The acoustics are heavenly by Kevin Riordan April 12, 2015 read article WRTI Where Music Lives http://www.wrti.org/term/music-bunker-hill APRIL 8, 2013 By MERIDEE DUDDLESTON A concert series in southern New Jersey’s Washington Township attracts top-notch performers from the region, across the river, New York, and all around. The Music at Bunker Hill concerts take place in a church built on a high point in Gloucester County. Starting with three concerts, the program has steadily grown. Now in its fifth season, the Sunday series stands out as a breath of fresh air.
The sanctuary of Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church is the venue for Music at Bunker Hill, and it's Where Music Lives. Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim will perform there on April 28, 2013 at 3 pm.
The allure of the cello: Efe Baltacigil feels a deep connection to the instrument Published: Friday, March 30, 2012, 1:30 PM By Ronni Reich/The Star-Ledger Efe Baltacigil was born to love the deep, sonorous voices of the low-stringed instruments. The cellist grew up in Istanbul, his father and his aunt played the double bass, and one of his brothers is now a bassist for the Berlin Philharmonic. Another brother plays cello at the same conservatory in Turkey that Efe attended. “I’m drawn to darker, more soulful instruments,” Baltacigil says. “That’s one thing about the sound I go after.”
Baltacigil, 33, should have a great canvas for that kind of tone on his Music at Bunker Hill program this Sunday. The concert centers on Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 3, op. 60 in C Minor, which the composer once described as the expression of a suicidal man. Begun in 1855 and completed in 1875, the work is believed to respond to the declining mental health of the composer Robert Schumann and Brahms’ unrequited love for Clara Schumann, Robert’s wife.
The music is — at times — fraught, desperate and violent. But in the andante third movement, the cello takes a central role for an intimate tune that is sometimes considered a love song. “You can almost hear that he was writing this for a certain individual,” Baltacigil says. “It’s just such a beautiful melody.” Pianist Amy J. Yang, Baltacigil’s regular recital partner, joins the quartet, along with violist and Bunker Hill artistic director William Frampton and violinist William Polk, who plays with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
The program also includes Beethoven’s Sonatas for Cello and Piano No. 1 and No. 5 with Yang. The pieces take listeners from the composer’s classically inflected early period to his innovative final years. Baltacigil, who admires the French school of cello playing, will give a taste of French music as well with Ravel’s light, pleasant “Habanera.”
Baltacigil may be most familiar to local listeners as the former associate principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He played there for 10 years after attending the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In September, he left the financially troubled ensemble to become the principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
“I’m very happy and it’s a really fantastic orchestra here,” he says. “Almost every concert has a full house and an incredible amount of young listeners show up. I love that — it’s quite a difference.” Baltacigil hopes to see a rebirth in Philly and looks fondly on his time there. Wolfgang Sawallisch’s final concert with the orchestra — a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 — comes to mind first as a highlight. Among his other cherished memories are playing under Sir Simon Rattle and with guest artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax.
Baltacigil favors the German romantics he’ll play at Bunker Hill, but also has a soft spot for the baroque period. He dips into that repertoire with “La Follia” by Geminani, which he recorded with the New York-based East Coast Chamber Orchestra. A talented group of Baltacigil’s peers, ECCO released its first recording this year, also featuring works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. To work with the group, he’s spending lots of time in hotels and airports, and “building up his SkyMiles quite a bit,” he says. “It is so worth it. There’s an unbelievable force to this ensemble,” Baltacigil says.
On top of his bicoastal orchestral career and his recital tours, Baltacigil makes his debut with Berlin next fall under Rattle. Some consider the orchestra the best in the world. “That is thrilling,” he says. “I’ll probably retire after that.”
Touring the world, Thinking of Home (about Artistic Director William Frampton) in Down the Pike
Posted on February 6, 2012 WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — William Frampton decided in a seventh-grade chemistry class that he wanted to become a professional musician.
“The hard chair, the cold slab of black desk in front of me … I never changed my mind. Not even close,” said the 2004 Washington Township High School graduate who has degrees from New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School.
The New York City-based violist recently returned from about a dozen performances in North and South America.
He had been touring in a show called “The Inferno Comedy,” a half-opera, half-play starring actor John Malkovich. The show consists of an actor, two opera singers and a 20-person onstage orchestra. Frampton said the orchestra takes the form of a character in the production.
“It’s a very complicated story, a really interesting multi-disciplinary production,” he said.
