Guest conducting April 23rd, 2018

John Burkhalter, recorders, studied the performance of early music at the New
England Conservatory of Music in Boston under Daniel Pinkham and the
performance of Baroque music at Harvard under the noted Dutch recorder virtuoso,
scholar and conductor, Frans Bruggen. In addition, he received instruction from the
distinguished Swiss Baroque oboist and recorder virtuoso Michel Piguet. Mr.
Burkhalter, co-artistic director (along with Donovan Klotzbeacher) of the
Practitioners of Musick specializing in music of the late Colonial and Early Federal
periods in America, also performs with Le Triomphe de l’amour, Brandywine
Baroque, the Princeton University early music group Musica Alta and Les Agréments
de musique, co-founded with the harpsichordist Minju Lee. A board member of the
Princeton Recorder Society, an affiliate chapter of the American Recorder Society, he
also serves on the board of the Guild for Early Music, a consortium of 24 early music
ensembles in the central New Jersey and east central Pennsylvania areas including
Philadelphia. He regularly performs in various regional English country dance bands
in association, most notably, with the Germantown Colonial Assembly of
Philadelphia and New York City’s 92 nd Street Y.

Guest conducting Jan. 22, 2018

Robert Butts serves as Music Director and Conductor with The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, New York Classical Music Society, Eastern Opera Company, and In Mid Air Productions. He teaches and lectures at Drew University, Montclair State University, The College of Saint Elizabeth, and The New Jersey Council For the Humanities. He has done pre-concert talks for NJPAC, The New Jersey Symphony, The New Jersey State Opera and Elderhostel. With BONJ, he has developed the broadcast video series Concerts and Conversations. He is a recipient of the Arts Council of the Morris Area Arts Professional of the Year and has been a finalist for the 2010 and 2011 American Prize for Orchestral Conducting, the 2011 and 2012 American Prize for Opera Conducting, and the 2011 Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award. In 2015, he was a finalist for opera/orchestra conductor and for orchestra/theater composition. He was awarded the 2011 American Prize Citation for outstanding educational and outreach work in music. On March 7, 2015, Maestro Butts made his debut in Italy conducting Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona at Teatro San Domenico in Crema. He was named a 2015 American Prize Honored Artist.   He was also recently featured in interviews on WQXR, Comcast Newsmakers,and New Jersey Monthly. Dr. Butts is New Jersey’s most wide-ranging conductor, exploring the operatic as well as the orchestral worlds. He is the only conductor to have conducted three Wagner Ring Operas (Die Walküre, Das Rheingold, Siegfried) in New Jersey. He is the only conductor to have led three Handel operas (Acis and Galatea, Semele, Giulio Cesare) in New Jersey. He has conducted premieres of over a dozen works for large and small ensemble. With BONJ, he has edited and led modern day first performances of works by composers such as Franz Krommer and Ditters von Dittersdorf. Dr. Butts edited Alessandro Scarlatti’s 1693 oratorio La Giuditta, from a manuscript discovered in the archives of the National Park Service, Morristown, New Jersey. With BONJ, Maestro Butts led the first modern day performances of this masterpiece in concerts in New York City and in Morristown. Dr. Butts has appeared with orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the Berlin Sinfonietta in Berlin, Germany; the Congress Orchestra in St Petersburg, Russia; Opera Constanta in Romania; Bohuslav Martinu Orchestra in Czech Republic; and other ensembles across Eastern Europe. Dr. Butts has led The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey in three special appearances at the Boston Early Music  Festival, conducting music he edited by Scarlatti, Handel, Graun, and Pachelbel. Dr. Butts has presented papers at conferences of the American Musicological Society, The Sonneck Society, The Conference on American Country Music, and The Handel Symposium. His articles and reviews have appeared in Journal for American Folklore, Sonneck Society Journal, Classical New Jersey Journal, Opera News, Modern Music, Early Music Newsletter, and Continuo Magazine. As a composer, Dr. Butts has created popular works for orchestra, voice and chamber ensembles. His opera The Tell-Tale Heart was premiered with In Mid Air Productions in October 2010. His adaptation of Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado was first performed March 2014 at NJIT. Collaborating with award-winning New Jersey Playwright Jewel Seehaus-Fisher, he has composed music for Gesualdo: A Music Drama, A Night in the Wilde Wild West and Mark Twain and the General, which was given its first orchestral performance at NJIT, Newark. In January 2013, Dr. Butts was one of five invited composers for the 24 Hour Opera Project with Atlanta Opera. Early Morning Suite, his work for solo classical guitar was premiered in London in September 2015.

