Wharton Music Center kicks-off Library Concert Series with The Cockeyed Optimist: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein

J B Peterson and L BuesserNEW PROVIDENCE — Wharton Music Center kicks off its Library Concert Series on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. at New Providence Memorial Library located at 377 Elkwood Ave. in New Providence. Jamie Baer Peterson, soprano, and Lois Buesser, piano, present Cockeyed Optimist: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein. The concert is free and open to the public.

Peterson, a New Providence resident, sings a program that celebrates the life of Oscar Hammerstein and includes music from his collaborations with Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, Rudolf Friml, and Sigmund Romberg.

Peterson, a native of Minnesota was educated at the Eastman School of Music and began her opera career as an apprentice with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her career as an opera singer lead her throughout the United States, Canada, and France singing leading roles with L’Opera de Nice, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, and Minnesota Opera among others.

She also sang as a soloist with the symphonies of Dallas, Atlanta, Hartford, Omaha, Princeton, and Westfield. Peterson has also sung in two national broadcasts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She teaches voice at Monmouth University and at Wharton Music Center.

Buesser has performed as piano soloist, accompanist, singer, and club-band keyboardist. She has sung in chamber choruses, entertained troops with the USO\DOD in Europe and Asia, and has been the music director for area theaters and schools.

Buesser bi-annually performs “Lois Buesser’s Musical Extravaganza” at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Basking Ridge where she is the organist. She also directs the Humdingers, a women’s touring troupe in the Montclair area and is the music director at Ridge Light Opera. Originally from Oklahoma, Buesser lives in Boonton.

Wharton Music Center, located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights, provides music, theatre, and dance instruction, educational programs, and performances for children, teens, and adults.