Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove Musical Event’ Category

Ronald Naldi about to leave for a concert in Ocean Grove. 2015. Paul Goldfinger portrait.

Ronald Naldi about to leave his tent  for a concert in Ocean Grove. 2015. Paul Goldfinger portrait.

We first posted this shot of the great tenor Ronald Naldi one year ago.  Here is a link which tells about this photo and offers a recording of Ron performing on one of his albums of Italian music.  But meanwhile,  here are the Chiffons offering a tribute of their own.



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Cello soloist in the OG Great Auditorium. Photo by Paul Goldfinger

Cello soloist in the OG Great Auditorium. Photograph by Paul Goldfinger. 2017.   Click to enlarge.


* Quote from Radar O’Reilly in the TV series “M.A.S.H.”




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Embury Avenue block party. Blogfinger photo

Embury Avenue block party. Paul Goldfinger. photo. 2013. Ocean Grove, NJ

Saturday, September 15, 2013.

This year, the Embury Avenue block party once again featured a series of big bands and ensembles performing in driveways and porches while the neighbors chowed down in the street.

This is an impressive event, with high quality jazz, dixieland and big band music.  It’s a shame that this could not have been shared with the whole town somehow.  Anyhow, it was a wonderful happening in the Grove: unique and marvelous.  Congratulations  to the organizers.  —-Paul Goldfinger,  Editor Blogfinger.net


BELOW IS WALT TORIE’S DIXIELAND BAND playing on Gail Shaffer’s porch.  Video by Eileen Goldfinger


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Main Avenue, Ocean Grove. September 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Street musician.  Main Avenue, Ocean Grove. September 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Re-posted from September, 2015.



BLOSSOM DEARIE  “It Might as well be Spring”  (performed in French)


“I’m as busy as a spider spinning daydreams
I’m as giddy as a baby on a swing
I haven’t seen a crocus or a rosebud
Or a robin on the wing”


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Perry Young. Sept. 4, 2016. Ocean Grove near the boardwalk. Paul Goldfinger photo. . ©

Perry Young. Sept. 4, 2016. Labor Day weekend.    Ocean Grove near the boardwalk. Paul Goldfinger photo.  ©


Paul Goldfinger,  Editor Blogfinger.net


I struck up a conversation with Perry when I spotted his Planotones shirt. We chatted near the large American flag.   Perry is from Milton,  New Hampshire.  Originally he was from Queens, NY, but he left there in 2003.

Perry was at the World Trade Center on 9-11, and in his words, “I was fortunate to escape the falling north tower.”   Perry was a member of the Painters Union.

Perry Young has been visiting Ocean Grove for nearly 40 years.  He says that it is a very special place for him,  and he  is drawn to it and loves to come here each summer. His favorite hotel is the Shawmont. He knows a lot about the town and this area.

Perry and his daughter Christine are Blogfinger fans. In a subsequent  email he said, “I along with my daughter Christine will always be following Blogfinger.net.  I enjoyed looking at all the photos you have posted on your website.  I also thought your history in the medical field was awesome.   Your friend, Perry.”

We became fast friends, and Perry asked me to pose for a picture, but I agreed only after he said I could take his picture in the Planotone shirt. We sent a copy of the photo to Christine, and she was thrilled.

We talked about Kenny and his marvelous falsetto and close harmonies with his group.  I should have asked Perry to do the Planotone Walk.  Maybe next time we could find two porkpie hats and some shades to do a video.

We agreed that one of Kenny’s most marvelous songs was “Gloria”—–a beautiful and sad love song (scroll down to next post) that all the fans of that era know to be the gold standard for excellence from that musical genre.

Perry confided that his favorite Planotone song is “Oceans of Time.”  I never heard that song before, but you can appreciate why Perry favors it:

Hopefully we will see Perry back again in the near future.


NOTE:  This past June, 2022,  Perry returned once again to the Grove.   As usual he stayed at the Shawmont.   Perry is a creature of habit as you can see from his history of returning here every year.

After the June visit he sent me a note:  “For my last night I went to Brando’s for linguine Sinatra.   Since I went home I went to the supermarket  and bought all the ingredients for that dish: scallops, shrimps, clams, Greek olives, and capers.  That for dinner tonight.

 Find enclosed tickets from 2009 when I saw Kenny Vance and the Planotones in the Doo Wop show in the GA.  I will miss those shows.”

All the best,  Perry.


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Some of my neighbors way back in the GA where original wooden seats are located and where the view is grand. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Some of my neighbors way back in the GA where original wooden seats are located and where the view is grand. Paul Goldfinger photo ©


By Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor, Blogfinger.net   Re-post on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022.


If you have never witnessed an Ocean Grove choir festival, it is an experience. I attended last night, but it was not a first for me. A large crowd was there to hear the huge massed choir  of about 1000 voices from 125  different churches, professional soloists, the Hope-Jones organ aired out from top to bottom, a number of skilled conductors, a brass ensemble, and a varied program consisting of Christian music. The only composer I recognized was Franz Josef Haydn who wrote the opening anthem, “The Heavens are Telling.”

But even if you don’t know this music and even if you are not Christian, this musical event is astonishing to see.

The Choir Festival is not a typical concert, because, as a number of speakers explained, this program is about prayer through music. As it says in Psalm 95:1 “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord.”  The program, in fact, stresses the words rather than the music. On the cover it says, “Wonderful Words of Life.”

Among the words offered last night was a prayer by the Camp Meeting Association COO JP Gradone who reminded us that living in the northeast was a challenge for those who promote religious principles to guide our lives. He hoped that our country could reconnect with the “values of America’s founders.”

