Auburn Chamber Orchestra (ACO) was founded in 1986 with the goals of providing opportunities for qualified musicians to perform orchestral music, offering area resident access to affordable symphonic concerts, promoting the composition and performance of orchestral music and increasing public awareness and appreciation of the performing arts.
With support from patron donations, program advertising, grants and donations at concerts, Auburn Chamber Orchestra has presented a series of four concerts every year since 1986. Concert repertoire includes symphonic selections, light classics and show/popular tunes.
Musicians in the orchestra come from a wide range of communities and professions. About one-fourth of the orchestra members are talented student musicians. Graduating high school seniors are eligible for a scholarship from ACO if they meet the performance criteria.
Over the years, Auburn Chamber Orchestra has offered a wide variety of concerts, including these recent exciting collaborative performances:
- Musical Tribute to Harriet Tubman including vocal selections by The People’s AME Zion Church choir from Syracuse and narrative by the Rev. Paul Carter of AME Zion Church in Auburn
- Broadway Bash with Brett Smock from Merry-Go-Round Playhouse introducing each selection with a description of the show from which it came
- Home and Away featuring compositions by local composers
Music Inspired by Shakespeare with Merry-Go-Round Playhouse actresses performing short selections from each of the Shakespeare plays that inspired the compositions in the concert
- Christmas Joy with vocalists from MasterWorks Chorale, Auburn Community Chorus and Auburn Public Chorus
- Peter and the Wolf featuring narration by actors from Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre
Since its founding, the orchestra has performed in many different venues: area churches, Auburn public schools, Cayuga Community College, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Wiilard Chapel, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Springside Inn, Holiday Inn and Seneca Falls Chiropractic College. Each December, starting in 2008, St. Francis of Assisi Church in Auburn has hosted the orchestra’s December concert as part of the Auburn holiday open houses.
In 2021, Aaron Burgess took over as conductor of the Auburn Chamber Orchestra from Steve Frackenpohl, who served in the same role for 10 years.
Thanks to the dedication of the orchestra musicians, the contributions of our many donors and the enthusiastic support of our audience members, Auburn Chamber Orchestra will continue to provide memorable and varied musical experiences for local musicians and audiences in the years to come.