Concert Series

Beacon On Aurora is a monthly concert series held on Sunday evenings at the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca located at 306 N. Aurora St.

Schedule

Sunday, Feb 11, 2024

An Evening with Crys Matthews

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

A troubadour of truth, Nashville resident Crys Matthews is among the brightest stars of the new generation of social justice music-makers. An award-winning, prolific lyricist and composer, Matthews blends Americana, folk, blues, and bluegrass into a bold, complex performance steeped in traditional melodies punctuated by honest, original lyrics. She is made for these times. Of Matthews, ASCAP VP & Creative Director Eric Philbrook says, “By wrapping honest emotions around her socially conscious messages and dynamically delivering them with a warm heart and a strong voice, she lifts our spirits just when we need it most in these troubled times.” Justin Hiltner of Bluegrass Situation adds, her gift is a “reminder of what beauty can occur when we bridge those divides.” Her hope-fueled, love-filled, social-justice album called Changemakers was released March 26, 2021, and the title track was named the International Folk Music Association’s “Song of the Year” in May of 2022.

Sunday, Mar 24, 2024

An Evening with Rachael Kilgour

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS (coming soon)

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

Rachael is a Canadian-American songwriter and performing artist whose plain-spoken, lyric-driven work and intimate performances have endeared her to listeners and fellow artists alike. The 2015 grand prize winner of the international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition and winner of the 2017 Kerrville New Folk Contest, Kilgour has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center, at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and at the Sundance Film Festival.

Sunday, Apr 14, 2024

An Evening with House of Hamill

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS (coming soon)

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

Pennsylvania-based House of Hamill is a fixture on festival stages across the US, and have shared their music and stories on the country’s premier folk stages. Their version of “Pound a Week Rise” rose to #1 on the US Folk DJ charts, and the video for their all-violin cover of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” amassed over 16 million views on Facebook, where it was shared over 400,000 times. Their latest release, “Folk Hero,” captures perfectly the frenetic energy and eclecticism of their always engaging live show. A lively collection of original instrumentals, reimagined folk ballads, and new songs that showcase the trio’s versatility, “Folk Hero” is the third House of Hamill album to be funded entirely by their fans. 

  Whether they’re ripping through a set of original jigs and reels, adding lush three-part harmonies into traditional folk ballads, or cracking up an audience with stories from the road, House of Hamill puts on a show that captivates audiences from the very first note.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

An Evening with Hiroyo Tsukamoto

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS (coming soon)

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

Hiroya is a one-of-a-kind guitarist and composer. Born and raised in Kyoto, Japan and in 2000, he received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and came to the US. Since then, he has been performing internationally including United Nations, Blue Note in New York Japanese National Television. Hiroya released six albums. Most recently, he won 2nd place in International Finger Style Guitar Championship in 2022.

Check back for more upcoming concert dates!


Past Performances

Sunday, Dec 10, 2023

An Evening with Spencer LaJoye

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS (coming soon)

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

Spencer LaJoye is a folk/pop singer songwriter, violinist, and vocal loop artist in Boston, MA, who believes everyone is made of the good stuff. A 2021 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition winner, LaJoye (luh-JOY) makes music to tell the truth and return to their body as a queer person in recovery from American Christian evangelicalism. Delivering Broadway-esque melodies accompanied by a weathered dreadnought, their performances are equal parts confident quirk and elegant storytelling.

Spencer LaJoye is a folk/pop singer songwriter, violinist, and vocal loop artist in Boston, MA, who believes everyone is made of the good stuff. A 2021 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition winner, LaJoye (luh-JOY) makes music to tell the truth and return to their body as a queer person in recovery from American Christian evangelicalism. Delivering Broadway-esque melodies accompanied by a weathered dreadnought, their performances are equal parts confident quirk and elegant storytelling.

Sunday, Nov 19, 2023

An Evening with Aleksi Campagne

Please note: the November Beacon on Aurora concert will be held at The Community School of Music and Arts located at 330 E. State St.

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

Aleksi Campagne is a bilingual contemporary indie-folk fiddle-singer from Montreal. As the son of Canadian Folk icon Connie Kaldor and student of Jazz Violin Legend Didier Lockwood, Aleksi combines his powerful voice with rich songwriting, all while accompanying himself on the violin and seamlessly switching between English and French.