But you can, as I did, attend to enjoy a marvelous musical event, while appreciating its religious significance. I like to sit way in the back, where the moms with infants locate along with others who enjoy the broad expanse of the unique sound and  visuals.

The soloists, with their trained voices, project out and can be clearly heard all the way in the back. They included Ronald Naldi, Monica Zigler, Martha Bartz, and Justin Beck. Plus, of course, there are the Director of Music Dr. Jason C Tramm  and our own Dr. Gordon Turk presiding over those 11,000 pipes.

Below is a sample of what the Choir Festival sounds like.   It is from “How Shall a King Come?” conducted by Dr. Cindy Bell and with soloists Monica Ziglar and Ronald Naldi.


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Jason Tramm, music director for the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Jason Tramm, Director of Music Ministries for the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. 2014.  By Paul Goldfinger ©


Being a conductor, Maestro Tramm often has his back to the audience so here he is in a rare frontal view.  This image was obtained at the September 1, 2014 annual Camp Meeting  Association Labor Day public summary* of the season’s successes.

Jason Tramm  is a young man who is considered a rising star in the music world.   In Ocean Grove he manages an ambitious program of choral, orchestral and oratorial works.  He believes that adding music to inspirational words creates a powerful combination, so he plans even more great choral works in the Great Auditorium next season.

But Maestro Tramm, like all great musicians, appreciates music that crosses over the genre divides.

To hear Itzhak Perlman play klezmer  or Dick Hyman crossing over from classical to jazz, or, as in this case, the great late operatic soprano Eileen Farrell performing pop music shows how that works.

And so it is with Jason Tramm who brings us all sorts of music in the Grove.   Hopefully he will be able to cross those divides regularly in the Great Auditorium so that a variety of audiences can enjoy his versatility.


EILEEN FARRELL:    What music can we post to go with Jason’s photo?  Putting up an opera aria is too easy.

Here is Eileen Farrell   with “The More I  See You” by Harry Warren  and Mack Gordon.



* 2022:    Note that the CMA did not have their public meeting this past Labor Day. We can speculate on that change, but not now.

And, we noted above that Jason Tramm is a strong believer in enhancing words with music.  We feel the same way on Blogfinger, so most of our posts are enhanced with music, just as music always enhances movies.

In our case, the coupling of music with still photography,  poetry and even opinion pieces is still an original idea of ours, and we will continue.

At one point in Blogfinger history, one of our editors complained that we were posting too much music, but I believe that music is something that we humans naturally appreciate, somewhere in our brains, so we will keep it up, and many of you have told us that you love the music.


Editor: Paul Goldfinger, MD.   Just returned from Fla-La-land, and glad to be back.

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Great Auditorium. Music of the Spirit concert. August 26, 2018. Paul Goldfinger photograph ©  Click to enlarge.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net   Crank up the volume for the video below.


The video below is from the final part of this 6 part composition—Songs of Faith.   It is called “Where Moses Stood.” This section includes choir, organ, brass and percussion.  The words from the last two stanzas are:

“Oh, Mary, oh Mary, oh Mary. No! No! No! No! No! No!

“Don’t you weep and don’t you mourn.

“If I could, I surely would stand on the rock where Moses stood.

“Pharaoh’s army got drownded, oh, Mary, don’t you weep, don’t you mourn.”




August 26, 2018.  Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  Concert Review:


The Songs of Faith is like an exciting 6 chapter short-story book that unfolds with beauty, grace, emotions, unexpected plot twists, and wonderful melodies.  Each part captures your mind  in a way that as each one draws to a close, you wish it would stay a bit longer but you also anticipate the next surprise.

Composer Gwyneth Walker borrows from time-worn hymns and gospel tunes while punctuating them with lively and modern hooks and tempos.

It is a great privilege for the audience last night that this piece was performed in the Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove, and the OG Camp Meeting Association deserves high praise for their willingness to sponsor such an original commission, in association with the Summit Music Festival in Summit, New Jersey.  And to present this production at no cost is remarkable indeed.

The presentation included the 120 voice OG Choir, the MidAtlantic Brass Ensemble with percussion, Gordon Turk on the Hope-Jones Organ, and soloists including Monica Ziglar (soprano) Katherine Pracht (Mezzo-Soprano,) Justin Beck (Baritone Soloist) and Ronald Naldi  (Tenor Soloist.)

Jason Tramm conducting.

They were all marvelous, and JoAnnn Lamolino (trumpet soloist in Part 4) was so good with her rendition of “Were You There” performed with Gordon Turk that she received an expansive round of applause–well worth the acclaim.

After the concert, I bumped into soloists Ronald Naldi and Justin Beck walking briskly outside, on the dark tent side of the Auditorium.  Beck was already in shorts, while Naldi had loosened his tie.  They were chatting amiably and smiling as they downed some well-earned soft drinks.

As they breezed by I  told them that their concert was terrific, but their smiles and pace indicated that they knew the event was a success—and so it was.

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

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Small town America---Ocean Grove, New Jersey 2013. Independence Day and proud of it. Click left to enlarge Blogfinger photo ©

Small town America—Ocean Grove, New Jersey 2013. Independence Day and proud of it. Click left to enlarge Blogfinger photo ©

Paul Goldfinger photographs:  Blogfinger.net

Click on the music and then click on any one photo and then follow the arrows.   All photos by Paul Goldfinger ©.  Reproduce with permission only.

These are scenes from the famous Ocean Grove Independence Day Parade sponsored by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. The Grand Marshalls were the Calvary Chapel organization honored for their selfless volunteer effort in town after the super-storm Sandy hit on October 29, 2012.


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