In celebration of its First Anniversary, the Buffalo Civic Orchestra will perform a concert on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm . Admission is free: However, donations to help support the orchestra are encouraged.
The program will feature three works representing the “Overture Project”: Ambroise Thomas’s Overture to Raymond, the Geoffrey Toye version of the overture to Ruddigore by Sir Arthur Sullivan, and the Poet and Peasant Overture by Franz von Suppé. Other great works to be performed are Haydn’s “Military Symphony” (Symphony No. 100), On the Steppes of Central Asia by Borodin, the Piet Hein Rhapsody by Dutch composer Peter Van Anrooy, and the Artist’s Life Waltzes of Johann Strauss, Jr.
Former BPO Assistant Conductor (under Michael Tilson Thomas), John H. Landis will lead the orchestra. The Buffalo Civic Orchestra is committed to providing music of the highest quality at churches and schools throughout Western New York.
Maestro Landis envisions a variety of programs: some showcasing choirs and organ soloists, side-by-side programs with area high schools, as well as thematic programs to celebrate various ethnic festivals and holidays. The Overture Project will introduce audiences to many lesser-known opera overtures.
Landis brings over fifty years of experience conducting orchestras and opera companies and will utilize his extensive personal music library with the new orchestra.
Renowned WNY Violinist, Gregory Docenko will serve as Concertmaster of the Buffalo Civic Orchestra. He is a co-founder of the orchestra, along with trombonist, Jennifer Landis, and cardiologist/musician, Friedrich Albrecht.
The musicians of the orchestra will include professional players, as well as talented students and amateur musicians. Membership is by invitation, and all are volunteering their talents.
The Buffalo Civic Orchestra is the newest orchestral ensemble in Western New York. Unlike the other orchestras in this area, the Buffalo Civic Orchestra is not a year-round ensemble meeting on a weekly basis.
It is, instead, an orchestra that is assembled for special concerts and events requested by area churches and educational institutions. There is no financial obligation to be a member of the orchestra.
The orchestra is conducted by veteran Western New Yorker, John H. Landis. The Concertmaster of the orchestra is well-known violinist and educator Gregory Docenko. The personnel is drawn from a pool of free-lance adult musicians, and specially selected talented student musicians.
The Buffalo Civic Orchestra is accepting string players for our June 23, 2019 concert.
Attendance is required for the concert (obviously) and at least TWO rehearsals.
Sunday, June 23, at 4:00pm
Friday, June 14 from 7-9:30 pm
Tuesday, June 18 from 7-9:30 pm
Friday, June 21 from 7-9:30 pm
John Landis, a Chicago native, was raised in Cleveland, where he developed his passion for music. He began his musical journey as a trumpeter, showcasing his talent in the Roxboro Junior High band and orchestra and the Heights High Orchestra in Cleveland, where he earned the distinguished position of First-Chair Trumpet. John displayed his versatility and musical prowess by accompanying fellow students on piano during solo contests.
A notable milestone in John's career was his participation in the esteemed Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, where he played under the baton of the legendary guest conductor Leopold Stokowski. Music has always been the driving force in John's life, and he excelled in multiple domains as a skilled musician, proficient in trumpet, percussion, piano, and conducting.
John's dedication to his craft led him to spend several summers at the Interlochen Music Camp, where he worked closely with renowned conductors from the Eastman School of Music, including Howard Hanson and Frederick Fennell. Subsequently, John pursued his studies at the prestigious Eastman School, earning a B.M. degree. During his time there, he was an esteemed member of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and the Eastman Philharmonia, often taking the podium as a conductor for light operas.
Guided by revered mentors such as John Farinacci, Orien Dalley, George Szell, Howard Hanson, Frederick Fennell, and Josef Blatt, John Landis performed with distinction in the Eastman Wind Ensemble and the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra, leaving his mark on their illustrious recordings.
Following his time at Eastman, John Landis served as a trumpeter and pianist in the United States Air Force Band in Washington, DC, for four years. His remarkable skills brought him to perform at the White House on multiple occasions, including playing trumpet in Oklahoma! for President Johnson's family and showcasing his piano talent with the Singing Sergeants (Chorus) during President Truman's 80th birthday celebration. John's commitment to duty was evident as he honorably marched in the Funeral Procession after the tragic assassination of President Kennedy. He also conducted several operettas in Washington, two of which achieved global recognition through their recordings.
