Local baton maker helps create Oscars history

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TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you look close enough this Sunday night, you’ll be able to see a Western New York connection in this year’s Academy Awards.

For more than 10 years, Phil Aguglia has been using space in his basement to create batons that have been used by conductors here locally and internationally.

Now, this Sunday, one of his handcrafted creations will be in the hands of Eimear Noone, the conductor of this year’s Oscars ceremony.

What makes it even more special? Aguglia is helping Noone make Academy Awards history.

“She’s going to be the first female conductor of the Oscars, and it’s a big moment for her,” Aguglia explains. “She’s always been so gracious and she talks about her relationship with her baton maker and how PaGu Batons fits into her world, and because of that, she’s asked if I could make a special ceremonial baton for the occasion.”

Aguglia said he’s never imagined he would be at this point when he first started his business, but it makes all of the early mornings worth it.

And there’s something extra carved into Noone’s Oscars baton. Not only did Aguglia have the iconic statue engraved into it, but he always adds something special to each of his batons, and this one is no different: a Buffalo, marking exactly where it traveled from before ending up in the Dolby Theater.

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