(OCEAN GROVE, NJ) -- The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA) will conclude its popular Summer Stars classical series with “A Grand Orchestra Finale! on Thursday, July 29 at 7:30pm at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, NJ. The program will include works by Beethoven, Handel and Mendelssohn, performed by Gordon Turk (organist) and the MidAtlantic Symphony conducted by Jason Tramm, with guest soloists Michelle Johnson (soprano) and Byung-Kook Kwak (violin).
The Great Auditorium is located at Pilgrim and Ocean Pathways in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. All facilities are handicapped accessible. Tickets are $16 (student tickets are $10). Tickerts are available for purchase online or by calling 732-534-3462.
About the Performers
Soprano Michelle Johnson has been praised for her “extraordinary breath control and velvety voice”. Ms. Johnson has made a name for herself as one of the most in demand Aidas in the opera world today, performing the role with Glimmerglass Music Festival, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Columbus, Knoxville Opera, Opera Idaho, and Sarasota Opera, among others. Upcoming engagements include Santuzza in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Cavalleria Rusticana, the title roles of Puccini’s Tosca and Verdi’s Aida with Opera Columbus and Opera Carolina, respectively, as well as, Mimi in La bohème with both the Columbus Symphony and Florentine Opera.
Byung-Kook Kwak (Violin) enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. He has been described by Anthony Tomassini of The New York Times as, “… a distinguished artist…with a warm penetrating sound and tasteful expressivity…”. From coast to coast, critics have hailed him as a premier violinist whose musical gifts and technical wizardry are powerful and sensitive. Mr. Kwak has performed with orchestras throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Scandinavia. Finalist and prize winner of many international competitions, he was featured on PBS Live from Lincoln Center as a member of the renowned Sea Cliff Chamber Players. He has taught at Mannes College for 10 years as an assistant to Aaron Rosand and is currently a faculty member at Manhattan School of Music, Pre-College, Queens College, and Nyack College. In addition, he also performs and gives master classes regularly in Seoul, Korea.
Gordon Turk (Organist-in Residence) is celebrating his 46th Anniversary as Resident Organist and Founder and Artistic Music Director for the OGCMA’s “Summer Stars” classical music series. In these roles, he performs weekly recitals and at worship services on the massive Great Auditorium Pipe Organ and overseas a five-concert classical series in the Great Auditorium. Turk travels nationally and internationally for concert performances, and has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kimmel Center and other landmark concert halls in the US, Europe, Japan and Russia. A graduate of the famed Curtis Institute of Music, he studied piano with Vladimir Sokoloff and organ with Alexander McCurdy, and 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.
Jason C. Tramm (Conductor) has been hailed as a “conductor to watch” by Symphony Magazine and “filled with Italianate passion” by the Huffington Post. Maestro Tramm’s work in the operatic, symphonic and choral realms have received critical acclaim throughout the United States and abroad. Tramm is currently in his 15th season as Director of Music for the OGCMA, where he leads choral, orchestral, and oratorio performances in the historic Great Auditorium. He also directs the beloved annual Ocean Grove Choir Festival and has appeared on two NPR broadcasts with organ virtuoso Gordon Turk and symphonic orchestra. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for “Verdi Requiem: Live from Ocean Grove” which aired on PBS-affiliate NJN in 2009. He also currently serves as the Director of Choral Activities at Seton Hall University (where he was named the 2017 University Faculty Teacher of the Year), Artistic Director of the MidAtlantic Artistic Productions, Music Director of the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Long Island Concert Orchestra. As a guest conductor, he has led performances in Italy, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic. He is the host of Music Matters with Jason Tramm, a podcast that explores artistic innovation under extreme circumstances, as seen through the eyes of distinguished artists. Music Matters can be seen on YouTube and heard on Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts and is aired on Saturdays from 11:30- Noon on WMCA Radio in NYC!
"Ah! Perfido” Opus 65, Concert Aria for Soprano and Orchestra Beethoven
Soloist: Michelle Johnson Soprano
Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in F-Major, Opus 50 Beethoven
Soloists: Gordon Turk and Byung Kook Kwak
Organ Concerto in F-Major for Orchestra and Organ Handel
Gordon Turk, Organist
Salve Regina in E-Flat Major Mendelssohn
Soloist: Michelle Johnson, Soprano
Symphony No. 5 in C-Minor, Opus 67 Beethoven