He’s played with the New York Philharmonic, with Philadelphia’s The Roots on “The Jimmy Fallon Show” and appeared in several wedding scenes in “Sex in the City 2” as a member of a string quartet.
Frampton is currently traveling for a performance in Germany and plays in many renowned music festivals around the world.
His determination, love for chamber music and talent led him to this busy career, even at the young age of 25.
But he also brings high-caliber classical music to the South Jersey area as a co-founder and artistic director of Music at Bunker Hill, a chamber music concert series at Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church in Sewell.
Because of his contacts in the music world, Frampton is able to line up some big-name talent for the series, which is in its fourth year. “It’s really incredible,” Frampton said. “I’ve realized how incredibly lucky I am to have the friends that I do.”
Some of the musicians who have performed in the series include former members of the internationally acclaimed Guarneri Quartet — John Dalley, Peter Wiley and Anna Polonsky — along with another Washington Township native, Ranaan Meyer, who is gaining national recognition as a bassist.
The next concert in the series, slated for April 15, will feature well-known recording artist Jason Vieaux playing the classical guitar.
Bunker Hill Presbyterian was the church that Frampton attended with his parents throughout his childhood. His mother, Martha Frampton, also is a co-founder of the concert series.
“To envision the development of a concert series where one had not existed before and to seek to populate the artist base for the series with brilliant, world-class musicians is not for the faint of heart,” said Rev. Daniel James Weitner, pastor at Bunker Hill Presbyterian. “Will had the confidence and the courage — and, if you will, the stubbornness — to make the concept a reality.”
Frampton said he just wanted to give back to those who supported him. “I wanted to see if I could give this thing that I loved back to the community.”
For more information. visit www.musicatbunkerhill.org
–E. Janene Geiss
Big acts come to small church through Music at Bunker Hill in Washington Township Published: Friday, November 18, 2011, 11:00 AM By Michelle Caffrey South Jersey Newspapers
It all started with a piano. A seven-foot Yamaha C7 conservatory grand, to be exact.
Starkly black and stoic, the piano commands the room even as it’s nestled stage right of the altar in Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church. It’s this sleeping giant that’s responsible for kicking off the church’s unique classical music series, now in its fourth season.
The Music at Bunker Hill series draws renowned classical acts out of their prestigious New York City concert halls and into the intimate, 120-capacity church on Greentree Road. With just an upright piano previously at their disposal, Bunker Hill Musical Director Martha Frampton knew they’d need a more serious instrument to bring in more serious artists. In 2008, they found the right piano for the right price. Her son Will, a classical-musician, took on the responsibilities of artistic director for the series and began providing opportunity after opportunity to hear first-rate classical music. Tonight, Friday, Nov. 18, is no exception.
Ranaan Meyer, a township native who now resides in Philadelphia, will bring his one-of-a-kind stylings on the double-bass to the church with the Ranaan Meyer Band. His mother — classical pianist and the high school’s long-time orchestral director Norma Meyer — will join him.
“Being a musician is a huge part of who I am, and I really believe it is for my mom as well,” Meyer said. “It’s an amazing thing to make music with another individual, let alone your mom. It’s a way for us to communicate without saying anything.”
Frampton said people shouldn’t expect the average classical concert.
“Ranaan can get rowdy,” she said. “He’s pretty lively.”
Meyer normally tours the country with his acclaimed string trio, Time for Three, and describes his sound as a hybrid of classical, Celtic, jazz, rockabilly, singer/songwriter and pop music styles.
“We’re trying to do things with instruments that haven’t been done yet,” Meyer said. “It’s like Asian or contemporary fusion food. It resembles something you’re used to, but then there’s a cool twist to it.”
Meyer said he’s glad to be back at his old stomping ground in township for his band’s second performance in the series over the years, with the Framptons and Meyers being long-time friends.
“It’s wonderful because there are so many levels of connections,” Meyer said. “This is very special, especially to have my local friends and family come out. It feels good.” Meyer will also be debuting five original compositions during the performance.
A completely secular and separate entity from the church itself, the series was created out of a desire to give classical musicians an outlet where their works can be appreciated in a small setting, Frampton said.
“I felt like it would be filling a void if we offered classical music here,” she said.
With local residents now able to get a classical music fix without crossing a bridge, she’s also thrilled to be able bring the normally urban experience to the suburbs.
“We really have fine performers, and we can get an audience out here that can appreciate them and hear that it’s top-quality music,” Frampton said. “And then they can drive home in 10 or 15 minutes. We’re bringing it home to the people.”
Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church is located at 330 Greentree Road. Tickets for Friday’s performance are $20, $15 and $10 for adults, seniors and students, respectively. For more information, visit www.musicatbunkerhill.org.
Music at Bunker Hill Receives Grant from Target for Outreach Concerts
Press COURIER POST ONLINE Five upcoming S.J. classical concerts you don't want to miss 6:11 PM, Mar. 18, 2011 | Comments
The Pennsylvania Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra will team up for the first time in their histories for "Pulcinella.' Here, Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancer Julie Diana and soloist Francis Veyette perform the ballet. / Photo provided FILED UNDER Living Here are some classical music highlights worth planning your spring around:
"Pulcinella" with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Pennsylvania Ballet, April 8 to 10. This production marks the first time the orchestra and the ballet have performed together. Rather than ask "what took them so long?" take this opportunity to witness new choreography by Jorma Elo and the innovations in rhythm and color that Stravinsky brought to classical music. Tickets from $20, available at philorch.org or (215) 893-1999.
Passion and revenge
"Don Giovanni," the Academy of Vocal Arts, April 30 to May 15.
The libretto of this Mozart opera would be enough to make it notable -- it's dark, thrilling and filled with seduction and revenge -- but the depth and richness of Mozart's score push into the realm of all-time greats. Tickets from $21, available at avaopera.org or (215) 735-1685.
New work "Lyrical Romance," Symphony in C, Gordon Theater, Rutgers-Camden, May 7.
The season-closing concert by Camden's professional training orchestras features Sibelius' rousing Second Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, with Soovin Kim as soloist. A new work by the Symphony's Young Composer Competition also will be unveiled. Tickets from $24, available at symphonyinc.org or (856) 963-6683.
Young artists Chamber music at Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church, May 13.
To close this young series' third season, violinist Erin Keefe, cellist Andrey Tchekmazov and pianist Anna Polonsky perform works by Haydn and Kodaly, and series founder and Washington Township native William Frampton joins them on viola for a Dvorak quartet. Tickets $18, $15 for seniors and students, available at musicatbunkerhill.org or (856) 589-7863.
Phaedra, complex "Phaedra," the Opera Company of Philadelphia, June 3 to 12.
Philadelphia's main opera company rarely performs contemporary music, but it's lavishing a new production on this 21st-century work by German composer Hans Werner Henze. The cast includes the striking countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, recently heard as a guest soloist with Symphony in C. Tickets from $48, available at operaphila.org or (215) 893-1018.
-- Dave Allen
After notable success, clarinetist explores his love for improvisationBy Ronni Reich April 09, 2010, 6:42PM Clarinetist Anthony McGill has had some of the most coveted gigs around — performer at President Obama’s inauguration, principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and, his first gig, associate principal of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. And all of this was before he turned 30.
“I think when I got my first job, I was too young and naïve to think about what I was doing too much and was just really happy I was able to do it,” says McGill, who turns 31 in July. “As I get older and wiser and more mature, challenges become more real.”
But, he adds, “Everything — the Met job, too — has been so exciting. I think that’s the most important thing to focus on, rather than any kind of pressure.”
Between opera performances and teaching lessons (he’s a professor at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University), McGill will give a recital at the Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church in Sewell on Sunday with pianist Kwan Yi and violist William Frampton.
The program contains some of his favorite pieces, including Poulenc’s melancholy, expressive Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, which he describes as “very vocal” (it’s worth checking out his songs, choral works and operas, too). A kind of “clarinet standard,” Debussy’s Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Piano, written as an audition piece for the Paris Conservatoire, strikes him as one of the composer’s finest, with “beautiful, impressionistic music” that “floats over you.”
Alongside these will be pieces by André Messager and Schumann, and an arrangement of Gershwin’s Preludes for solo piano.
“Gershwin just plays beautifully on clarinet,” McGill says, noting the jazz influence that figures so prominently in “Rhapsody in Blue.”
An equally prominent American composer supplied the music for one of McGill’s career highlights so far, the inauguration, where he performed John Williams’ “Air and Simple Gifts” with pianist Gabriela Montero, violinist Itzhak Perlman and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He had worked with Ma before, and was grateful to collaborate with him again.
“He’s an unbelievable musician, obviously,” says McGill, “but he’s also such an absolutely warm person with wonderful positive energy. It comes out through his music in such a friendly and open way. When you talk to him, you’re affected by the energy, and your playing is transformed as well by playing with him.”
Such welcoming, communicative musicality can be heard in McGill’s solo playing as well. As far as goals, he is thinking mostly in broad terms, “to keep performing with really great musicians” and to be receptive to all opportunities.
