Jason C. Tramm to Conclude 10th Anniversary Season with Mendelssohn's ELIJAH

Jason C. Tramm's 10th Anniversary Season with the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association at the Great Auditorium comes to a close with the highly anticipated Sacred Masterworks Concert, Sunday August 28 at 7:00PM. The 2016 season finale and annual concert event will feature Felix Mendelssohn's magnificent oratorio "Elijah." The concert is free and open to the public.

Tramm will conduct the 40 piece orchestra Adelphi Orchestra, organ virtuoso Gordon Turk, featured soloists Monica Ziglar (soprano), Martha Bartz (Mezzo-Soprano), Ronald Naldi (tenor), Justin Beck (Bass-Baritone) singing the lead role with the 140 member Ocean Grove Choir in the oratorio widely regarded as establishing Mendelssohn's position as one of history's greatest composers of sacred music exactly 170 years and two days after Mendelssohn himself conducted the work at its premiere in 1846.

While Tramm admits the date for the performance and the conclusion of his 10th Anniversary with the Ocean Grove CMA was a "serendipitous coincidence" his selection of the beloved masterwork resonates with both audience and musicians. Tramm shared that "the history of the composition dates back to 1836, when after the enthusiastic reception of his first oratorio, St. Paul, Mendelssohn began contemplating the possibility of a second oratorio based on Old Testament passages of the extraordinary Hebrew prophet Elijah." Tramm shared that Mendelssohn tapped into the universal appeal of the man citing that "accounts of Elijah's life date back to the 9th century BC , and had a profound impact on many faiths, with references to the prophet Elijah appearing in the Mishnah, Talmud, the Old and New Testament and the Quran."

While Mendelssohn's ideas lay dormant for nearly a decade, an 1845 commission by the Birmingham Music Festival's to compose an oratorio revived his earlier inspiration. Mendelssohn asked Julius Schubring, a Lutheran pastor and collaborator on his previous oratorio , to assemble a libretto from the German Bible. However, as the work was to be performed in English, Schubring's text had to be translated. Although Mendelssohn spoke English in addition to his native German, he entrusted the translation to his friend and poet William Bartholomew whom Mendelssohn believed could navigate the challenges of translating famous Biblical passages used from Luther's German Bible into the familiar wording of the King James Bible beloved and relevant to English audiences. Subsequently two versions exist of Mendelssohn's oratorio Op. 70, MWV A25, Elijah and the German, Elias.

When Elijah premiered in its English version on August 26, 1846 over two thousand people attended the performance and saw Mendelssohn himself take to the podium at Birmingham Town Hall to conduct. Since that day Elijah has been widely regarded as the pre-eminent oratorio of the 19th century. Prince Albert inscribed the following in a copy of oratorio's libretto, "To the noble artist who, surrounded by the Baal-worship of false art, has been able, like a second Elijah, through genius and study, to remain true to the service of true art. The German version of Mendelssohn's masterwork, Elias, premiered in Leipzig on the composer's birthday, February 3, 1848 only a few months after Mendelssohn's untimely death at 38 years of age.

Now in his 10th season as Director of Music Ministries at OGCMA, Jason C. Tramm is recognized as one of today's most dynamic young conductors. He has been hailed by critics and audiences alike for his work in the operatic, symphonic, and sacred music realms. His 2008 WNJN broadcast of Verdi's "Requiem," shot in The Great Auditorium, was nominated for a regional Emmy, and, he also appeared on two NPR broadcasts with Gordon Turk and a large orchestra. Tramm serves as Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities, College of Communication and the Arts, Seton Hall University where he directs two choirs, conducts the University Orchestra, and teaches classes in conducting and music education. He is frequently engaged as a guest conductor and has led operatic and symphonic performances here and abroad. He also serves as Artistic Advisor to the Adelphi Orchestra and Artistic Director of the MidAtlantic Opera Company, with which he made his Carnegie Hall debut last October.

According to Tramm, "the Ocean Grove Auditorium Choir has a long history of performing the great oratorio masterworks that dates back to the first few years of the 20th century. We are proud to continue that tradition today. With a 140 voice chorus and the talented Adelphi Orchestra, this will be a fine performance in a magnificent and historic venue."


2016 Sacred Masterwork's Concert

"Elijah" by Felix Mendelssohn

August 28th at 7:00PM

The Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove

54 Pilgrim Pathway, Ocean Grove, NJ

Free and open to the Public

Seating is available on a first come first served basis

The Great Auditorium is handicapped-accessible.

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