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Presidential Inaugural Ball Features Marvelous Music and 19th Century Pageantry

David Chan Musical Director of the Montclair Orchestra

Article Submitted by Jessica Levin

The Montclair Orchestra recreates a musical experience spanning centuries .
Caldwell, NJ — The Grover Cleveland Memorial Association and The Montclair Orchestra present a once in a lifetime event, a reenactment of President Grover Cleveland’s 1893 inauguration, on November 10th at the Women’s Club of Upper Montclair.  The formal event benefiting both organizations honors the spirit of the original ball where Cleveland took office as the first and only President to serve a non-consecutive term.

Led by Music Director David Chan, The Montclair Orchestra will regale guests with a performance including selections from Mozart Symphony 29 and Grieg’s “Holberg” Suite.  Chan, the concertmaster of the renowned Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and his musicians will kick off the gala with a rendition of Hail to the Chief and other period pieces, played at the 1893 ball. Their music will also serve as the background for dancing during the night.

“Education is key to the mission of The Montclair Orchestra.  Partnering with The Grover Cleveland Memorial Association for a fundraiser that supports opportunities to learn while performing historical music is a win for us.  We appreciate the chance to be a part of this unique event,” noted Andre Weker, Executive Director of The Montclair Orchestra.

In addition to the musical component, a memorable culinary experience awaits guests. A carefully crafted menu has been designed to replicate the cuisine of the period. To top off the gastronomic gaiety, Chef and author Roland Mesnier will serve as auctioneer and keynote speaker.  Mesnier spent twenty-five years in the White House as Executive Pastry Chef, preparing French-inspired sweets for five US Presidents.  Joined on stage by John Elliott of CBS, Mesnier will delight attendees with humor and tales from the kitchen of the most famous house in the country. He has also graciously donated presidential memorabilia to fundraiser’s auction including a chef’s coat that bears the official White House seal.

Beyond the melodious performances and delicious delicacies, the event is truly about remembering history.  To tell the story properly, George Cleveland, grandson, and doppelganger of Grover assumes the role of the President. Miss New Jersey, Jaime Gialloreto will play first Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland.  Joining George will be his nephew and Grover Cleveland’s great-grandson US Ambassador Thomas Robertson IV as Vice President Adlai Stevenson. John Elliott’s wife, Mary Ellen, steps into the role of Mrs. Adlai Stevenson.

Relive the romance of the late 19th Century and support the Grover Cleveland Birthplace and The Montclair Orchestra and the education they provide. Purchase tickets for $300 per person or $500 for Patrons who receive a copy of Chef Mesnier’s book and preferred ballroom seating.  Sponsorship opportunities are also available, and all proceeds benefit the Grover Cleveland Birthplace and The Montclair Orchestra. To purchase tickets   Click Here or for more information call or contact 973-226-0001.

About the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association (GCBMA) is a conservancy and advocacy group dedicated to preserving the home and legacy of President Cleveland, the only U.S. President born in New Jersey. Through volunteer-based initiatives, our goal is to increase awareness and support of the Grover Cleveland birthplace and its heritage. The GCBMA activities include fundraising in support of educational programs and lectures, interpretation and preservation of the birthplace and its collection of historic objects, and history-themed social activities which engage the public. Working in partnership with the State of New Jersey, we look forward to implementation of our plan to build a Visitor Center on site, providing state of the art space for educational and programming activities, as well as to display historically significant artifacts and exhibitions related to Grover Cleveland and his Presidency.

 About The Montclair Orchestra

The Montclair Orchestra is a unique training orchestra that offers fellowship playing positions to students from some of the most recognizable music schools in the world, including The Juilliard School, Cali School of Music, Mannes School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Mason-Gross School for the Arts. Playing alongside the student fellows are professional ‘mentors’, including some of the world’s best orchestral musicians. Players from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St Luke’s, and other NYC-area orchestras play alongside the student fellows for an unforgettable experience for both musicians and audience. Leading the orchestra in its second season is Music Director David Chan, the concertmaster for the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

2017 Annual 4th of July Ice Cream Social

The State Shut Down is over  –  The July 4th Ice Cream Social will be at the birthplace!

2017 Annual 4th of July Ice Cream Social

1-4 pm, July 4, 2017

Grover Cleveland Birthplace

207 Bloomfield Avenue

Caldwell, NJ  07006

 For a Map of  Ice Cream Social Venue – Click Here

Celebrate our Nation’s birthday at the birthplace of the only U.S. President born in New Jersey, President Grover Cleveland.

