John V. Baratta is a native of Lodi, New Jersey and presently resides in Wantage, New Jersey. After graduating from high school, 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 the resident organist and director of music for the Grace Evangelical Church in River Edge, New Jersey. Mr. Baratta is the house organist for the historic Newton Theatre located in Newton New Jersey. Some of his other activities include chairmen of education for the North Jersey Chapter of The American Guild of Organists and also serves 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 digital instrument this Student Outreach Program includes going to schools K-12 to present the students with a hands on demonstration and workshop seminar of the organ, its history and music literature.
He 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 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 which is located in Morrow, Georgia. One of the highlights of Johnís recital series includes performances at Cathedral of Saint Patrick 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 in and around the Bergen county and Sussex county areas.
This past year he has written and published an instructional music method series for the young music students at the middle school level. Future plans include the further study of quality organ and piano literature and to present that music to the public as often as possible.