Organist: John Baratta
John Baratta is a native of Lodi, N.J., and presently resides in
Wantage. John attended Jersey City State College where he studied piano
and organ, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music
education. He has recently retired from teaching music in the public
school system for thirty years. John is currently the resident organist
and director of music for Grace Evangelical Church in River Edge. He
also served as the house organist for the historic Newton Theatre in
Newton, N.J. In addition, he serves as Chairman of Education for the
North Jersey Chapter of The American Guild of Organists and on the
Education Committee for the New York Theatre Organ Society. During the
past several years John has put together an educational student
outreach program which is sponsored by the New York Theatre Organ
Society, Garden State Theatre Organ Society and North Jersey American
Guild of Organists. With the use of a traveling Allen digital
instrument equipped with both Theatre and Church voices, this Student
Outreach Program includes going to K-12 schools to present the students
a hands on demonstration and workshop about the organ, its history and
John is the recipient of the Music Talent Award given by the Garden State Arts Center, and also the Music Achievement Award given by the Lodi, N.J. Rotary. During his tenure as a band director in the public schools he was awarded the honor of conducting the New Jersey Region I Middle School Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble.
During the last several years John has played the Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ at Spivey Hall in Morrow, Georgia. One of the highlights of John’s recital series included performances at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, and on the new five manual Allen Organ at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia. Many performances have been given at local churches and Theatre venues in and around the Bergen and Sussex County areas.
Recently, John has written and published an instructional music method series for young music students at the middle school level. He is currently giving organ lessons to a number of students at the FDR high school, Hyde Park, NY, home of an Allen 323Q Digital / Classical Organ. Future plans include the further study of quality organ and piano literature, and presentation of that music to the public as often as possible.