A Lady Drawing Crowds

The first of the four lunchtime recitals of this fall season was a full success. We had a large audience of 50 people, including a class of the Livingston School with their teachers. Livingston is no longer a middle school but started the year as a new elementary school. Consequently, the students attending our concerts are younger than in years past. Please see the accompanying pictures.

We also were blessed by the high quality performance of the musicians. I Virtuosi del Seicento is a special ensemble featuring early Baroque music. We listened to an unusual and very tall string instrument called theorbo played by Mark Johnstone. Dr. Tim Urban played several recorders, once even two at the same time. Shea Velloso accompanied everything on the harpsichord of our church. Since the harpsichord is now played so often, it held the tune beautifully. We thank our organist, Ben Berman, for this.

One of the functions of the concert series is bridge-building and supporting the integration efforts of the school system as the majority of the children is of Latino background. With this in mind, we asked the children to raise their hand if they had ever played recorder in school. Most of them had. It was a nice teaching moment, then, when Dr. Urban used the children’s familiarity with the instrument to elaborate on the historic features of the various recorders he had brought. After initial moments of shyness, the children asked many questions. But most importantly, the concert exposed them to the possibilities of the instrument when in the hands of a professional player.

About Rev. Dr. Hartmut Kramer-Mills

Hartmut Kramer-Mills, a native of Jena, Germany, began his theological education at Heidelberg University. After the Middle Exam in 1986 he received a scholarship from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He graduated from McCormick with a Master of Divinity in 1988. He graduated from Marburg University in Germany with the Ecclesiastical Exam in 1990, and received a Dr. theol. from Greifswald University, Germany, in 1997. From 1990 to 1991 he was vicar at St. Wenzel in Naumburg, Germany. He was ordained minister of word and sacrament in 1993 through the Protestant Church of the Church Province of Saxony. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant pastor in Stoessen, Goerschen, and Rathewitz, Germany. At the same time he was lecturer for Church History at Erfurt College in Germany. From 1999 to 2000 he served the Spotswood Reformed Church in New Jersey as interim pastor. Since 2000 he and his wife serve the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as co-pastors.
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