The Fireside Social Orchestra

Announcing a new ensemble: The Fireside Social Orchestra
Specializing in the Music of the Nineteenth Century on Period Instruments and Voices

Directed by Phil and Gayle Neuman of The Trail Band and The Oregon Renaissance Band

Recreating the small orchestra featured in parlour and ballroom performances of long ago with instruments including violin, tenor viola, cello, flageolets, walking stick recorder, flute, serpent, ophicleide, ballad horn, alto saxhorn, tenor horn, tuba, banjo, guitar, piano, reed contrabass, ocarinas, alphorns, autoharp, bagpipes, voices and more.  “A great program last evening.  A model for all programs.  Thanks so much.” “An amazing group and so talented on so many instruments, some of which I had never heard or seen before.  Truly worth going to hear.”  “What a wonderful show today!  Thank you for all your warmth, your playfulness, and your magnificent musicianship!” “I so enjoyed the concert last night – the music, the style, new sounds, humor and especially the arrangements.” (FSO concert attendees)

The Fireside Social Orchestra consists of 4 to 7 musicians, depending on the repertoire. Members include Ben Fitch, Laura Kuhlman, Cindy Markham, Gayle Neuman, Phil Neuman, Cal Scott, and Elizabeth O’Connor.  [The location of the group photos is Pioneer Church and Baker Cabin in Carver, Oregon.  Many thanks to Chris Gunterman and the Baker Cabin Historical Society.]

The Fireside Social Orchestra’s large repertoire includes quadrilles from “Foster’s Social Orchestra” published by Stephen Foster in 1854, music from the Aurora Colony (established in 1856) and other music from Old Oregon, songs with lyrics by early Oregon author/suffragists Abigail Scott Duniway and Eva Emery Dye, fiddle tunes from Ireland, England and America, shape-note songs from The Sacred Harp (1844), Christmas Carols in their original forms, early ragtime music, marches, light classical music, early American political songs and much more.  Check out Upcoming Events to see when The Fireside Social Orchestra is playing next.

Some of the instruments played by The Fireside Social Orchestra: in the photo on the left, top row, left to right: ballad horn, serpent, bass ocarina, guitar, banjo; second row: violin, tenor ocarina; third row: flageolet, fourth row: walking stick recorder. In the photo on the right, left to right: reed contrabass, alphorn, alto saxhorn, soprano trombone.

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