn’t see the performances but we could hear them. The music would seep through the walls out onto Normal Ave. Years later I realized how special those musical memories were.

It was November 22, 1957.  I had saved up enough money from my busboy tips to go through the Pennsylvania St. entrance. My glasses steamed up as I entered the warm, cozy lobby and joined the crowd. But the best was yet to come. The music - the Jazz for Moderns tour featuring Chico-Hamilton, George Shearing, and the Australian Jazz Quintet.

Jerry Mulligan opened and stopped after playing only a few notes. He addressed the sound technician, directing him to turn off the sound system.  “This hall doesn’t need any amplification.  It’s perfect.” It was the ultimate tribute to the hall. With that he launched into “Line for Lyons.” I was in bebop heaven.

It was a day forever etched in my memories of Kleinhans and my youth. 

Jim, Buffalo

Michael from Beamsville| Memories of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference at Kleinhans Music Hall

photos of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference at Kleinhans Music Hall

I was first introduced to Kleinhans Music Hall at the 2011 National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference held in Buffalo where it hosted the national preservation awards ceremony.   The conference opened my eyes to the fantastic architecture to be found in Buffalo and Kleinhans, a masterpiece of the International Style by Finnish Architect Eero Saarinen.  Ironically it was two of Saarinen's other buildings that were highlights of my first journey to North America with my family from my birthplace in England in 1973, through New York to visit my aunt in St. Louis - The TWA flight Centre at JFK airport and the St. Louis Gateway Arch.   Perhaps that's why I felt very much at home at Kleinhans.  Three years after my first visit to Kleinhans, to my great pleasure, I found myself giving the keynote speech at the 2014 Buffalo Niagara Preservation Awards Luncheon in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans.   I was there in my capacity as Ontario's Governor on the Board of the National Trust for Canada.  Such a beautiful building, with timeless architecture that never ceases to please. Michael Seaman, Past Chair - National Trust for Canada 

Michael, Beamsville

Hanford from Buffalo| Memories of Michel Legrand at Kleinhans Music Hall

photo of a man smiling

... Interviewed the late Hollywood composer Michel Legrand for “Billboard,” when he was a guest Pops conductor with the BPO in 1983!

- An authentic/charming person, he said he’d just finished working on a movie with Legend Barbra Streisand called “Yentl.” I was so surprised he said it in passing!

... It was the first time this musical nugget was ever reported in “Billboard,” which I wrote for in L.A. & Vegas too.

Hanford, Buffalo

Rhonda from Mississauga| Memories of Beverly Sillsat Kleinhans Music Hall

program from Bevery Sills performance with teh Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall

I drove from Toronto to see Beverly Sills, accompanied by the BPO with conductor Julius Rudel. I shall never forget that concert! Miss Sills was the soprano who inspired me to sing opera. Maestro Rudel was the Conductor in the very first classical record I ever purchased (1812 Overture).

Rhonda, Mississauga

Jean from Williamsville| Memories of The WNY Children’s Book Expo

photos from the 2016 WNY Children's Book Expo at Kleinhans Music Hall

I was volunteer director for the inaugural and 2nd WNY Children's Book Expo, held in the Mary Seaton Room in November of 2015 and 2016. I am in the first photo for the 2015 Expo; author Sean Jensen is reading to children in the 2016 photo. My children also performed with their school orchestra in the same room several years running; photo is from 2015.

Jean, Williamsville

Jim from Arcade| Memories of Concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall

photos of a young boy and his family attending the Holiday Pops concert at Kleinhans Music Hall

My early memories of Kleinhans are of attending Sunday afternoon philharmonic concerts with my family. Going to the Peter, Paul and Mary Concert was a memorable highlight as a young teen. I still can’t believe my dad took us!

Sandy and I have made it an annual tradition to take our family to the Holiday Pops, going back to the days of Doc Severinson.  Our grandson Paxton is now enjoying this tradition with us. 

Jim, Arcade

Major funding for Kleinhans’ Gift to Buffalo is provided by Clement & Karen Arrison, The Baird Foundation, Francis & Cindy Letro and Bob Skerker, with additional funding from Bond Schoeneck & King, Peter  & Maria Eliopoulos, Daniel & Barbara Hart and Jeremy & Sally Oczek.