Ocean Grove Hosts Summer Organ Recital Series
Once again, the whispers, thunder and wonders of the Great Auditorium Pipe Organ will ring out during The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA)'s Free Organ Recital Series, a signature part of its summer-long program of family entertainment. OGCMA's Pipe Organ is among the largest in the world and is the heart-beat of this Christian Victorian resort on the Jersey Shore. The historic 11,000-pipe instrument was built and installed in 1908 with original design innovations that became standard elements still extant in modern organ construction. It is made of over 40,000 feet of California No. 1 Sugar Pine and weighs 20-25 tons. In its illustrious 109-year history, this remarkable instrument has been played by numerous distinguished organists, including Will C. MacFarlane, Clarence Kohlman, Josephine Eddowes, Harold Fix, Clarence Reynolds, Beverly Davis, Jon Quinn, and Robert Carwithin. Order tickets by phone at 800-590-4064 or online at www.oceangrove.org.
Since 1974, OGCMA's Dr. Gordon Turk, has played this majestic organ during Sunday Worship Services, as well as the annual Free Organ Recital Series he produces. This season's Special Guest organists are Greg Zelek, Carol Williams, and Adam Pajan. Dr. Turk will be joined by pianist Hugh Sung and bass/baritone Kevin Short for the "Labor Day Holiday Encore." All the recitals are free, except the Labor Day concert, for which tickets are $14. The Great Auditorium is located at Pilgrim and Ocean Pathways in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. All facilities are handicapped-accessible.
ORGAN RECITAL SCHEDULE
Date Time Organist Please Note
Weds. July 4 7:30 pm Gordon Turk Independence Day "Pipes & Stripes"
Featuring music by 18th, 19th and 20th Century American and British composers, including marches, nostalgic & mellow tunes, familiar & novel "sounds," plus a rip-roaring patriotic finale.
Other Recitals with Gordon Turk:
Wednesdays 7:30 pm July 11; August 8, 29
Saturdays 12:00 noon July 7, 14, 21, 28; August 4, 11, 18, 25
Weds. July 18 7:30 pm Greg Zelek Madison Symphony Orchestra, WI
Weds. July 25 7:30 pm Carol Williams VA International Organ Festival
Weds. Aug. 15 7:30 pm Adam Pajan Faculty, University of Oklahoma
About the Organists and Their Programs
Dr. Gordon Turk - a critically acclaimed concert organist, Turk is OGCMA's Auditorium Organist and Artist in Residence. He has performed throughout the U.S. and around the world. He has won 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. He has also collaborated with numerous orchestral musicians in concert. Turk has made TV appearances in concert in the U.S. and abroad, and has played live concert broadcasts for NPR. He has conducted master classes for universities in the U.S. and Europe, as well as conventions of the American Guild of Organists, which he has served as Dean of the Philadelphia chapter.
In the exceptional acoustics of the spacious Auditorium, Turk plays weekly recitals during the summer season on what is one of the largest organs in the world, built in 1894. During his 45-year tenure he has overseen the restoration of the original historic pipes (14 ranks and 1,500 pipes), a grand-scale instrument for the 7,000-seat hall. He had a vision for an instrument suitable for large singing congregations, an ambitious choral program, concerts with orchestras, and organ recitals. The organ now has 202 ranks of pipes - over 12,700 pipes controlled by a console of five manuals (keyboards) and pedals. Turk is also Founder and Artistic Director of OGCMA's "Summer Stars Chamber Music Festival." In addition, he is Organist and Choirmaster of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
Gordon Turk's musical training began at age five on the piano and age ten on the organ. At 15 he was accepted into the teaching studio of the renowned American organist Alexander McCurdy and continued with McCurdy at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he also studied with Vladimir Sokoloff. Private studies continued with four years in improvisation and composition with composer/organist McNeil Robinson. He followed this with graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, studying organ with McNeil Robinson and harpsichord with Eugenia Earl. He received MS and PhD degrees with honors.
Turk's interest in the pipe organ began as a youth and has led to a life-long study of the instrument, including its history and musical literature. He has been involved in the design and construction of several new pipe organs and also the restoration of historic and vintage instruments. He was previously Professor of Organ at West Chester University, PA and is currently teaching at Rowan University in NJ. He composes choral, vocal and organ compositions; works for chamber orchestras; and his composition "Elegy" for string orchestra and oboe was featured in live TV broadcasts in Japan.
Dr. Turk decides on the programs for his weekly concerts in this series just days before showtime, inspired by everything from his mood to music he's been listening to recently to the ocean tides outside his door. They are therefore unannounced, but always a pleasant musical surprise to longtime Turk fans and newcomers to OGCMA alike.
