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2015 Educational Programs

October 2015

Dramatic Reading: Civil War Love Letters of a Union Private and His Teenage Wife, 10/9 from 7 – 8 PM at the Seward House Museum. Admission is $12 for museum members and $15 for the public. Reservations required.

  • Drawing from her book, Ever True, author Lisa Saunders dramatically brings to life the story of a mid-nineteenth-century romance tested by the Civil War. Saunders’ protagonist, Charles McDowell married Nancy when she was 15 on Christmas Eve of 1860. He then enlisted as a private and mustered out of Auburn under the command of William Henry Seward Jr. McDowell’s wartime correspondence depicts interactions with the Sewards as well as President Lincoln. It also discusses hangings, prostitutes, venereal disease, “clever women,” and the court-marshalling of a cow. Audience members are welcome to participate in this performance as readers in this dramatic narrative.

A Harvest of History!, 10/24, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM in the gardens of the Seward House Museum. Admission is free. No reservations required.

  • Kickoff the start of Haunted History week by learning about autumnal traditions amid the falling leaves of the Seward House gardens. Enjoy cider and donuts while strolling through the grounds and visiting outdoor stations dedicated to such topics as the historical significance of pumpkins, the bounty of the fall harvest, and the origins of nineteenth century New York ghost stories.

Haunted History Tours of Auburn, 10/23 – 10/25, 10/27 – 10/30 at 6 and 7 PM. Adults are $10, Children (12 and under) are $8. Reservations required. Please call 252-1283 for more information.

  • Costumed guides take guests around the Seward House grounds and to the gates of Fort Hill Cemetery, sharing macabre tales of Victorian funeral practices, the assassination attempt on Mr. Seward, the spectral sightings of Seward family pets, and other spooky accounts of folklore and history.

November 2015

Parlor Music Concert, 11/22 from 7 – 8 PM at the Seward House Museum. Admission is $20 for museum members, $25 for the general public. Space is limited. Reservations are required.

  • Operatic soprano Rebecca Carr returns to the Seward House Museum for the fourth annual Parlor Music Concert, accompanied by accomplished conductor and collaborative pianist, Richard Montgomery. The magnificent atmosphere of the Seward House Museum Drawing Room and the 1872 Steinway piano will compliment Carr’s voice, which is characterized as a “big, vibrant soprano” that brings “touching” and “remarkable” portrayals to the roles she performs, in a dramatic and engaging program of well-known and most beloved operatic and operetta arias.
  • Carr, an Auburn native, has performed nationally and internationally in opera, in oratorio and concert performances, and in recital. Her repertoire includes the heroines of the operas of Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and Richard Strauss, among others. Montgomery, a North Carolina native, is Music Director of Ithaca Opera, and is in demand as pianist and conductor in Central NY and beyond. He serves as collaborative pianist at Ithaca College, and lecturer at SUNY Cortland’s Performing Arts Department.

December 2015

Holiday Traditions Open House, 12/13, 12:00-5:00 PM at the Seward House Museum. Free and open to the public.

  • See the Seward House Museum decked out for the holidays! Experience a Victorian Christmas in full with elegant decorations and trimmings, seasonal contributions from local florists and artisans, and live music performed throughout the day. Museum staff and volunteers regale visitors with stories of Seward family Christmases.

Candlelight Tours, 12/ 4 – 12/ 5, 12/10 – 12/12, 12/17 – /12/19 at 6:00 and 7:00 PM at the Seward House Museum. Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under. Space is limited. Reservations required.

  • Costumed guides lead visitors on a candlelit tour of the home decorated in holiday splendor by local florists. As visitors learn about holiday traditions of the Seward family in the 19th century, actors portraying various members of the family emerge to share holiday recollections gleaned from their letters and diaries. Tours end with Christmas carols sung around the family’s 1872 Steinway piano.