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American Resilience: 20th Anniversary Commemoration to 9/11 Heroes

Your BPO, in collaboration with the Western New York Families of 9/11 and the American Red Cross, Western New York Chapter, present a special 20th anniversary September 11th performance honoring America’s heroes. Principal Pops Conductor John Morris Russell and your BPO perform repertoire that allows for moments of quiet reflection and celebrations of the triumphant American spirit, including Walker’s Lyric for Strings, Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, “Largo” from Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, and popular songs of inspiration such as You Raise Me Up, God Bless America, Con Te Partiro, and more. Local performers Jessica Ann Best and George Brown will join your BPO on vocals, and Keith Radford, former anchor of WKBW-TV’s 7 Eyewitness News, will serve as master of ceremonies, guiding the audience through reflections from that historical day.

Tickets for this performance are general admission and select-your-own-price, with a suggested ask of $40 per person. Ticket proceeds support the Western New York Families of 9/11 Memorial Fund.

American Resilience is generously sponsored by Calspan.
Media sponsorship is provided by WKBW-TV.


John Morris Russell, conductor
George Brown, vocalist
Jessica Ann Best, vocalist
Keith Radford, narrator

COPLAND  Fanfare for the Common Man
STAFFORD/KEY  The Star-Spangled Banner
STEPHENSON  Fanfare for Democracy
NEW  Where Were You
DVOŘÁK  Largo from Symphony No. 9
KROGSTAD  You Raise Me Up
WILLIAMS  Superman
SCHWARTZ  Beautiful City
BERLIN/MOUNSEY  God Bless America


ABELS  Outburst
RODGERS  Climb Evry Mountain
Arr. KROGSTAD  I Dreamed a Dream
Arr. KROGSTAD  Bring Him Home
LEIGH  Impossible Dream
BOYER  Rolling River
WALKER  Lyric for Strings
BERENS  America the Beautiful

About Jessica Ann Best

Jessica Ann Best is a diverse cross-disciplinary artist, performing nationwide in opera, musical theater, concert, oratorio, recital, and jazz. Known for her interpretations and versatility; Best has premiered many new works including: Mrs. Otis and Madeline in Gordon Getty’s The Canterville Ghost and Usher House at LA Opera, The Stepmother in Anton Coppola’s, Lady Swanwhite with Opera Tampa, the International Carol Suites (soloist) by Mark Hayes, at Carnegie Hall, the roles of Bessie and Mary Rivers in Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre, (The Center for Contemporary Opera), and the title role of Alice in Alice Ryley, by Michael Ching with the Savannah Voice Festival.

Ms. Best will sing the title role of Carmen with Salt Marsh Opera and Buffalo Opera Unlimited this fall. She joins public radio host, Michael Lasser and pianist Alan Jones on tour for several concerts of Fascinating Rhythm, Johnny Mercer, and Sheldon Harnick this year. She is delighted to return to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; where she was last seen singing Mrs. Strakosh in Funny Girl. Ms. Best has performed at The Savannah Music Festival, Birdland Jazz, The Iridium Jazz Club, The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, The New Jersey Festival Orchestra, The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Tampa, and Gotham Chamber Opera. Best recently performed and produced Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus and Bolcom’s Cabaret Songs for the Rochester Fringe Festival.  Ms. Best appears on the recording of Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre on the Naxos Label. She is featured on several podcasts; including The Mindful Mentor and Seasons of Resilience. Ms. Best serves as artist, voice faculty, and stage director at the The Florida VOICE Project (VOICExperience) and Savannah Voice Festival.

Ms. Best is a Professor of Voice at Nazareth College. Best holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from Nazareth College. Ms. Best is a proud member of AGMA and The Actor’s Equity Association.

About George Brown

George is honored to once again be on stage with the BPO.  George is from Buffalo, NY where he was born and raised and began his professional career. He is truly thankful for the support from family and friends and gives all glory and honor to God! Founder and director of God’s Purchase gospel choir (national recording artist out of Buffalo, NY). He was most recently on the first national tour of the Broadway musical Once on this Island: The Musical (Armand). Other credits include –  National tours: Elf: The Musical (Mr. Greenway). Regional: Ragtime(Booker T. Washington), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (US Ken & Andre), Sight and Sound Theatres, Gospel at Colonus (Preacher/Baladeer), Rent (Tom Collins), Pageant: The Musical (Miss Deep South). @Downtowngebrown

About Keith Radford

Keith Radford was the familiar anchor of 7 Eyewitness News each weekday at Noon, 5:30, & 6pm, until his retirement in June of this year, following a 50-year career in broadcasting.

He joined the Eyewitness News team in 1987 and anchored a combination of WKBW broadcasts for almost 34 years, holding a record as the longest-running TV Anchorman in Buffalo. Keith came to Buffalo after 5 years at KUTV-TV, the NBC station in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Before that Keith worked as an Anchor/Reporter at CTV in Toronto and CKVR-TV in Barrie, Ontario. Before moving over to television news, Keith worked in radio for 11 years, anchoring and reporting at stations in Windsor/Detroit, Ottawa, and Toronto. Keith is the former news director of the famous CKLW radio station in the Windsor/Detroit market.

Along with anchoring duties, Keith has won numerous awards for his extensive reporting in his 30+ years here. He spent a week at Marine boot-camp in South Carolina, profiled Western New York seamen on board a navy frigate in the Atlantic, and traveled to Middle East with local air force reservists to cover the Persian Gulf War in 1990. To cover Hurricane Andrew in Florida, Keith flew with the U.S. Air Force Reserves Team, the Niagara Falls 914th. Keith was also the primary live reporter for ABC News, for the first two weeks of the O.J. Simpson double murder story in Los Angeles. He’s profiled such personalities as Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Tony Bennett, and Regis Philbin. Besides covering most of the national political conventions since 1988, Keith traveled with the Buffalo Bills during the glory years and their four consecutive super bowls. After the Crash of Flight 3407, Keith traveled with the victim’s families to Washington, DC as they pushed for a change in legislation for stricter rules for airlines.

A native of Detroit’s neighboring Canadian city of Windsor, Ontario, Keith attended The University of Detroit and majored in radio and television journalism. He became a U.S. citizen in 1989 and now lives in the Village of Lewiston, New York with his wife and Frankie, the famous Yorkie. He was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2015.


Saturday, September 11, 2021
7:30 pm
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Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201 United States
(716) 885-5000

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