“It’s about being open to everything so I can explore and hopefully succeed.”
Exploration seems to be on his mind these days. On his blog, at AnthonyMcGill.com, he describes the stress, excitement and feelings of spontaneity that came from playing a piece by heart and his desire to work the mind-set of improvisation into his playing.
The posts fall under the heading “Learning NOT to read Music.” To this end, he has been playing some jazzier pieces, including the Gershwin he will perform at Bunker Hill and a Paquito D’Rivera work he recently performed.
“As I said on the blog, it’s something to try to work on for the rest of my life — also when I play standard repertoire — so it sounds like I’m improvising,” he says. “I think that’s the best way to perform.”
Where: Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church, 33 Greentree Road, Sewell
When: Sunday at 3 p.m.
How much: $18 in advance, $20 at door, $15 for seniors and students. Call (856) 589-7863 or visit MusicAtBunkerHill.org.
Chamber music fills church Courier Post - Cherry Hill, N.J. Author: KATIE KALVAITIS Date: Feb 11, 2010 Start Page: n/a Section: NEWS Text Word Count: 508
The world of professional classical music is a small one. A chance encounter between William Frampton, artistic director of Music at Bunker Hill, and Metropolitan Opera singer Ginger Costa-Jackson, who gave Frampton directions at a bus stop in Switzerland, led to the young singer's invitation to perform in concert in Washington Township on Feb. 12.
The upcoming show at 8 p.m. is one of seven in the 2009-2010 Music at Bunker Hill concert series. The nonprofit organization -- its name derived from the place where the concerns take place, Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church -- strives to bring professional chamber music to South Jersey.
"Bringing world-class performers to South Jersey and more specifically my hometown of Washington Township is a dream come true," said Frampton, a classical violinist who is training at Juilliard School.
"Musical Theater: From Opera to Broadway" will feature Costa-Jackson with bass-baritone Eric Downs, pianist Craig Ketter and actor/narrator Jeffrey Golde. The program will integrate seven operas, including "Don Giovanni" and "Carmen," with a set of Broadway tunes, such as "Alabama Song" and "Summertime," for a combination of drama and music.
Narrator Golde said part of the fun of this particular show will be "trying to dispel the myth that opera is a super elite form. Much of the narration tries to establish that opera was entertainment just like modern musicals are today."
Golde is an actor, cellist and pianist from Brookline, Mass. His mother, Ellen Golde, a programmer in Boston, offered to put together the music for the show.
This group is just a selection of the talent Music at Bunker Hill has drawn to South Jersey. Previous concerts in the series included pianist Michael Mizrahi, the Ansonia Trio and a jazz tribute to Duke Ellington by Pitman native Denis DiBlasio.
The series will continue with Frampton playing violin on March 5 and Anthony McGill, principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, performing on April 11.
Frampton's mother, Martha, president of the board of directors, said the idea for Music at Bunker Hill began with the addition of a grand piano to Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church.
"We thought, "What a great addition to put on concerts,' " she said. "From there, we decided to start a nonprofit that was not connected to the church during the summer of 2008."
For William Frampton, the realization the concerts he was playing all around the world could happen in his hometown helped him co-found Music at Bunker Hill.
Audiences can enjoy "the convenience of seeing the same quality of performance that they used to have to travel to Philadelphia or New York to experience," he said.
Katie Kalvaitis writes about Gloucester County people for the Courier-Post. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church is at 330 Greentree Road in Washington Township. Season and individual tickets for Music at Bunker Hill concerts may be purchased in advance by mail, Paymail and e-mail. Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens and students. For more information, call (856) 589-7863 or visit www.musicatbunkerhill.org.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission. Features, Washington Township » Jazz musician brings quintet to Washington Township church for concert By Kelly Roncace January 12, 2010, 3:25AM
Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church in Washington Township is usually a serene place of worship. That is unless the Music at Bunker Hill concert series is in town.
The concert series is led by a non-profit organization that brings chamber music and vocalists to the South Jersey area.
The series has included high-profile musicians such as Ranaan Meyer of Time for Three, Michael Mizrahi of Astral Artists, Ginger Costa-Jackson of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Met and Anthony McGill of the Met Opera Orchestra. View full size Denis DiBlasio and his quintet will perform at Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church in Washington Township as a of the Music at Bunker Hill concert series. The series is led by a non-profit organization that brings chamber music and vocalists to the South Jersey area. The idea of putting together a concert series was born when the church acquired a Yamaha Grand Piano, according to the President of the Board of Directors Martha Frampton.
