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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove Great Auditorium’ Category

A tale of two bicycles on a Sunday in Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger ©

 

DENISE VAN OUTEN:

 

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Many attendees got stuck in line waiting to purchase tickets.   Blogfinger photo. 08/31/19 ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger

The CMA decided to add a Doo-Wop concert to their summer schedule to avoid seeming totally religious in their Saturday night GA programming.

The  crowd seemed to enjoy the show, and the mood inside and outside seemed festive, but the sound was too loud and distorted for my taste.  And floodlights kept circling and shining into my eyes.

The same backup band that played  for all the groups in the show provided a certain sameness to the music.

One group had an 80 year old man singing love songs, and he called a woman to the stage to give him a kiss—-and she did.   Gross!

 

 

If the CMA plans more Saturday summer secular shows for 2020, they might reconsider the doo wops and follow through with their promise to bring a new audio system into the Great Auditorium.  They might learn something from the Count Basie Theater  (Red Bank)  and the Paramount Theater  (Asbury)

But let’s have a round of applause for the CMA who may be going back to more diverse programming in the Grove.

And if you want to hear what a fine Doo Wop era song sounds like, here’s Dion with a classic:

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The Great Auditorium by a Blogfinger staff photographer. June, 2018.

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net

It took almost as long to perform the Messiah (2 1/2 hours) as it did for George Frideric Handel to write it (24 days.)  But the large crowd present was enthralled, and the piece is so beautiful and well done, that the time was not an issue.   Of course, these days people stay standing for a 3 hour Springsteen concert, so 2 1/2 hours for this Handel event is quite acceptable.

Dr Jason Tramm created a masterpiece  as he put together this Messiah under difficult and complicated circumstances.  He was conducting choral rehearsals practically until the performance began.  Many singers in the Great Auditorium Choir were quite familiar with the work, having their scores all marked up like ancient sheet music from prior performances, but others came through despite not being so familiar with the difficult score.   The Choir was wonderful in their white uniforms.

All the participants were brilliant including the soloists and the marvelous MidAtlantic Symphony Orchestra. The instrumentation was interesting as there were hardly any brass except two trumpets  (one soloist and one with a long horn—anybody know about that?)   The trumpet soloist JoAnn Lamolino was fabulous for her part late in the piece.; her tone was gorgeous.  And there were several woodwinds: two oboes and one bassoon; no mention of a flute, and I didn’t see one.

I’m always interested in  the orchestra, and I couldn’t help but notice two of the main first chairs were occupied by women:   the concertmaster—-Susan Heerema)–violinist,  and the  principal cellist  Molly Aronson.   In fact, about half of the ensemble were women.

There were no tubas or euphoniums, but the bass line was thrilling as provided by two standup bass players.  One timpanist came on board in the second half of the concert.

And of course, Gordon Turk, on the Hope-Jones organ, was spectacular throughout the entire piece.  What an amazing instrument that is, especially in his hands  (and feet.)

The soloists were superb.  There was Mister Incredible–Ronald Naldi (tenor), Monica Ziglar whose soprano voice was just lovely,  Emily Geller with her mesmerizing low pitched  mezzo voice, and the baritone-bass Justin Beck who did the heavy lifting with those low notes.

And lets not forget the Great Auditorium with its world famous acoustics.  There was only one interruption, and that is when two brief fireworks displays happened due to a big rock and roll event at the Stone Pony–but Jason Tramm just kept going, even though his orchestra did not contain a single shrieking, ear busting electric guitar.   While the Handel continued, we could all see the display through the open doors.   Also we could hear a helicopter flying low overhead–probably doing aerial videos, but not of the GA.

And a round of applause for the Camp Meeting Association for providing such concerts.  Amazingly, this one was free—an unbelievable offering for the 150th anniversary of Ocean Grove. Where in America could one find an event like this, especially in a small town like ours?