Sunday, Oct 1, 2023

An Evening with Scott Cook

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

In 2007, Albertan songwriter Scott Cook quit his job teaching kindergarten in Taiwan and moved into a minivan. He’s made his living as a troubadour ever since, touring almost incessantly across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, averaging 150 shows and a dozen summer festivals a year, and releasing seven albums of plainspoken, keenly observant verse along the way. His latest collection Tangle of Souls comes packaged in a cloth-bound, 240-page hardcover book of road stories and ruminations. The album spent two weeks at #1 on Alberta’s province-wide community radio network CKUA, and earned Scott his third Canadian Folk Music Award nomination, for English Songwriter of the Year. Its second single “Say Can You See” was the second most-played song of 2020 on Folk Alliance International’s folk radio charts, and took top honours for the folk category in both the 2020 UK Songwriting Competition and the 2020 Great American Song Contest. He’s currently touring with his sweetheart Pamela Mae on upright bass, banjo and vocals, believing more than ever that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

An Evening with Ordinary Elephant

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

Sunday, Sept 17, 2023

International Folk Music Awards 2017 Artist of the Year Ordinary Elephant captivates audiences with their emotionally powerful and vulnerable songs, letting the listener know that they are not alone in this world. The collaboration of husband and wife Pete and Crystal Damore, their connection, and their influences (such as Gillian Welch, Guy Clark, Anais Mitchell) all meet on stage. “Two become one, in song… hand-in-glove harmonies surprise the listener with focused intensity and musical mastery,” says Mary Gauthier.

An Evening with Garnet Rogers

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

Born in Hamilton, Ontario to parents of Nova Scotian descent, Garnet Rogers spent many hours in front of the old floor model radio listening to Grand Ol’ Opry broadcasts and harmonizing with his brother, the late folk legend Stan Rogers. Two years later, Garnet was playing the definitive 8-year-old’s version of “Desolation Row” on his ukulele. He soon abandoned that instrument to teach himself the flute, violin and guitar.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

An Evening with Julian Taylor

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Julian Taylor has been part of the musical fabric and landscape in Canada for over two decades. Taylor enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2020, when his second solo acoustic album, The Ridge, earned million plays on Spotify, praise from press worldwide, and airplay from America to Australia to the U.K. Loaded with soulful Americana and country twang, the album was produced by Taylor himself and Saam Hashemi, and was recorded at The Woodshed in Toronto. 

Sunday, March 5, 2023

An Evening with Sean Rowe

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

After spending five years cutting his teeth in upstate New York bars, Rowe released his first record,Magic. The album’s ten tracks were written during his time in survival school andrecorded in his hometown of Troy. Without a label or manager, Rowe and his good friend Troy released the record themselves. Soon after, Rowe got his first taste of touring in Europe and booking agent soon followed along with the independent label of his dreams: ANTI-Records, an American label behind many of music’s greats, including Tom Waits, Neko Case, and MerleHaggard.His music has appeared in several hit television shows including Parenthood, Queen Sugar,andTheBlacklist. He reached critical acclaim when his song “To Leave Something Behind” was prominently featured in the Ben Affleck-starring film, The Accountant. The popularity of the track—which has amassed more than 6 million streams on Spotify alone—has opened several doors for Rowe and helped to grow an enthusiastic and constantly expanding fanbase. Rowe has released four full-length albums and EP with ANTI-records, the most recent of which was New Lore (2016). Two years later, generous Kickstarter backers contributed enough for Rowe to head to Eau Claire, Wisconsin to record the follow-up, The Darkness Dressed inColored Lights, which was released in 2021 on the Portland label Fluff & Gravy Records.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

An Evening with The Sea The Sea

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred, electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

The Sea The Sea, Chuck E. Costa and Mira Costa, is an Upstate New York based indie folk-pop duo featuring what Bob Boilen (NPR’s All Songs Considered) calls “excellent harmonies” & Huffington Post calls, “Two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year.”

Sunday, Jan 21, 2024

An Evening with Cold Chocolate

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS

6:30pm doors, 7pm show

$20 suggested donation at the door
Cash preferred. Electronic payment options (direct to artist) will also be available

Masks encouraged

Cold Chocolate is a genre-bending Americana band that fuses folk, funk, and bluegrass to create a unique sound all their own. Featuring Ethan Robbins on guitar and Ariel Bernstein on percussion, this power duo from Boston is impressing audiences throughout New England and beyond. Punctuated by tight harmonies and skillful musicianship, and with a focus on songwriting, Cold Chocolate has quickly gained recognition for their original music and high-energy shows. The band has shared bills with Leftover Salmon and David Grisman, and regularly performs at venues and music festivals across the country.


For questions or to submit a booking inquiry please contact Lara Supan at larasupan@gmail.com.