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Buffalo AKG's Christmas Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 9, 2023

2 pm EST

The Buffalo AKG's traditional Christmas Tree with 18th-century Neapolitan Crèche. Photo: Tom Loonan

Town Square, Knox Building

Please join us for the official lighting of the Buffalo AKG’s traditional Christmas Tree, a concert with the Buffalo Chamber Players, and a performance and singalong with the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts' Vocal Jazz students!

New this year, the tree will be on view in the Buffalo AKG’s Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Town Square. It features our 18th-century Neapolitan Crèche, given in memory of Helen Northrup Knox by her close friend the late Mrs. Howell H. Howard. The creche represents a dramatic Nativity scene with sequential narrative episodes. The figurines' faces express vivid emotions and their poses include emphatic gestures. The setting for the Crèche simulates the steep rock of the Neapolitan coastal area, reminiscent of 13th- and 14th-century Italian paintings. 

This set of Crèche figurines is one of only three in the United States, with the other two in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the White House. During the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, the White House set was a focal point of the holiday display in the East Room. There are 33 figurines in each set, with the largest ranging from 15 to 20 inches high. These figurines were made exclusively in Naples, Italy, during the 100-year period between 1730 and 1830.

About the Performers

A black and white image of an orchestral group posing together with their instruments
Photo: Luke Copping

Buffalo Chamber Players

As Buffalo’s preeminent chamber music ensemble, the Buffalo Chamber Players presents innovative music programs performed by our region’s finest musicians. The ensemble’s mission is to challenge, redefine and enhance the public’s perception of chamber music while promoting the city of Buffalo as an inspiring place to live, work, and play.

Recent projects include Western New York premieres of chamber operas by composers John Blow, John Harbison and Roland E. Martin, concert programs incorporating the works of Buffalo visual artists Gerald Mead, Catherine Burchfield Parker, Mark Lavatelli and Martha Visser’t Hooft, and collaborations with area organizations including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and CEPA Gallery.

Formed in 2007 by Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra violist Janz Castelo, the group is comprised of members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and other distinguished area musicians. The group’s critically acclaimed concerts explore both historical chamber music masterworks and contemporary works by living composers.

BAVPA Honor Choir

A group of students in all black dresses and suits with their instructor in the center of the group
Image courtesy of artist

BAVPA Honor Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Jennie Knight-Billera and Ms. Lauriann Stephan is a new ensemble to the BAVPA Music Department this year. This group of students is a culmination of one of the strongest and greatest aspects of our students: their diversity. Each student brings multiple experiences, values, and assets to the rehearsal setting, and the music that is performed by this specific group of students does not fit into one genre of music. Instead, these students perform a large array of musical styles, and this group truly represents the best aspects of our students and who they are as both musicians and as performers.