Weekly Feature

2016-10-13 / Local News

WNY Land Conservancy sets ‘Voice & Viola’ event

The Western New York Land Conservancy is inviting the public to an afternoon of music, poetry and locally sourced wine and hors d’oeuvres at its “Voice & Viola: A Celebration of Autumn Color in Music, Poetry, and Nature” event.

The event will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Kenneglenn Scenic and Nature Preserve, 11663 Old Strykersville Road, Wales.

The program will feature viola music from folk and classical traditions paired with original poetry, according to a press release from the conservancy.

The poet slated for the event, Robert Giannetti, is the former owner of Bob’s Olde Books in Lewiston. Giannetti received his bachelor’s degree from Niagara University and his doctoral degree in Renaissance English literature from Duquesne University.

His career has spanned business and academe and taken him to many different parts of the country. Giannetti returned to Western New York in 2006 and focused his life on writing poetry and selling antiquarian books.

His first book of poetry, “Drawn by the Creek,” was published in 2003. In 2011, he received the Best Book of Poetry Award at an international literary festival in Poland for a bilingual edition of his book, “Winter Vision.” He was also honored by the University at Buffalo’s Poetry Collection with the publication of a chapbook in celebration of National Poetry Month in April 2014.

Giannetti’s poetry will be accompanied by violist Leslie Bahler.

Bahler has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Temple University and a master’s degree in viola performance from West Virginia University.

She has been a member of the Richmond Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, Florida Grand Opera Orchestra and the Florida Philharmonic.

Since moving to Williamsville in 2001, Bahler has performed with the Slee Sinfonietta, WNY Chamber Orchestra, Ars Nova, Erie (Pennsylvania) Philharmonic, Camerata di Sant’Antonio and the Buffalo Philharmonic.

She taught violin and viola at Buffalo Suzuki Strings for two years and currently teaches at Community Music School. Bahler also created and was the director of the Florida Music Festival for seven years. She was also co-director of the Vivace String Camp at Houghton College in Houghton, New York, for several years.

Bahler was also a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and currently performs with Freudig Singers. She studies voice with soprano Cheryl Hudson at Community Music School.

“We are very excited to host this special event at Kenneglenn,” said Nancy Smith, executive director of the conservancy. “This will be a simply magical afternoon for our guests as they enjoy poetry and music inspired by Kenneglenn’s stunning panoramic view in full fall color.”

If weather permits, the event will take place outside so participants can enjoy the fall foliage.

Tickets to the event are $100 per person, and all proceeds will support the conservation work of the conservancy. Space is limited. Interested individuals can make a reservation by visiting www.wnylc.org/events or by calling 687-1225.

The Western New York Land Conservancy is a regional, not-for-profit land trust that permanently protects land with significant conservation value in Western New York for future generations. The conservancy is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and is one of 1,700 land trusts nationwide, including 90 in New York State.

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