Tonawanda News


March 21, 2013

What happens in Vegas

Tonawanda News — I’ve been spending a lot of time lately in local schools. As fun as the experience can be, it leads to a strange bit of mixed feelings on my part — at the same time, a profound relief that I’m years out of the whole high school scene and an odd bit of nostalgia for those days. School musicals, club activities, concerts and trips — they’re the type of experience that’s irreplaceable after you’ve moved on to college and the working world.

This weekend, Kenmore East High School is giving folks the chance to live one of those experiences vicariously, at least a little.

The Kenmore East High School jazz bands (honors jazz band, jazz band and jazz combo) are leaving today for the Las Vegas Invitational Jazz Festival at the Las Vegas School for the Arts. The school is the only one on the East Coast to receive an invitation to the event, teacher Phil Aguglia said. While in Las Vegas, the bands will perform a program of music from all Buffalo-connected musicians such as Don Menza, Harold Arlen, Phil Sims, Jeff Jarvis, Mark Filsinger and Bill Todd.

During the trip, a blog chronicling the experience can be found at The first post — complete with a photo of wintry Buffalo weather on the first day of spring — was made Wednesday, and the students and teachers will return Monday.

Here’s hoping they bring some warmer weather back with them.


About a week ago, I was able to take a tour of the Twin Cities Community Outreach building on Ridge Road, getting an up-close look at what’s at stake in the group’s campaign to raise money for a new roof. 

The scale of what takes place inside that building, an former hockey rink, is impressive. After walking through it with Greg Lureman, vice president of TCCO, a series of mental snapshots still stick in my head:

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