Doctors of the World Raise $15,000 for the Oishei Children’s Hospital

Updated: 8/1/2014

Nearly 700 people filled the seats at Kleinhans Music Hall on July 19 as doctors from nine countries traded scalpels and stethoscopes for bows and reeds to join the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) in a concert to benefit the new Oishei Children’s Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Proceeds from ticket sales totaling $15,000 will support music and art in the new hospital, which are integral tools for healing and respite. Plans include a performance stage in the central lobby and audio/video technology in patient rooms to provide access to all live performances.

Under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, doctor-musicians from England, Norway, South Africa, Taiwan, Denmark, Germany, Costa Rica, Japan, and across the United States performed Holst’s “The Planets,” Bernstein’s Overture to “Candide,” and Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.” They spent five days in Buffalo, attending full-orchestra rehearsals with the BPO and practicing in sections with BPO musicians before the culminating concert. Forty doctors took part in the side-by-side musical experience, including one of Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo's very own Pediatric Urologists, Pierre Williot, MD.

The collaboration was suggested by two-time BPO Fantasy Camp participant and Grand Island physician Fred Albrecht. He connected the BPO to the global network of doctor-musicians who play together each year in different locations and raise money for local health organizations. This marked the first time this has been done as a side-by-side concert with a professional orchestra.

The week also showcased the Buffalo Niagara region. The doctors took advantage of a number of opportunities to experience the region, including a welcome reception at Larkinville, a tour of the Darwin Martin House and a sunset sail on the Spirit of Buffalo. Doctor-musicians interested in a deeper musical experience also participated in chamber groups.

As Buffalo's cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning BPO under the leadership of music director JoAnn Falletta presents more than 100 concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra's home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark with a reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the United States. During the tenure of JoAnn Falletta, the BPO has rekindled its history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of 27 new recordings on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. For more information about the BPO, visit www.bpo.org.

The vision for the Oishei Children’s Hospital is to be recognized as the innovator, the highest quality, highest value provider and partner, and the regional referral center for women and children’s health care for Kaleida Health, in Western New York and beyond. For more information visit www.wchob.org/oishei.