contentsBuffalo Grove IL Area Chamberads

Homegrown Talent

There is no doubt about it… Buffalo Grove is one talented town. Artists, musicians, dancers and entertainers of all kinds continue to strengthen the cultural scene in this vibrant suburban community.

BUFFALO GROVE SINGERS

A love for singing and entertaining brought together the Buffalo Grove Singers, a part of the Buffalo Grove Park District Performing Arts department. The first meeting of the newly formed ensemble was held in the fall of 1993, with the hope of attracting around 25 participants. Instead, more than 65 people came out to take part in the BG Singers. “The group started on a big, successful note its first year,” remarks Bruce Bohrer, a longtime member of the group and coordinator of its traveling arm, the BG Singers “Encore!”.

Since its inaugural season, the ensemble has grown to a maximum of approximately 75 singers from the greater Buffalo Grove area. The BG Singers begin weekly rehearsals in September each year, as they prepare for the main spring concert held at Stevenson High School in March. This much-anticipated concert event is filled with the sounds of everything from oldies and jazz to pop and Broadway, complete with creative choreography.

In its early years, the BG Singers concluded the season with the spring event, not meeting again until rehearsals for the next big concert started up again the following September. Many members wished to continue the season through the summer months. Thus, in 1997, the BG Singers “Encore!” was established. The new 25-member branch of the BG Singers hit the road and has been a success ever since. The BG Singers “Encore!” travels throughout the Chicagoland area, delighting audiences with more than a dozen summertime concerts. The group is seen at charity events, summer festivals, professional sports venues, suburban libraries and various other locations.

In addition to their performances, the BG Singers play an integral part in the community. The ensemble hosts an annual charity event representing a different charity each year. One year the group raised enough funds to purchase new music equipment for Northwest Community Hospital, and last year it made a donation to WINGS, an area resource providing services to homeless and abused women and children. The BG Singers also funds the Larry Berkowitz Scholarship Fund, which recognizes the artistic, academic and community service merits of outstanding college-bound seniors with plans to major in some form of the arts.

The Buffalo Grove Singers recently wrapped up the 2010 spring concert on March 20th and 21st, singing for an excited audience at Stevenson High School’s Performing Arts Center. The group looks forward to rejoining for rehearsals as it prepares for the 2011 spring event.

BUFFALO GROVE SYMPHONIC BAND

Seeing a need for a local instrumental band in Buffalo Grove, resident Howard Green proposed the formation of such an ensemble to the Village and its Arts Commission in 2001. The Village agreed with his proposition and soon the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band was formed, led by Music Director and Conductor Howard Green. According to Linda Rosen, chair of the Village of Buffalo Grove Arts Commission, “This has been a labor of love for Howard, having been the creative drive and force behind its creation.”

Seventy-three people compose the band, which performs two major indoor concerts each year (fall and spring) at both Buffalo Grove and Stevenson high schools. The band is also enjoyed at various venues throughout the holiday season and the summertime months, particularly at community events such as the July 4th fireworks, Buffalo Grove Days and the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival. Crowds are furnished with an impressive variety of musical genres, spanning the sounds of classical, jazz, Broadway and more.

The Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band is the only adult community band in town. From this group, the village’s first Jazz Band was formed as an offshoot. Of the Symphonic Band’s more than 70 adult musicians, 25 also play in the Jazz Band. “We have also formed from those ranks an active Woodwind Quintet, a Brass Sextet and a Trombone Quartet,” explained Green.

The group is also very philanthropic, donating time for various community events and providing educational leadership for area school bands. “As a village,” explains Rosen, “we are proud to say that we have our own community band.”

LIMELIGHT CAFÉ

The Village of Buffalo Grove’s Arts Commission has a mission “to draw upon the diversity and artistic talent within the Buffalo Grove community and to promote a broad spectrum of the arts, which will serve to enrich our Village.” To that end, the commission incorporated the Limelight Café program a few years ago as a way for area youth to display their talents before an audience of peers.

Youth singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, bands and other talented Buffalo Grove residents take part in one of two Limelight Café programs. High school-aged teenagers participate in Teen Limelight, held each spring on a Friday night at eSkape in the Buffalo Grove Town Center. The second program, Little Limelight, is geared towards youth in grades two through eight. Little Limelight is hosted on a Friday in fall at Tripp Elementary School.

The annual program continues to grow in popularity, featuring approximately 24 acts for Little Limelight and seven for Teen Limelight. According to Gayle Pervos, arts commissioner, “The Arts Commission felt it was important to provide a fun, safe and non-competitive environment for the youth of the community to express their talents.”

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