Land Conservancy plans Voice & Viola: A Celebration of Autumn Color in Music, Poetry and Nature

The Western New York Land Conservancy invites the public to join them for an enchanting fall afternoon of exquisite music, poetry and locally sourced wine and hors d’oeuvres at the iconic Kenneglenn Scenic and Nature Preserve in Wales on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. The event will feature viola music from folk and classical traditions paired with original poetry in an engaging program specially created to honor Kenneglenn’s lovely autumn setting. If weather permits, this event will take place outside overlooking a colorful meadow and fall foliage.

The poet, Robert M. Giannetti, former owner of Bob’s Olde Books in Lewiston, received his B.A. from Niagara University and a Ph.D. in Renaissance English Literature from Duquesne University. His career has spanned business and academe and taken him to many different parts of the country. He returned to Western New York in 2006 and focused his life around writing poetry and selling antiquarian books. He has given many public readings of his work at home and abroad and designed innovative events incorporating the contributions of artists and musicians. 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, April 2014. Giannetti closed his bookstore at the end of March 2015 and continues to write poetry and pursue collaborative ventures with kindred spirits in the arts.

Giannetti’s poetry will be accompanied by accomplished violist Leslie Bahler. Bahler has a BME 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, she has performed with the Slee Sinfonietta, WNY Chamber Orchestra, Ars Nova, Erie (PA) 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 created and was director of the Florida Music Festival (a two-week summer music camp in Fort Lauderdale) for seven years. She was also co-director of the Vivace String Camp at Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y. for several years. Bahler was also a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and currently performs with the 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 Land 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.”

Tickets to this exclusive event are $100 per person and all proceeds will support the conservation work of the Land Conservancy. Space is limited, so make your reservation today at or call (716) 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 Land Conservancy envisions a future in which open spaces, working lands, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty are cherished and protected as part of the landscape and character of Western New York. The Land Conservancy is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and is one of 1,700 land trusts nationwide, including 90 in New York State. Land trusts have protected 40 million acres over the last 20 years. For more information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities or the mission of the Western New York Land Conservancy, please call (716) 687-1225 or visit

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