John G. Bate, Artistic Musical Director
John has directed the Masterworks Choir and been Musical Director/Organist at St Peter’s Methodist Church in Ocean City, NJ for over 35 years. From 1972 through 1987, John was Choirmaster and Organist at Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack, NY.
He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, studying organ and conducting under the artistic icons Eugene Roan and Joseph Flummerfelt. John
has also directed the Eighth Street Players, a youth-led theatre group performing in the Ocean City area.
He enjoys performing concerts from time to time at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on “the world’s largest musical Instrument”!
John resides in Atlantic City with his husband, Chris.
Scott J Breiner, Organist/Accompanist
Scott has accompanied Masterworks Choir for over 25 years. He is Director of Music/organist at Grace Lutheran Church in Somers Point. At the age of 21, Scott joined Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York City and became a professional chorister, singing with the New York Choral Artists major works with the New York Philharmonic, at Carnegie Hall and “Live from Lincoln Center”.
Scott studied organ with McNeil Robinson at Mannes College of Music in Manhattan and has worked with students at Rutgers University/Newark campus and locally. He has served as guest conductor, solo pianist and solo organist with the Ocean City Pops Orchestra and is currently Dean of the Southeast Jersey chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
In 2005, Scott co-founded and became director of the Cape Shore Chorale, a chorus of about 50 volunteer singers, based in Ocean City.
He, too, can be heard playing “the world’s largest organ” at Boardwalk hall in Atlantic City, NJ.
Meet Our Soloists
Ashley holds a degree in Music Education from Rowan University. She studied vocal music for four years with Professor Karen Huffstodt and sang with the Rowan University Concert Choir. Ashley is currently the Music Teacher at Hammonton Middle School. She also offers private vocal and piano lessons. In her “free time”, she enjoys hiking and baking. Ashley and Andrew, also a Masterworks Choir soloist, are planning an October 2024 wedding. Ashley has sung with Masterworks for five years and is excited to expand her contribution as a soprano soloist.
Beth has been singing since she was a four year old! She has sung with several vocal ensembles and church choirs in Central and South Jersey, including Raritan Valley Choral Society and the Riverside Singers.
Presently, she sings with Cape Shore Chorale and St Peter’s Methodist Church choir as well as Masterworks.
When not singing, she can be found tending her gardens or working as the horticultural specialist at Lang’s Garden.
Beth is pleased to be joined by her husband, Bill, and her brother, Bob, also singers with the Masterworks Choir.
Gwen Wilkie is a music teacher at Broad Street School in Bridgeton, NJ. She teaches grades K-4 the wonders of music and adores her job! Gwen has been singing since she was 4 years old when she joined her home church choir. Ever since then, she has sung in church, school and with friends and family. She graduated Muhlenberg College with a BA in Music Composition and Theatre Performance. Besides music, she enjoys hiking, crocheting and playing board games. Gwen is honored to be a part of the Masterworks Choir in Ocean City!
Erik is a Junior at Rowan University, majoring in Vocal Music Education and Spanish. He is currently studying with Professor Lauren Athey-Janka and sings with the Rowan University Concert Choir and Rowan Vocals. He is also a member of the National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Directors Association. Erik is the current recipient of the Masterworks College Music Scholarship award for his commitment and vocal contribution to the choir.
Robert A. Snodgrass
Bob Snodgrass has been a vocal music director for the past 53 years. He spent 32 years at Woodbury High School where he took his choirs to 15 national and international concert tours. He directed the All-South Jersey Senior High Chorus three times and the New Jersey All-State Chorus in 1985. Mr Snodgrass has also been the musical and vocal coach for the Ocean City and Mainland High Schools for several years. Although “retired”, Mr. Snodgrass continues to offer voice lessons to a number of students. Over the past several years, Bob has served Masterworks as a baritone soloist.
Andrew studied History Education for four years at Rowan University, but found his love for music within the Saint Peter’s Choir. While at Rowan, he minored in Instrumental Performance, trombone and tuba, and German Language. Andrew currently teaches History in the Middle Township school system. He loves to hike and together with his future wife, they hope to hike all the National Parks.
Masterworks Choir has been welcomed by St Peter’s to rehearse and perform in their music room and sanctuary for over 35 years.
The facility can accommodate the size of the choir as well as their audiences and orchestral performers. In addition to the favorability of the acoustics in the sanctuary, the pipe organ at St. Peter’s provides the sound needed to support and accompany the choral works performed by the Choir. The organ , an Opus #9516, was built by M.P. Moller of Hagerstown, MD and installed in 1961.
In 1990, the original console was replaced by Moller. However, in 2002, the Church contracted with R.J. Brunner and Co. of Silver Spring, PA to rebuild the organ. Deterioration from years of dirt and salt air had damaged the leather components and pipes. A re-evaluation of the tonal makeup resulted in the addition of several “voices” and vast improvement in the clarity, volume and balance of sound.
At performances of choral pieces requiring orchestral enhancement beyond the organ’s “voices”, Masterworks enjoys a collaborative relationship with Bay Atlantic Symphony members, benefiting from their orchestral musical talents.
How to Find Us
St. Peter’s United Methodist Church is located in the center of downtown Ocean City, New Jersey at the corner of 8th Street and Central Avenue.
Upon entering Ocean City via Route 52 and the 9th Street Bridge, continue on 9th Street to Central Avenue and turn left. The church is at the intersection of 8th Street and Central Avenue.
Parking is available on Central Avenue in the lot next to the church. There is also a lot behind the church on Wesley Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets. Handicapped parking and elevators are accessible from the parking lot behind the church.
Get in touch
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