Some names just do all the work for you.
Music Under the Sycamore invited locals to spend a Sunday afternoon at Centre Furnace Mansion listening to music under the shade of — you guessed it — the sycamore.
The outdoor concert is one of three major fundraisers the museum hosts each year, but the only one to incorporate the 260-year-old Sasquatch of a tree sitting just outside of the house along East College Avenue.
“It predates the Constitution by about 30 years,” Mary Sorensen, the mansion’s executive director, said.
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It predates the Constitution by about 30 years.
Mary Sorensen, executive director of the Centre Furnace Mansion
Elderly trees can apparently still pack in a crowd. That or people really like the band Pure Cane Sugar.
There was an audience of a little more than 100 people spread across the grass, most kicking back in lawn chairs or squatting on beach towels.
“It’s just a nice, intimate crowd outside. You really can’t get any better in the summer,” Natalie Race, a singer with Pure Cane Sugar, said.
The band also played the inaugural sycamore concert last year. This time around, they donated a half of their usual fee back to the museum.
Race considers it to be a gesture of goodwill to a community that has always shown them ample support in return.
“We live here. You want to be invested in your community just as much as they invest in us,” Race said.
We live here. You want to be invested in your community just as much as they invest in us.
Natalie Race, Pure Cane Sugar
Sorensen was hoping that investment would eventually extend beyond the band or even the cost of a $15 ticket.
The doors to the museum remained open during the concert, with docents standing by to offer first-time visitors tours of the museum.
Wanda Devlin and George Banashefski moved to State College from Pittsburgh last October. Devlin has driven by the museum a few times but before Sunday had never found an excuse to stop.
Docent Lynn Royse took them through the property, room by room, expounding on the relevant historical tidbits as needed. Their favorite item was a signed letter that eventually led to the institution that would become Penn State.
“I’d never heard that before,” Banashefski said.
The couple had asked Royse to keep the tour on the shorter side.
“We want to know everything but we want to enjoy the music,” Devlin said.