Buffalo News — “Sanders did an admirable job of keeping it all together. He also established, from the start, a transfixing atmosphere. From the first notes of the opening Agnus Dei, sung by Paulin, you felt the weight of the music. It carried you along – through dreamlike interludes with muffled drums to huge choruses. And the close! I almost don’t want to give it away if you haven’t heard it, but it ends as it began, with solo soprano. After Paulin’s last note died out, Sanders remained motionless, as did everyone. The silence held – and held – and held. Finally, the conductor turned around, and the hall, in shock, burst into applause. Now that is an ending.”
Syracuse.com — “Symphoria, with guest conductor Stefan Sanders conducting, dazzled the audience at St. Paul’s Cathedral Sunday. Sanders, associate conductor for the Buffalo Philharmonic, led the musicians with a comfortable, commanding style that resulted in a stunning performance. While it’s true that standing, cheering audiences are fairly common in Syracuse, this one seemed to express a genuine sense of gratitude for an uncommonly rewarding afternoon of music.”
Buffalo News — “Bravo to Stefan Sanders, the associate conductor, for that rare touch…I was impressed, as I often am, by the energy and enthusiasm that Sanders and the musicians poured into the music.”
Buffalo News — “The BPO contributed one new star to the proceedings. Stefan Sanders, the newly appointed associate conductor, is at the helm. At the final curtain, when everyone was bowing, he emerged and, beaming with his hands clasped over his head, ratcheted up the excitement yet another notch. He has personality! As does this entire production.”
NY Theatre Guide — “On Saturday June 6, 2015, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, led by the brilliant direction of conductor Stefan Sanders, were joined by special guests, trumpeter Byron Stripling and vocalist Marva Hicks, to pay tribute and celebrate the music and spirit of these incredible musicians and the legendary and incomparable impact they have had on music history by bringing the glory days of jazz into the present. This concert was one of the most enjoyable evenings I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing at Kleinhans Music Hall, which, for anyone familiar with the BPO – a truly beloved luxury in the great city of Buffalo – that is certainly saying something.”
Buffalo Rising — “With many of the roles reprised by the same cast as last year, somehow this year seemed more magical. One difference was the conductor in the pit, the BPO’s new Associate Conductor, Stefan Sanders. Certainly the BPO brought the “A Team” with every section led by its principal player. What I can say for sure is this: at the ending bows Maestro Sanders was led on stage and when he pointed to and applauded his musicians, the audience erupted with cheers. So, I don’t think it was just my impression alone that the music was superb.”
Buffalo News — “A Memorial Day pops concert can be a tough call. Because it is a tribute to the fallen, it can’t be too jaunty. At the same time, you don’t want it too somber, either. That means that the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus are walking a delicate line this weekend. The impressive forces, led by Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders, managed it admirably. Sanders is new on the job, and in the concert’s first half, he was on the formal side. Not a problem with me, I like formal. But in the second half it was nice to see more of his sense of humor. “How many of you have heard this one? Let’s have a show of hands,” he said following Morton Gould’s “American Salute.” Sheepishly, a lot of hands went up. “We play that a lot here in Buffalo,” Sanders said unapologetically. “Matter of fact, we didn’t even rehearse it yesterday.” He completely won the crowd over."
Buffalo News — “The orchestra has sounded mighty jazzy in the past, but something Saturday put things over the top. We had the right people aiding the orchestra – pianist Lisa Hasselback and bassist Paul Zapalowski, to name just two. On the podium was our new associate conductor, Stefan Sanders. He was a trombone player, and he seems to know a thing or two about jazz.”