Though it may seem the school year is only just about to start, current and former students of Seton Hall’s music program have been busy finalizing a wonderful summer of activities under the direction of Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities, Jason Tramm.
This summer, Professor Tramm and his students from the College of Communication and the Arts expanded their sights beyond New Jersey, to bring their talents overseas to the ancient city of Narni, Italy.
Students and alumni on the trip include incoming freshman Quinton Tramm, rising junior Tia Robbins, Devin McGuire ’17, Elise Pfail ’16, and Nicholas D’Ambrosio ’84.
Tramm made his Italian conducting debut with five performances at the 2017 Narnia Festival -- including two newly staged productions of operas by famed composer Puccini, and directed by Italian actress Maria Rosaria Omaggi.
Tia Robbins, a vocal performance major, made her Italian debut in Puccini’s tragedy Suor Angelica as a member of the ensemble of nuns.
The Narnia Festival, which just completed its fifth year, presents music, dance and theater performances with students, teachers and artists from across the globe.
“The second we get together and start making art, the things that divide us just fade away,” Professor Tramm said. “That’s what reminds me why I make music – we all make one common voice.”
While in Italy, Tramm and his ensemble experienced much of what the historic Italian city had to offer, which notably included excursions to the main plaza, visiting the cultural centers and a performance of religious pieces by candlelight in an ancient cathedral.
“I made friendships, connections, and love for opera that will last a lifetime.” Robbins said. “It was a wonderful opportunity.”
Back in New Jersey, Professor Tramm will conduct his second production of Brundibár, an opera which traces its roots to the Holocaust. Written by Jewish Czech composer, Hans Krasa, the piece was written for (and performed by) the children of the Prague ghetto—many of whom would later perish in the death camps. Known to have been performed 55 times during the Holocaust, the opera tells the story of children banding together to sing away evil.
The production of Brundibár is directed by the Los Angeles Opera’s Eli Villanueva. It will be performed by the Count Basie Theatre’s youth cast, aged 12-17 and will honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust who performed this piece before. Seton Hall’s President Emeritus of the Sister Rose Thering Fund, Luna Kauffman, is also being honored.
Brundibár, and an accompanying piece which tells the story of the opera’s original cast, Friedl, will be presented at the The Jay and Linda Grunin Center at Ocean County College on August 20th at 2 p.m. Tickets are available here.
To see more from Professor Tramm and his students before the end of summer, look no further than the 63rd Annual Choir Festival at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove as it presents this year’s grand finale: The Sacred Masterworks Concert.
This concert will feature Camille Saint Saens' Christmas Oratorio and Theodore Dubois' "Seven Last Works of Christ. The evening’s music will be performed by the Great Auditorium Choir, accompanied by the Adelphi Ensemble and Dr. Gordon Turk on the Great Auditorium Hope Jones Pipe Organ on Sunday August 27 at 7 p.m.
This is Professor Tramm’s seventh year as music director and principal conductor of the festival; with free concerts every summer weekend, the festival has long been a staple of sacred music enthusiasts.
Prayer for Peace
The end of summer will lead Tramm and his students to the second installment of the Prayer for Peace. Produced as a joint venture by Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy and International Relations, the College of Communication and the Arts and the MidAtlantic Opera Orchestra, the concert will take to the stage on October 27, 2017 at NJPAC.
For a chance to join with the various community music ensembles at Seton Hall, students, alumni and community members may contact Professor Jason Tramm at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org for information about auditions for upcoming programs.
“It’s always a delight when we can include talented members of the community to come together for a great cause and such an important event,” Tramm said. “Anyone who loves to sing classical music or loves to perform, this is an amazing opportunity for even more people to join us at NJPAC.”
Categories: Arts and Culture