Greg Zelek - The 26-year-old organist has been praised for his "effortless facility on the instrument" (South Florida Classical Review) and is increasingly recognized as one of the most exciting young artists on the American organ scene. He is the Principal Organist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Curator of the Overture Concert Organ and Series in Wisconsin. In addition to playing throughout the U.S., Zelek regularly performs with other orchestras as both a soloist and ensemble member. This year, Zelek will participate in three performances of Janá?ek's Glagolitic Mass with the Madison Symphony. Last year, he performed with the Florida Orchestra and was the featured guest soloist with the Ridgewood Symphony in 2016. In addition, Zelek played in the Metropolitan Opera's 2014 production of Faust. He also performed twice that year with the New World Symphony, including a performance of Lukas Foss's Phorion under Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2012 he played Strauss's Alpine Symphony with the MET Orchestra in Carnegie Hall conducted by Semyon Bychkov, and Poulenc's Organ Concerto with the Miami Symphony Orchestra in 2011. Highlights of his 2017-2018 season include recitals at the Organ Historical Society Convention in Minneapolis; the famous Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego; Overture Center for the Performing Arts in Madison; the MET Museum in NYC on the historic Appleton Organ; and recitals for the Hartford AGO and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Largo, FL. A native of Miami, Florida, Zelek is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma as a student of Paul Jacobs at the Juilliard School. A recipient of the inaugural Kovner Fellowship, Zelek received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Juilliard. Zelek's program for his OGCMA debut is as follows:
J.S. Bach - Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543
C. Franck - Prelude, Fugue, and Variation, Op. 18
F. Liszt (arr. Potts) - Liebestraum No. 3 (Dreams of Love)
J. Weaver - Fantasia for Organ
Carol Williams - D.M.A., ARAM, Dip Ram, AD (Yale), FRCO, FTCL, ARCM, San Diego Civic Organist Emerita, is known as
"The World's Sweetheart Organist," both for her considerable achievements and her primary ambition: "to bring the pipe organ to new audiences and make people feel good." British born, Williams was raised in a musical Welsh family and could read music before she could read English. Her formal training started with private lessons at age five and she was already performing organ recitals at eight. She spent five years at the Royal Academy of Music as a student of David Sanger for both organ and piano and earned the prestigious Recital Diploma and a roster of major prizes. She was still in her teens when she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and of Trinity College London. She was also an Associate of the Royal College of Music and continued her studies with Daniel Roth, Organist at the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris. After moving to the U.S., she studied and earned degrees at Yale and the Manhattan School of Music. Williams' work as a performing artist has taken her around the country and around the world, often collaborating with leading orchestras, as well as a wide assortment of classical, jazz, blues, pop and rock bands. She has recorded numerous CDs and can be heard in many cinematic DVDs. In performance, her elegance and charismatic humor are received with "rock star" enthusiasm. Williams is also a composer, the director of The Virginia International Organ Festival, and is formally affiliated with the Yale University Chapel and churches in New York, California, and Virginia. Williams' program for her Ocean Grove recital is in development and promises to disarm and delight her audience.
Adam Pajan - Called "a rising star definitely worth watching" (Michael Barone, Pipedreams) and "unusually able and sensitive" (The American Organist), Pajan is Instructor of Organ and Shop Technician at the University of Oklahoma's American Organ Institute, where he teaches students in organ performance, church music, and organ technology. He received his DMA in 2014 under John Schwandt at the University of Oklahoma, following studies at Furman University and Yale University, earning BM and MM degrees under the tutelage of Charles Tompkins, Martin Jean, and Thomas Murray. Pajan's performing career has taken him across the U.S. and to Germany three times, playing in the great cathedrals of Mainz, Magdeburg, Fulda, Altenberg and other historical churches. He will return in July for a subsequent tour including performances at the Pauluskirche in Ulm, Altenberger Dom, and the Dutch Church in Hanau. His first CD was released earlier this year on Raven Records and features the Kegg pipe organ of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in Canton, Ohio. Dr. Pajan won First Prize in four national competitions (Schweitzer, Poister, Mader, and West Chester) and the Firmin Swinnen Second Prize in the inaugural Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition in 2013. His accomplishments were recognized when he was named one of The Diapason's "20 Under 30" of 2016, an award established to acknowledge individuals who are "setting the pace for the future of the pipe organ, harpsichord, carillon, and church music." He has been heard at conventions of the American Institute of Organ-builders, the Organ Historical Society, and the American Guild of Organists. An enthusiastic church musician, he serves as Director of Music at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Norman, Oklahoma and is in his third season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Oklahoma Master Chorale. Adam Pajan's Ocean Grove program is as follows:
William Henry Harris: Flourish for an Occasion
Percy Whitlock: Fantasie Choral No. 1 in D-flat
Arthur Foote: Festival March, Op. 29, No. 1
Edward Shippen Barnes: from Seven Sketches, Op. 34 - I. Pastorale, II. Chanson, VI. Caprice
Franz Schmidt: Toccata in C
Alec Rowley: Benedictus
Healey Willan: Introduction, Passacaglia, and Fugue