BPO Holiday Pops Concert Brings the Spirit of the Season to Hilbert

Release Date:
November 15, 2012
Matt Heidt,

HAMBURG, N.Y. – The spirit of the season will be celebrated with festive Christmas favorites at a special holiday pops concert performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in Hilbert College’s William E. Swan Auditorium. The holiday concert will be conducted by Matthew Kraemer, and will feature soloist Leah Schneider.

Along with the traditional holiday favorites featured during the performance this year, one patron will have the special opportunity to become a guest conductor during the evening. The guest conductor opportunity will be auctioned off online beginning at 9 a.m. on Nov. 16, and will close at 9 p.m. on Nov. 26 with bids starting at the $100 level. More information on this opportunity can be found on Hilbert’s website at

Tickets are $25 for reserved seating. To purchase tickets, call 716-926-8884 or e-mail

The BPO Holiday Pops has become a popular tradition in celebrating the holiday season at Hilbert College, and this year’s concert is likely to be another sell out show. More information on the concert is available by contacting Alaina Houseknecht, special events coordinator, at 716-926-8938 or at

UPDATE: The BPO Holiday Pops Concert has officially sold out!


Artist Profiles

Matthew Kraemer:
Recognized for his “musical sensitivity” and “energized sense of interpretation,” conductor Matthew Kraemer is quickly gaining notice for his inspired performances and innovative programming. He currently holds the Montante Family endowed Associate Conductor’s Chair with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he appears on each of the orchestra’s major series. He plays a vital role in designing and conducting the BPO’s award-winning education and community engagement programs, as well as assisting Music Director JoAnn Falletta during recording sessions and on tour. Mr. Kraemer has recently been appointed Music Director and Conductor of both the Butler County Symphony Orchestra and the Erie Chamber Orchestra, beginning with the 2012-13 concert season. An accomplished violinist, he was a member of the Nightingale String Quartet. He and his wife Megan reside in Buffalo.

Leah Schneider:
With broad vocal and acting skills ranging from musicals to opera, Leah Schneider is quickly gaining a reputation as a gifted and versatile performer throughout the Western New York cultural community and beyond. In Buffalo, Ms. Schneider has performed with O'Connell and Company, Alleyway Theater, in the world premiere of the musical, Italian Serenade and Opera Sacra in their production of Suor Angelica. Ms. Schneider made her solo debut in 2007 singing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in Hansel and Gretel. Last year, she began working as an educational performer with the BPO, performing Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and will continue into the 2012-2013 BPO season as their featured educational performing artist. Along with performing regularly, she teaches private voice lessons at her studio in East Aurora, Main Stage Studios, and recently co-founded a company called New Buffalo Productions with partner Christopher Wietig. Ms. Schneider is also on faculty at The Academy of Theatre Arts.

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.