After a standing ovation, the crowd filed out, crossing the street to the Pavilion where the Auxiliary offered soft drinks and cookies.  Hooray for them, providing a sugary reward to the audience which  just sat through the Messiah. 

And it’s good Blogfinger is ending this review, because we have emptied our bag of adjectives.

 

 


Refreshments in the Auditorium Pavilion. Blogfinger photo. Click to enlarge.

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Ocean Grove Memorial Day Weekend. 5/27/17 Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net.  2017 Re-post.

It was cool and breezy during the Atlantic Wind Ensemble concert on Saturday night, May 27, 2017–Memorial Day weekend in Ocean Grove, NJ.

The band entertained a large crowd with a fine selection of music including Haydn, South Pacific, Dixieland, James Bond and God Bless America among others.

Outside, tent city was largely uninhabited, but one dwelling was displaying an American flag, and in the waning soft light of the early evening, with the doors of the Great Auditorium open, you could see that flag floating in the breeze. Its colors seemed dreamy–not bright like the usual red, white and blue display.  In between band selections, I walked across the GA and outside to get this photograph.  No one was around except for some ushers, but the flag seemed just right for Memorial Day and all it stands for.

Memorial Day concert. Great Auditorium. 5/27/17. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Click to enlarge.

The first number on the program after the Star Spangled Banner was a Spanish piece called “Amparito Roca.”  Here it is as performed by the University of Illinois Symphonic Band.

The announcer said it was famous as a vehicle for dancing the Paso Doble, a dramatic and romantic dance from Spain, which I saw performed many years ago by a professional dance team at the Hotel Nemerson in South Fallsburg, NY.  But the Atlantic Wind performance for this piece sounded like march music.  So, naturally, I went home and Googled it.  And, sure enough, it is both: march and dance music for the Paso Doble.

So here are Susanna Reid and Kevin on You Tube doing that dance to the music of “Los Toreadors” (Bizet from Carmen)

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Submitted by Rich Amole., Blogfinger staff. Postcard is from August, 3, 1906.   The Auditorium was built in 1894, so it was 12 years old when this postcard was sent.   CLICK TO ENLARGE.

Rich Amole notes the horse and buggy in front.   The white structure seems to be a fountain or a Victorian planter. The big cross is missing.

You can see the adjacent tents on the right, still present. It is not referred to here as the “Great Auditorium,” only the “Auditorium”  (which is often still true today.)

Robin Lamont from the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the 1971 off-Broadway show Godspell.  This folk rock song, “Day by Day,”  by composer Stephen Schwartz was the 3rd song in the show:

 

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Cross at the light. Ocean Grove, June, 2019. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Click to enlarge.

 

Broadway cast of Finian’s Rainbow.

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Paul Goldfinger photograph. © 2013  Click to enlarge.

Paul Goldfinger photograph. © 2013  Click to enlarge.  Re-posted from 2013.

THE TWO OF US:

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Ocean Grove, New Jersey 2019. © Google.  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice.  She was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak English.”

This is by Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

You can click on the map above  (dated 2019)  to see a few interesting items:

a.  Since when are research maps marred by advertisements?  Notice the Asbury Beer Hall and the Arts Center in Ocean Grove.  Regarding the latter, where the Heck Avenue is the Great Auditorium?

b.  Wesley Lake is not wearing its latest official name as a “retention detention basin.”

c. The streets along the Lake, OG side, have no names.  What happened to Lake Avenue, that infamous walkway/official street? How about Main Avenue?

d. The North End Redevelopment Area seems to be carved out and made part of Asbury.

e. What about the extension of Ocean Grove into the Ocean?  Does that eastern boundary  presume to say something about ownership of the Ocean?  Or what?  Jack??

BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB   “Veinte Anos”   Are we speaking the same language in this town?

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Paul Goldfinger ©. August, 2018.   Click to enlarge.

 

ENIGMA VARIATIONS   ELGAR  LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA:

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Paul Goldfinger ©. 2012. Ushers March in the Great Auditorium during Choir Festival.

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