Guest conducting on October 23rd, 2017

Rainer Beckmann, a native of Germany, performs with a large variety of early music ensembles in the Philadelphia Tri-State Area. He is a founding member of La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble (www.bernardinia.org) and a member of Vox Renaissance Consort. As featured soloist and guest musician, he has appeared with Melomanie, Philadelphia Bach Collegium, Brandywine Baroque, Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, Gabriel Chamber Ensemble, Camerata Ama Deus, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, West Jersey Chamber Music Society, Curtis Opera, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Orchestra, and Piffaro – The Renaissance Band. Before moving to the United States, he performed in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy, Israel, and Brazil. Rainer is the music director of the Philadelphia Recorder Society(www.philadelphiarecordersociety.org) and a graduate of the Utrecht School of the Arts, Netherlands, where he studied recorder with Heiko ter Schegget, Baldrick Deerenberg, and Marion Verbruggen.

Guest conducting on March 26th, 2018

Lewis R. Baratz is a recorder player, harpsichordist, and music
historian.  He has performed with Abendmusik, Bethlehem Baroque,
Biber Baroque, Brandywine Baroque, The Queens Consort, Voices
Chorale, Vox Ama Deus, Voyces Ensemble, and other organizations,
and is artistic director of the period instrument ensemble La Fiocco.  In
addition to performing, Lewis authored over 20 articles on a wide
range of musicological topics, including 15th-century dance music,
17th-century Roman keyboard music, biographical, archival, and
manuscript studies, basso continuo, the choirboys of the Brussels
Collegiate Church of SS Michael and Gudula, ca. 1550 to 1793, and
numerous entries in The New Grove Dictionary of Music.  He was a
Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the Belgian American Educational
Foundation in musicology.  Lewis taught music history and theory at
Mercer County Community College and Seton Hall University, and is
currently interim director of the Marquis Consort early music
ensemble of Lafayette College and has coached students at West
Chester University and Mansfield University. He served on the Board
of Early Music America and the Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks
County. His syndicated radio show Well-Tempered Baroque airs on
Fridays at 11 PM on The Classical Network, and as webcasts at
WWFM.org.

Celebrating Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Sephardic Music

March 18, 2017, at 8:00 P.M. we are celebrating our 30th anniversary with a concert of Hits and Highlights of 7 Centuries:  Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Sephardic Music, and the world premiere of a Concerto Grosso by John Franek, at the United Methodist Church, 323 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ.

We are envisioning the performance of this music as part of a program in March, which the American Recorder Society (ARS) designates Play-the-Recorder Month, and which Early Music America (EMA) designates Early Music Month.  The Society is participating in the world-wide effort to enhance public awareness of the variety and beauty of the sounds of the recorder and early music.

Saturday, March 18, 2017, the American Recorder Society has designated Recorder Day.  It is the day they have chosen for recorder groups around the world to perform recorders in a great variety of public spaces and venues. We plan to perform their especially commissioned piece on that day as part of this concert.

If you are interested in performing with us in the program of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Sephardic Music, and two especially commissioned pieces, please know that the Highland Park Recorder Ensemble rehearses Sundays from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. at the home of Donna Messer, 431 Lincoln Ave., Highland Park, NJ 08904. Please know that you are welcome to come and try this out.

We are looking for players of baroque strings, violin, viola, and bass viol, for the commissioned concerto grosso, and they may play in other parts of the program. If you play any of these or if you know someone who might like this opportunity to rehearse regularly and perform, please share this information with them and invite them to contact me.

View this event on the event details page

Highland Park Recorder Society welcomes old and new players, amateurs and professionals to playing sessions and performance opportunities in its 30th season.

Recorder players of all levels are invited to the Highland Park Recorder Society’s first monthly recorder playing session on Monday, January 23, 2017, 7– 9 P.M. to be conducted by Deborah Booth, noted and esteemed performer on modern and historical flutes and recorders.

Please come at 6:30 with your instruments and music stand to set up in the Parlor Room of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, located at 19 South Second Avenue, Highland Park, NJ. Free parking is in back of the church via Magnolia Street.  ADA handicapped accessible. After January, future sessions will continue to be conducted by guest conductors the first Monday of each month:

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The Highland Park Recorder Society has been awarded a grant for 2017 with funding from Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant provided by New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State.

The grant will help support its series of events welcoming guest conductors to conduct playing sessions.

Donna Messer, HPRS President, will collaborate with over 200 students and their music teachers during Music in Our Schools Month, to perform a concert with 2nd and 3rd grade students performing music from around the world on recorders, and their music teachers, performing music of Bach and Purcell, with soprano voice, violins and basso continuo.

March 22, 2017, 1:00 P.M., Terrence G. Reilly School No. 7, Elizabeth, NJ.

The Highland Park Recorder Society will hold monthly playing sessions with noted guest conductors.
January 23, 2017: Deborah Booth (Click here for bio)
February 6, 2017: Maestro Robert Butts (Click here for bio)
March 6, 2017
April 3, 2017
May 8, 2017
June 5, 2017