Auburn Chamber Orchestra shares their 30th Anniversary Season with the Auburn Players

The Auburn Players are pleased to celebrate Auburn Chamber Orchestra’s 30th anniversary season with the performance of music from Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore in concert on March 3 and March 5 in Auburn High School auditorium. The Auburn Players Season this year highlights cooperation and collaboration with our community. Two of the orchestra musicians playing in these performances also played in the orchestra’s first concert on November 6, 1986, at East Middle School and have played in the orchestra for all 30 years since then.


Chris Gutelius and Marion Fritz have been playing in the Auburn Chamber Orchestra for its entire 30 years.

Marion Fritz, who is a lifelong Auburn resident, started playing violin in sixth grade.  At East Middle School, she took violin lessons, along with the Contiguglia twins, as a student of Harold Henderson. At Central High School she played in the violin section of the school orchestra. After high school graduation Marion worked as a bookkeeper in her husband Art’s business and did not play violin again until the founding of Auburn Chamber Orchestra. From that time on, Marion has been an active member of the orchestra, both as a musician and as a board member, serving in various capacities, including board president. Marion’s fondest memories of the past 30 years are the Christmas concerts, first performed in Willard Chapel and now performed at St. Francis of Assisi Church as part of Auburn’s holiday open houses.

Chris Gutelius started playing cello in the fourth grade in Waukegan, Illinois, playing in school orchestras from elementary school through high school. While in high school in Woodland Hills, California, she played in the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra and took cello lessons from  a cellist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. When Chris moved to Auburn in 1974 with her husband Stan, she joined local musicians to form Auburn Chamber Ensemble. In the summer of 1986, members of this group met to plan the formation of Auburn Chamber Orchestra. They were amazed and gratified when more than 40 musicians performed in the premiere concert. Chris served as board president from 1986-1991 and is the current board president. Her favorite memories are of the collaborative performances with community arts groups, including Auburn Players, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Masterworks Chorale and Auburn High School orchestra.

Marion and Chris typify the dedication of the musicians in Auburn Chamber Orchestra and the diversity of their backgrounds. Marion is the owner of her own screen printing business, Grandma’s Graphics. Chris is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who is retired from her nutritional consulting business and now teaches online courses for Cayuga Community College.

The HMS Pinafore in concert will be presented Friday, March 3rd at 7:30 PM and Sunday, March 5th at 2:00 PM. $10 donations appreciated at the concert. To donate in advance of the concert, click on the tickets tab above.