“Like many urban youth, Riba Muhammad stays abreast of the latest in R&B and hip-hop,” writes Emma D. Sapong in Wednesday’s (5/20) Buffalo News. “But the East Side teenager’s all-time favorite song is Vivaldi, Concerto in A Minor, third movement. … Riba fell in love with classical music when she began violin lessons at the Muhammad School of Music. The 16-year-old is one of the dozens of young musicians produced over the past decade at the Buffalo school that trains African-American and Latino youngsters in an art form with very few minorities. … Riba is part of the school’s ensemble, which will perform Friday in Kleinhans Music Hall in a groundbreaking concert featuring the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to celebrate its 10th anniversary. … Henri Muhammad [no relation to Riba] began classes in Muhammad Mosque 23 with 10 students. Today he trains about 100 students through the school. And as a music teacher with the Buffalo Public Schools, he teaches an additional 75 students in two schools. Over the past 10 years, the ensemble, made up of musicians ages 4 to 21, has taken classical music to new places.”

Posted May 21, 2009

Image: Watercolor of Kleinhans Music Hall by Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta