The Auburn Chamber Orchestra will present a special “History’s Hometown Tribute” concert, featuring local historical figures and the music of their time, Sunday at the Carriage House Theater.
The concert will include a variety of music inspired by those figures and the time periods they lived in. It will be performed by small groups in the theater's intimate setting. Types of music will include gospel, Dixieland, Civil War-era, ragtime and pop performed by either a woodwind quintet, a brass quintet or a string quartet under the direction of orchestra conductor and director Steven Frackenpohl. Also performing at the concert will be the Auburn Community Chorus under the direction of Rhoda Overstreet-Wilson.
"It is the first time we've done (a History's Hometown Tribute concert)," said Cathy Mullarney, who does publicity for the orchestra, in a phone interview.
Mullarney added that the orchestra combining with the chorus is something that makes this concert different from some of the orchestra's other events.
"This time of year, (the orchestra) is more open to more innovative ideas," she said, adding that the purpose of the concert is "to honor our history a little bit."
The idea for the tribute concert emerged about a year ago, during an orchestra board brainstorming session. Over the summer, Frackenpohl suggested performing in small ensembles and including the chorus, as well as speakers from history organizations in Auburn.
"This is a way to take pride in Auburn's history and culture. It is a unique opportunity to hear interesting music and knowledgeable speakers in one afternoon," Frackenpohl said in an email.
Former Secretary of State William H. Seward, abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman and sound-on-film technology pioneer Theodore Case are some of the prominent figures who will be honored during the event. Guest speakers highlighting them will include Maria Coleman of the Seward House Museum, Eileen McHugh of the Cayuga Museum of History & Art, and Pauline Copes Johnson and Laurel Ullyette of the Harriet Tubman Boosters.
The speakers' presentations will be sprinkled throughout the event, along with spirituals and the orchestra and chorus performances.
"We want to include as many people in the community as possible," Mullarney said.