A favorite of Music,Gettysburg! audiences, Wayne Hill and Friends will perform the third in a series of songs from the American Song Book on Sunday May 19th at 4:00 pm. This year’s concert features anew friend, Dr. Susan Hochmiller, soprano from the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College. Others in the program are Michael Matsinko providing piano accompaniment, Gerald Christianson providing narration about the songs and their writers, Buzz Jones on bass, Tom Hamm on percussion, and of course, Wayne Hill, baritone. The program will include songs of Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, and Oscar Hammerstein II. The concert will take place at the United Lutheran Seminary Chapel at 147 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg, and is free and open to the public.
Dr.Susan Hochmiller, soprano, is an accomplished performer of chamber music, art song,oratorio, opera, musical theater, and jazz. An active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing since 2007, she currently serves as President of the Allegheny Mountain Chapter. Dr. Hochmiller is the Coordinator of Vocal Studies and Director of Opera Workshop at the Sunderman Conservatoryof Music at Gettysburg College, and directs Orvieto Musica’s Art of Song summer vocal chamber music festival in Orvieto, Italy. She is the author of So You Want To Sing Chamber Music published by Rowman & Littlefield (2019).
Michael Matsinko, Professor Emeritus of Music at Gettysburg College, is familiar to audiences in south central Pennsylvania as soloist and accompanist.Mr. Matsinko completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at West Chester University, where he studied with Benjamin Whitten and Richard Veleta. While serving on the faculty at Gettysburg College, Mr. Matsinko taught piano, music history, directed choral ensembles, and chaired the Department of Music.
Gerald Christianson taught early and medieval church history a tGettysburg Lutheran Seminary for forty-three years. He founded and for several years chaired Music, Gettysburg! and participates annually in Music, Gettysburg! On Tour with Mr. Hill and Mr. Matsinko. He co-hosts “The Seminary Explores,”podcast on the Seminary website and was an original member of the Design Committee for the Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum.
John William “Buzz” Jones, retired Professor of Music in the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College, served as department chair,conservatory director, and director of bands and taught theory and jazz history, directed the college jazz ensemble for twenty-six years and took the group on six summer tours of Europe with appearances at the Montreux, North Sea, Istanbul, Umbria, and Vienne Jazz Festivals. He founded the Buzz Jones Big Band in 1979, a sixteen member ensemble that is recognized as one of the very best of its genre in the Mid-Atlantic States. As a composer, his commissioned works for a broad variety of ensembles have been performed regionally and received enthusiastically by audiences of all ages.
Tom Hamm has been playing and teaching music for over 40 years.He has been a member of the Buzz Jones Big Band for over 30 years playing both the drum set and Latin percussion.In his long career, he has backed performers Kathy Lee Gifford, Frankie Laine and Julius Larossa. Tom has performed with jazz artists John Pizarelli, Steve Turre, Chris Vadala, Dave Samuels, Paquito D’Rivera, Marvin Stamm and ‘Blue Lou’ Marini, and has performed at the North Sea and Montreaux jazz festivals. His classical credits include the York and Harrisburg Symphonies, Bel Voce and the Gettysburg Festival Orchestra.Tom has also performed at the Totem Pole Playhouse and was the percussionist for the original musical Battlecry.
Wayne Hill, one of the Gettysburg area’s most talented and versatile voices, was born in Gettysburg and graduated from Susquehanna University with a B.A. in Economics in 1970. His lifetime avocation also started at Susquehanna with the study of vocal music.During the 1970’s he had the lead in three musicals at York Little Theater, Man of La Mancha, South Pacific and Sound of Music; then during the 1980’s and early 90’s he had the baritone lead in ten different productions with the Harrisburg Opera Company. He has sung in the St. James Lutheran Church Adult Choir for forty years, was the professional soloist at Brown Memorial Church in Baltimore, and appears in numerous concerts for Music, Gettysburg! He sings in many Civil War remembrance events and community services in Gettysburg, and regularly performs with small ensembles called Wayne Hill and Friends which travel throughout central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland presenting Civil War and Gospel concerts. Most recently, Hill appeared with the Harrisburg Symphony in a concert version of Rigoletto where he sang the part of Monterone and again with the symphony in Puccini’s La Boheme singing the role of Schaunard. In the summer of 1998 he toured England and Scotland with a solo program sponsored by Music, Gettysburg! The next summer he traveled to Wales with an ensemble directed by composer John William“Buzz” Jones and also participated in the premier performance of Life is Looking Up written by Judge Oscar Spicer and Bruce Van Dyke. For decades,Hill served as principal of Gettysburg Construction Company.