“Once we had a professional level piano in the church, my son, Will embraced the idea of having a concert series,” she said. “He has helped guide the musical direction of the concert series as artistic director.”
The church will come alive with authentic Duke Ellington music on Jan. 15 at 8 p.m.
Denis DiBlasio, world-renowned Jazz musician, is bringing his quintet to the venue as a part of the Music at Bunker Hill concert series.
DiBlasio, who is currently the director of the jazz program and executive director of the Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz Studies at Rowan University, said he is looking forward to his first appearance at Bunker Hill.
DiBlasio, a baritone sax and flute player, will be joined by George Rabbai, Brian Betz, Doug Rapp and drummer Jim Miller.
Frampton said the DiBlasio quintet is a fun and talented group of musicians.
“These accomplished players bring new meaning to the idea of ‘living in the moment,’” she said.
DiBlasio explained the group’s method is a “straight-ahead” approach.
“We pick some songs associated with Duke, play the melody, then solo on the tune in the traditional jazz style,” he said.
Frampton said the group plans the set list based on the “vibes in the house.”
“A look or a gesture is all it takes to let the next guy know to take a solo,” Frampton said.
DiBlasio said he also enjoys engaging the audience in a question and answer session during the show.
“I like to let the crowd know about some inside information, so story telling is usually involved,” he said. “People tend to identify a little more with the music when they know something about it.” View full size Staff photo by Jonathan Wells Martha Frampton is the Musical Director of Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church in Washington Township. Denis DiBlasio and his quintet will be playing at the upcoming Bunker Hill Concert Series. The DiBlasio show is the fourth concert so far this season, Frampton said. There are three more concerts on the 2010 schedule, and five shows planned for next year.
“It’s been well received by audiences, but we have not sold out yet,” she said of the concert series. “That’s a goal.”
The series is funded in part by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Division of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts from a grant to the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission, according to Frampton.
In addition to the funding, the series is made possible by help from volunteers, sponsors and ticket sales, she said.
“Thanks to our individual and corporate donors and sponsors, we operate in the black so far,” she said. “We are very low budget except for performer fees. Volunteers do the work.”
Frampton said there will be a Wine Tasting Dinner fundraiser on Jan. 31 at the Italian Affair restaurant in Glassboro.
“Last year at the first wine tasting we made some good friends who have been subscribers and great supporters during the past year,” she said.
The Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church is located at 330 Greentree Road in Sewell. Visitors can complete the evening with a reception with the artists following the show.
Tickets may be purchased at the door for $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens or students.
For more information, call (856) 589-7863 or visit the Web site at www.musicatbunkerhill.org. Bob Shryock: DiBlasio Quintet — 'vibes in the house' By Bob Shryock/Gloucester County Times January 07, 2010, 3:00AM Pitman resident Denis DiBlasio joins four talented friends in a jazz tribute to Duke Ellington when Music at Bunker Hill presents its fourth concert of the season 8 p.m. Jan. 15 at Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church, 330 Greentree Road, Washington Township. The DiBlasio quintet includes George Rabbai, Brian Betz, Doug Rapp and Jim Miller, all talented musicians.
“These guys bring new meaning to the idea of living in the moment,” says Martha Frampton, president of Music at Bunker Hill. “They call tunes based on the vibes in the house — improvisation is the name of the game. A look or gesture is all it takes to let the next guy know that it’s his turn to solo.”
Music at Bunker Hill was founded in 2008 to bring top performers to South Jersey and enhance the cultural life of the community.
Funding is in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Division of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, from a grant to the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission.
Tickets ($20 adults, $15 seniors and children) can be purchased at the door. Call (856) 589-7863 for more information.
Three remaining concerts: Mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson and bass-baritone Eric Downs 8 p.m. Feb. 12, violist William Frampton, 8 p.m. March 5, and clarinetist Anthony McGill, 3 p.m. April 11. Frampton is the organization’s artistic director.
A wine-tasting dinner and fund-raiser for Music at Bunker Hill will be held 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31 at Italian Affair, Glassboro. Cost is $50 per person. RSVP by calling (856) 589-9402 or (856) 430-0513.
Posted on Sun, Jan. 10, 2010 Regional arts and entertainment events Philadelphia Inquirer 1/10/10 All that jazz Sensational saxophonist Denis DiBlasio performs with his quintet at Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church, 330 Greentree Rd., Sewell, at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $20; $15 for seniors and students. Call 856-589-7863. . . .