The Geoff Richter Commission Project
Buffalo Niagara Concert Band announces the "Geoff Richter Commission Project"
The Buffalo Niagara Concert Band has commissioned a new work dedicated to the memory of its late founding co-director, Geoff Richter. The piece premiered in a concert celebrating Mr. Richter's life on Friday, May 11, 2012. The concert was held Williamsville North High School, the school where Geoff taught for 30 years. This date marked the two-year anniversary of Mr. Richter's final concert on the podium with the BNCB.
On May 12, 2010, the BNCB shared the stage with the internationally-renowned Los Angeles Pierce Symphonic Winds. The L.A. Winds, led by Stephen Piazza, came to Buffalo as part of their annual performance tour, which has taken them across the country and around the world to Chicago, New Orleans, New York City's Carnegie Hall, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. Geoff Richter, Amy Steiner, and Frank Colletti led the BNCB in concert following the LA Winds' performance, and the concert concluded with a joint performance - over 125 musicians on stage performing Black Granite, Salute to the Armed Forces, and the Official March of the USA - Stars and Stripes Forever. The unique and unforgettable musical experience of that night was followed by a party hosted by the BNCB at its home, American Legion Post 1041 in Buffalo. Many of the bands' members and directors would begin ongoing correspondence with their cross-country bandmates during that night of music, food, drink, and camaraderie.
Geoff Richter passed away suddenly on May 25, 2010, just two weeks after that memorable concert. The BNCB family came together to honor their late Director in a concert after his funeral mass and within only a few weeks, the band's members began talking about commissioning a piece of music in Geoff's memory. The seed was planted and the plant took root and grew; in November 2010, after a selection process considering several composers, the selection was made. The relationships forged on that May concert night with the LA Winds brought the BNCB to Michael Kibbe, a Los Angeles-based composer who plays oboe with and has written several pieces for the LA Winds.