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  • Writer's pictureEilish C.

My First Trip to the BPO, But Definitely NOT My Last!

Star Trek vs. Star Wars - Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall - January 29, 2022 7:30pm


I’ve lived in Buffalo for 9 years now, but this was (I’m sad to say) my first trip to Kleinhans Music Hall to see the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) in concert; and it will definitely not be my last! Having seen the BPO at events such as the 4th of July fireworks, I knew they were great, but having never been to Kleinhans, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, here is a recap of my experience; hopefully it will be helpful when you are planning your first visit (in addition to reading the BPO’s First Timer’s Guide, available on their website through this link: https://bpo.org/first-timers-guide/)!

My friend and I started the evening with dinner at the Billy Club on Allen with some great cocktails and small plates to share. It wasn’t close enough to walk, so we did have to find parking for dinner and then drive over for the concert (you can see a list of neighboring restaurants on the BPO’s website, and on select Saturday evenings, Marcato by Sear hosts dinner right at Kleinhans on the lower level, you can call for reservations).

I’d definitely recommend arriving at Kleinhans early if you want to park in the lot (note, it is $8 to park for evening and regular Sunday performances / $5 for coffee concerts and BPO Kids events). By the time we arrived, the lot was full, but they were handing out information about a free shuttle from D’Youville College parking lot D or from the Clement House on Delaware Ave for select Saturday performances. There is street parking around Kleinhans (just make sure you are not blocking a driveway!) that we ended up utilizing and walking back, but I’d definitely keep these options in mind if you are attending a popular event (or if temperatures are in the single digits!), or consider a ride-share to/from the event.

The whole experience itself was fantastic, especially as a Star Wars fan! They had costumed performers before the show you could take photos with, and there is a bar / concession area on the main level to grab a drink beforehand or at intermission. For our seats on the main level, there are restrooms on the lower level (an elevator is available), as well as restrooms upstairs if your tickets are upstairs in the balcony. Note that proof of vaccination is required for entry and masks must be worn the entire time while at Kleinhans.

Hearing songs from these incredible scores was truly inspiring, and watching the musicians perform gave me an even greater appreciation for their work and how so many parts can come together to create something beautiful. While the songs from Star Trek were fantastic and familiar, I felt chills hearing the theme from The Mandalorian for the first time on the bass recorder, and of course, the iconic Star Wars horns. Kleinhans is known as a world-renowned music hall, and it truly deserves that distinction as the acoustics were fantastic, no matter where you were sitting.

If you are a fellow Star Wars fan, be sure to check out some of the upcoming BPO events. I’m especially excited for June 3rd when they will be performing Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert where the entire film of A New Hope will be shown, but all orchestrations played by the orchestra live! Tickets are available through the following link: https://bpo.org/event/star-wars-a-new-hope-in-concert/. But be sure to check out all of their upcoming events, as there is truly something for everyone from children to adults; classical lovers to move fans. Did you know they also have student tickets available to high school and college students? For only $29, you can see all the Classics concerts and select special events (with the opportunity to purchase individual student tickets for other shows). This would definitely be a must-buy for me if I was still a student!


Overall, I had a fantastic experience visiting Kleinhans Music Hall to see the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Next time, I’ll be better prepared for parking, and can’t wait to try more restaurants around the neighborhood. Are there any upcoming concerts you’re excited about? Sound off in the comments and let me know your favorite BPO experience! https://bpo.org/


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