Music Staff in Ocean Grove
Dr. Jason Tramm: Director of Music Ministries
Jason C. Tramm is quickly becoming recognized as one of the most dynamic young conductors on the podium today. Maestro Tramm's artistic center is his home state of New Jersey, where he is active throughout state. In a recent feature article in the Star Ledger, Bradley Bamberger noted that "...it would seem that Jason Tramm is out to create the position of state music director... as he leads opera, choral and orchestral concerts from Sussex County, Morris County, to Ocean Grove." This commitment to bringing the best of the arts to New Jersey has been his mission since the beginning of his professional career.
Maestro Tramm was named the second Artistic Director of the New Jersey State Opera in 2008, succeeding his principal mentor, Alfredo Silipigni. This past May, Maestro Tramm conducted a critically acclaimed production of Porgy and Bess, according to David Shengold of Opera News, "The NJ State Opera roared back to mainstage activity with a magnificent realization of Porgy and Bess that deserved the thunderous standing ovation that it received... we heard the NJ State Opera Orchestra in a well-coordinated and sweeping reading under Artistic Director, Jason Tramm... with a tremendous feeling of unified ensemble." Last seasons' NJN broadcast of "Verdi's Requiem, Live from Ocean Grove" has been nominated for three Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards, including Best Musical Program.
In addition to his work in opera, Dr. Tramm holds the post of Music Director in Residence of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Here he leads one of the most significant summer music programs on the east coast, including the historic Choir Festival (a beloved New Jersey tradition, annually drawing over 6000 singers and audience members), choral masterworks, orchestral programs, and weekly services with the 150 voice Auditorium Choir. Two of Dr. Tramm's major concerts with organ virtuoso, Gordon Turk, were broadcast from the Great Auditorium on National Public Radio, an organ concerto program with the Rittenhouse Orchestra on National Public Radio and a concert with the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble. Dr. Tramm is also the Music Director of Coro Lirico and the founder/Artistic Director of the Summit Music Festival, ensembles that have consistently received outstanding praise from both audiences and critics alike.
Dr. Tramm is frequently engaged as a guest conductor, having conducted performances in Italy, Romania, Albania, and the throughout the US. Upcoming performances this season include: Puccini's Tosca and Turandot, Orff's Carmina Burana, Brahms' Requiem, Floyd'sSusannah, Jongen's Symphonie Concertante, and others. Education and working with young musicians have always been a central part of Dr. Tramm's career. Having taught on the music faculties of both Rutgers and Drew Universities, he has directed ensembles, both choral and orchestral, and taught courses in conducting. He is also actively sought as a clinician and regularly presents lectures. Dr. Tramm holds degrees in music from the Crane School, the Hartt School, and a DMA in Conducting from Rutgers University, where he was the recipient of their prestigious Presidential Fellowship. In 2003, he joined the ranks of Metropolitan Opera Stars Renee Flemming and Stephanie Blythe in being honored with the Rising Star Award from the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association.
Dr. Gordon Turk: Resident Organist
A critically acclaimed concert organist, Gordon Turk has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He was winner of the John Cerevalo Prize for “Excellence in the performance of the music of J. S. Bach”, and has been a prizewinner in the national improvisation competition of the American Guild of Organists.
Dr. Turk travels nationally and internationally for concert performances, and has played in Carnegie Hall, NYC, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and other landmark concert halls in the US. He has performed in the legendary Bolshoi Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, Russia, and other cities of Russia, and in international organ festivals of Switzerland and the Ukraine. He has made two concert tours in Japan, and recently returned from his second concert tour in the Ukraine, playing solo performances and also concertos with orchestra.
Gordon Turk was selected as one of the leading organists of the nation, to play in the opening recitals for the inauguration of the new pipe organ at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center in May 2006. In June he appeared at Kimmel Center in concert with American folk singers, Peter, Paul and Mary, and in November returned to Kimmel to play another organ recital. He has also collaborated with other musicians of note, in concert: Phillip Smith, Principal Trumpet, NY Philharmonic; Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone, NY Philharmonic; David Kim, Concertmaster, Phila. Orchestra; Elizabeth Hainen, Principal Harp, Phila. Orchestra; Kathleen Bride, Chair, Harp Dept., Eastman School of Music.