Continuing his pursuit of excellence, John Landis enrolled at the University of Michigan, where he directed the opera orchestra and one of the symphony orchestras. Notably, soprano Jessye Norman, who later achieved worldwide fame, was among the talented students under his guidance. John's exceptional skills as a conductor led him to lead the Boris Goldovsky Opera Theatre in a national tour of La Traviata during the 1969-70 season. At the tour's conclusion in Buffalo, New York, he was offered the position of Assistant Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he remained for an impressive thirteen years. In this role, John showcased his versatility by playing trumpet, percussion, piano, and harpsichord, all while serving as the Assistant Conductor under the leadership of Michael Tilson Thomas.
John Landis's passion for teaching led him to the University at Buffalo, where he shared his knowledge and expertise with aspiring musicians. He also held the esteemed position of Music Director for the Niagara Falls Philharmonic and the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, nurturing young talent and contributing to their musical development.
In the 1980s, John joined the music faculty at the University of New Mexico as an Assistant Professor and Conductor of the orchestra and opera programs. His talents extended beyond academics, as he conducted numerous operas and ballets with Opera Southwest and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
In 1988, John Landis embarked on a successful career in classical music radio, initially at Albuquerque's KHFM and later at WNED in Buffalo. He hosted a daily classical music radio program for nearly two decades and became a respected voice in the industry. In 1990, John returned to Buffalo as a program host/announcer for WNED-FM, where he delighted listeners with his engaging programs, including the popular "afternoon drive" and the enlightening 'new-releases' program titled "What's New?" Until his retirement in February 2009, John also served as the music adviser for Music from Chautauqua, further contributing to the enrichment of the classical music community.
Even after retiring from radio, John Landis remained active in the music world, conducting several community orchestras and accompanying over 1000 music students participating in competitions. Notably, he served as the conductor/music director of the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra from 1991 to 2015. He currently holds the position of Music Director for both (716) TROMBONES and WNY's Buffalo Civic Orchestra. Throughout his career, John has earned widespread acclaim for his profound knowledge of classical music, establishing himself as one of Buffalo's most distinguished conductors, esteemed musicologists, and accomplished piano accompanists.
Gregory Docenko, Concertmaster
Henri Star Muhammad
Maureen Reed, Principal
Diane Williams, Principal
David Meyer, Principal
Gilbert Pease, Principal
Craig Incontro, Principal
Megan Blake, Principal
Friedrich Albrecht, Principal
Sheryl Hadeka, Principal
Stephen Budnack, Principal
Jennifer Landis, Principal
Stephen Lattimore, Principal
The Buffalo Civic Orchestra is an entirely volunteer-based organization, and we rely on donations from music lovers such as yourself. We thank you very much for your support!
BCO John H. Landis LIVE Debut Concert, Faure Pavane
BCO John H. Landis LIVE Debut Concert, Dvorak Dances 6, 8
BCO John H. Landis LIVE Debut Concert Schubert 8, First Movement
John H. Landis conducting Beethoven 9 with The Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra. 2014
Gregory Docenko is a professional violinist, composer, arranger, entertainer, and music teacher in Western New York. With a performing career spanning decades, Mr. Docenko is currently Concertmaster of the S.E.M. New Music Ensemble and the Buffalo Civic Orchestra. He is former Concertmaster of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra. Greg also holds violinist positions at the Clarence Summer Orchestra, the Camerata di Sant’Antonio Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond String Quartet, and as a substitute with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
As a soloist, Greg has appeared with the S.E.M. New Music Ensemble, the Buffalo New Music Ensemble, the Buffalo Civic Orchestra, and his own Johann Strauss Orchestra of Buffalo, which he also conducts.
As a teacher, Mr. Docenko specializes in stringed instruments, and brings over thirty-five years of experience in both Suzuki and traditional methods. In addition to his own private teaching studio, Greg is currently an educator at Twin Village Music, Sacred Heart Academy, and the NSOA-ASTA String Conference at SUNY Fredonia. Before retiring from Buffalo State College, Greg taught at the Buffalo Community Music School, Southtowns Suzuki Strings, Niagara Falls Community Music School, Orchard Park Boosters Summer String Program, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Award-winning musician, Greg Docenko performs a wide variety of musical genres, including classical, liturgical, jazz improvisation, as well as ethnic and ‘gypsy’ music. He is well known as a “strolling violinist” with the ability to play any request, regardless of difficulty/obscurity. Greg has been described as “a great entertainer!” “can play all styles off the top of his head,” “amazing!” “what variety!” “a mix of Heifetz, Liberace, Grappelli, & Charlie Daniels!”
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