Spend the afternoon on the grounds of the birthplace where you can enjoy music, dancing, lemonade, traditional lawn games of the 1830’s, history demonstrations, tours of the Birthplace, and free ICE CREAM! Learn about the history of our 22nd and 24th President!

  Guests are invited to bring chairs and blankets. In the event of inclement weather, check our website for update and alternate location.

This event is sponsored by the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association, in cooperation with St. Aloysius Church.

Grover Cleveland: Unique and a President of “Firsts”, A Great Way to Study American History


Trustee Paul Maloney holding up a copy of “Grover Cleveland Again”, by filmmaker Ken Burns. Photograph by: Janet Markman

By the Grover Cleveland Birthplace
Memorial Association Trustees,
Compiled by Paul Maloney


As a second year “Trustee” for the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association, I asked our Board Members for anything which was a “first” or “unique” about Grover Cleveland.  It is hoped that these “Grover Tidbits” will help one make connections between Grover Cleveland and many other areas of history.


From Dr. David Cowell:

He is the only one rescued from under an apple cart (right in Caldwell, N.J.).  (We have a display about the incident in the future Visitor’s Center.)

Cleveland was the only President born in New Jersey, (in Caldwell, N.J.)

He is the only “President” who was a member of the Princeton Board of Trustees.

He was the only “President” to invite the Queen of Hawaii to visit the White House.  Our birthplace is a frequent stop for people visiting from Hawaii.

Cleveland was the second President to use federal troops against striking workers (Pullman Strike).  (Andrew Jackson was the first.)

Cleveland gave a dedication speech at the opening of the Statue of Liberty.

During Cleveland’s presidency, the first electric lights were put on a Christmas tree in the White House.

During Cleveland’s presidency, he had secret mouth cancer surgery, (held on a friend’s yacht) .

Cleveland liked snicker doodles.

He was the only sitting President not endorsed by his party convention (1896).

Known as the “Veto King”, Cleveland did not always have an easy relationship with Congress.

Cleveland went from Mayor of Buffalo to Governor of New York to President of the United States in Three Years.

Cleveland was the first Democrat elected since the Civil War.

It’s quite possible that Cleveland was the only one President born in a “Manse”.

Cleveland won three by popular votes but elected only twice.


From Alice Gibson:

The Dawes Commission, known formally as the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, was appointed by President Grover Cleveland in 1893 and headed by Henry L. Dawes to negotiate land with the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes.
Tribe members were allotted land in return for abolishing tribal governments and recognizing Federal laws. In order to receive the land, individual tribal members first had to apply and be deemed eligible by the Commission.


From Rhonda DeStefano:

Grover Cleveland was the only president to officially serve as an executioner (hangman).  As the sheriff of Erie County, New York, he performed the role twice and earned the nickname “Buffalo Hangman”.


From Connie Shick:

Cleveland was a member of the Democrat political party.  He was the only president to be married in the White House.  The wedding took place on June 2, 1886.  She was 21 years old and became the youngest first lady.  Parts of Wedding Cake and its knife still exist and are on display at the “Birthplace”.


From Dr. Beverly Crifasi:

Cleveland had a substitute during the Civil War but later on he was the Commander in Chief of the New York National Guard then governor and Commander in Chief of the U.S. Military then President.


From Bruce White:

 Cleveland was not a fan of “serious” music but he really enjoyed Gilbert and Sullivan operettas attending many performances of their various plays in D.C. theatres.


In a recent book for students, “Grover Cleveland Again”, by filmmaker Ken Burns, it’s reported that Cleveland was one of the first Presidents to use the telephone in the White House.  Cleveland actually answered the telephone himself.  (Burns mentions that there are presently 14 operators answering 4,000 calls today.)


So with the help with the Board, I only scratched the surface about Cleveland’s “uniqueness”.  His “tidbits” might be a good way to study Caldwell N.J. History, Hawaiian History, Labor Unions in the United States, Christmas History, Health Status of Presidents, White House History, Native American History, the Civil War, the history of the Draft in the U.S., Immigration issues, and many more areas.  More importantly, it’s a way to study the Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch, and especially the Executive Branch.  Be sure to stop by to visit our Birthplace.  It’s a great way to study American History!