He has made television appearances in concert, and has played live concert broadcasts for National Public Radio. He has performed in concert and conducted master classes at
universities throughout the US and in Europe, as well as for national and regional conventions of the American Guild or Organists, and has also served as Dean of the Philadelphia chapter of the AGO.
A graduate of the famed Curtis Institute of Music, he studied piano with Vladimir Sokoloff and organ with Alexander McCurdy. He also studied with New York composer and organist McNeil Robinson at the Manhattan School of Music, earning the Master’s degree and the Doctor of Musical Arts, both with honors. He taught as Professor of Organ at West Chester University in PA, from 1992 – 1999.
As Resident Organist of the historic Auditorium in Ocean Grove, NJ, he plays weekly recitals on the organ of over 10,000 pipes, during the summer season. He is also Founder and Artistic Director of the Summer Stars Chamber Music Festival, presenting outstanding talents from the US and abroad. His CD “French Spectaculars on the Ocean Grove Auditorium Organ” recorded on the Dorian label, has been critically acclaimed.
Dr. Turk is Organist and Choirmaster of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Wayne, PA. He is also active as a consultant for the building of new pipe organs and restoration of historic instruments. A composer of works for chamber orchestra, organ, voice, and chorus, his composition “Elegy” for string orchestra and oboe was featured in live TV broadcasts in Japan.
For more information visit Gordon's website at www.gordonturk.com.
Soprano Soloist and Section Leader
From recital to opera stage Monica Rose Ziglar is known for “possessing a gift of transcending angelic high notes.”
The youngest of eight children Ms. Ziglar hails from Tucson, Arizona where she studied music at the University of Arizona and developed her love for art song from her beloved teacher Soprano/Professor Elizabeth Mosher. While there Monica was known throughout the Southwestern region and Sonora Mexico for her opera and concertizing programs as well as festival performances such as the Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Music festival in Alomos, Sonora, Mexico.
In 1993 Monica came east to attend the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia, PA. Some of her Operatic roles include: Suor Angelica, Alice in Falstaff, Magda in The Consul, The Mother inHansel & Gretel, and Salud in La Vida Breve. Smaller secular works include performances of Leonard Bernstein's A Julia de Burgos, Paul Hindemith’s Das Marian Leben and J.S. Bach's BWV211 Coffee Cantata. Currently Ms. Ziglar is in her tenth season as soprano soloist with the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, New Jersey where she has performed secular and sacred repertoire in the historic Great Auditorium, built in 1894, which boast over 6,500 seats and one of the largest Hope Jones pipe organs in the world. This venue has hosted performances by artists such as Enrico Caruso, John McCormick, Marian Anderson and Current Metropolitan Opera Tenor Ronald Naldi. Ms. Ziglar also sings under the direction of Dr. Gordon Turk at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Wayne, PA where her passion for Sacred Oratorio is regularly expressed in such works as: Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Dubois' Seven Last Words, Bach's B Minor Mass and several masses by Mozart. Mrs. Ziglar has been heard performing Jaromir Weinberger's The Way to Emmaus and Arvo Part's Stabat Mater. In March of 2009 she will be making her Carnegie Hall debut singing Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Martha Bartz : Mezzo Soprano Soloist and Alto Section Leader
Martha Bartz is in demand as a classical concert soloist, recitalist, and cabaret performer. In May of 2010, she made her operatic debut as Emilia in Verdi's Otello with Opera Carolina and won the National Classical Singer Convention competition in New York City. Past winner of the New York City NATS competition and finalist in the International Lotte Lehmann Cybersing competition, Ms. Bartz was invited to perform in the National Art Song Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. She returned to Carnegie Hall in 2009 as a guest soloist in Mendelssohn's Elijah and has performed as guest artist in many prestigious venues including The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City, The Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, historic Gusman Hall in Miami, and many others throughout the eastern United States. she has headlined with many prominent orchestras and organizations; The New York City Chamber Orchestra, The Pilsen Radio Symphony Orchestra of Czechoslovakia, the Charlotte Symphony, and the Ethos Consortium Chamber Orchestra, The Miami Beach Society Chamber Orchestra, The Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida, and varied/countless church, synagogue, and civic organizations throughout the Southeast. Ms. Bartz is equally comfortable in the classical/oratorio and the cabaret/musical theater genres.
