top of page
  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

“Eroica” concert a tribute to Laura Ingersoll Secord

by Garrett Fodor

This past weekend, Orchestra Breva debuted its new concert series, “Eroica,” which is a sesquicentennial tribute to Laura Ingersoll Secord.

  The series began on Saturday evening at Assumption Hall in Windsor and wrapped-up locally in Tecumseh on Sunday night at Ste Anne’s Parish.

  The Windsor-Essex County based orchestra is in its second season and comprised of 30 professional musicians. Conductor Melanie Paul Tanovich leads the group.

  Inspired after reading a biography of Laura Secord, Tanovich came up with the five-concert series, which is making stops in Windsor, Tecumseh, Ingersoll, Brantford, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. These are all places that are historically prevalent in regard to the War of 1812, which Ingersoll played a role in ending, leading to providing the ultimate preservation of Canadian territory.

  Tanovich chose this year for the concert series because it marked the 150th year after her passing.  

  The tribute features six songs, all picked from different eras. The songs depicted and envisioned the18-hour, 32-kilometre trek Secord made to tell the British about the Americans’ plan to overtake the British outpost at Beaver Dams (now Niagara), which allowed them to counter the attack with victory.

  The show ended with Symphony No. 3 “Eroica,” which Ludwig van Beethoven composed. Tanovich said she picked this song to end the concert because it helps depict Secord’s heroism to the audience through the rising and the falling of the notes in addition to the pace of the beat and sound.

  Each stop in the series features a different youth choir from the area and also invited veterans to attend and be honoured for their sacrifices throughout time. Saturday’s show featured one of Secord’s direct descendants, Caroline McCormick, who is president of Friends of Laura Secord. She spoke about her family history and the series.

  Tanovich said she reached out to McCormick and the descendants early in the planning process and they played a vital role in helping her along the journey.

  Tanovich hopes to raise awareness about Secord and keep her name relevant in today’s society. A portion of each concert’s proceeds went to different causes to help raise awareness. This weekend’s recipients were: Windsor Historical Society’s Veteran’s Memories Project, Tecumseh Area Historical Society, and Ste Anne’s Parish.

  The Tecumseh Historical Museum was open an hour prior to the concert and an hour after for attendees looking to learn about the history and impact of the war in the area or about Secord.

  The next stop in the series is June 20 at the Ingersoll Cheese Museum. Tanovich added that anyone looking to support Orchestra Brava can contact 519-980-1113 or email her at

bottom of page