In addition to her career as a performer, Martha has recently joined the music faculty as an adjunct professor of music/voice at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. She is an Artist in Residence at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.
Martha currently studies voice with Rosa Vento of New York University and Michael Paul of New York City and coaches with Dr. Mory S. Ortman and Dr. Emily Urbanek.
Ronald Naldi: Tenor Soloist and Artist in Residence
Ronald Naldi, internationally acclaimed lyric tenor, has brought his art to the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, Verona Opera, Opera da Camera of Rome, L’Opera Francais, New Jersey State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Salzburger Landes theater. In 2010, Mr. Naldi begins his 18th consecutive season at the Metropolitan Opera, where he has sung over 250 performances in 23 different operas including Ismaele in Nabucco, Tschekalinsky in Pique Dame, and Vitek in the Makrapolous Case. He has sung 3 Metropolitan Opera premieres, 5 world premiers, and the American premieres of 3 other operas. With St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, he has sung over 200 performances of the chamber operas of Haydn, Mozart, Offenbach, Rieti, Bakst, Fioravanti, and Rossini. He has appeared with the festivals of Spoleto (Italy), Waterloo, Caramoor, Verbier, and Tanglewood, and toured China, Egypt, the Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka with the Ambassadors of Opera. He has performed with over 25 symphony orchestras and has an extensive repertory of more than 30 oratorios. He has worked under the baton of the world’s most famous maestri, including James Levine, Valery Gergiev, Charles Mackerras, Nello Santi, and James Conlon and been a colleague with such artists as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Leo Nucci, James Morris, Samuel Ramey, and Renee Fleming. His repertory comprises over 100 operatic roles in 6 languages, as well as an extensive song repertory in the American, English, French, German and Italian literature. He was inducted into the Italian-American National Hall of Fame (along with such illustrious people as Enrico Fermi, Mario Lanza, and Joe DiMaggio), the Bound Brook Hall of Fame, and Who’s Who of Italian-Americans. He has also sung in many commercials, most famously the Olive Garden restaurant chain’s commercials of the 90’s. Two of his most notable CD’s are ‘O Sole Mio and Torna a Surriento (Neapolitan and Italian songs) which garnished praises, including Gramophone Magazine’s “Critic’s Choice” award for 2005. He has been a student of Charles Kullman, Margaret Harshaw, Luciano Francardi, Luigi Ricci, Carol Bayard, and William Riley. He has a BM and MM in voice from Indiana University and was a Fulbright scholar in Rome, Italy. He is the tenor soloist and artist-in-residence in historic Ocean Grove, New Jersey where he is completing his 37th consecutive season.
Justin Beck: Bass Soloist and Section Leader
Bass-baritone Justin Beck was born in San Diego, CA and raised in Texas where he began his singing career in his church children’s choir and his professional career at the age of nine in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. He studied music with a focus on vocal performance at the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas State University. He was a Young Artist at Austin Lyric Opera for two seasons singing roles in Gounod’s Faust, Puccini’s La fanciulla del West, and Verdi’s Rigoletto. He also spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival in their opera theater center. Additional opera credits include three seasons with Opera Company of Middlebury in Vermont performing in Massenet’s Thaïs, Puccini’s La rondine, and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. Other favorite roles include Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Dr. Falke and Frank in J. Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus, both with Opera Manhattan. Concert highlights include Handel’s Messiahwith the Austin Symphony, Berlioz’s Requiem with the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus under the baton of Robert Spano, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the National Chorale in Avery Fisher Hall, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the Bard Music Festival, and R. Strauss’s Feuersnot with the American Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Leon Botstein at Carnegie Hall. Additional recent engagements include concerts with Long Island Masterworks and Gregg Smith Singers. Currently, Mr. Beck is a choral scholar at St. Mark’s Church in Mt. Kisco, as well as the West Village Chorale and Hudson Chorale, where he most recently sang Haydn’s Mass in D Minor. He is both honored and pleased to be returning for his second summer with the Ocean Grove Auditorium Choir as their bass soloist and section leader.