Bobolink operation hosts concert in ideal harmony
MILFORD — Bobolink Dairy and Bake House owners Jonathan and Nina White enjoy the quiet sounds of cows grazing on their farm, but holding a free concert from musician, composer and conductor David Amram in October brought a totally different sound to the farm.
The concert was free, but they sold farm-raised food and drinks that their nearby Bobolink Bake House specializes in.
Jonathan said he got to know musician-composer David Amram when he was living in New York, prior to moving to Sussex County.
Nina also was the dance teacher of David’s daughter, Adira Amram.
“Jonathan and Nina were neighbors of mine in Putnam Valley, N.Y., and used to come visit our little farm and see all the animals as well as the crops we grew,” Amram said. “Jonathan always loved cheese. Since I had more goats’ milk than I could drink, I gave him some.
“The first time he made cheese he entered it into a contest in Vermont and won first prize! The rest is history.”
During breaks in the music during Amram’s afternoon concert, patrons could hear the cows making noise among themselves.
Throughout his performance, filled with stories about jazz and folk legends, Amram referred to the farm with cows in the pasture behind him as “the Bobolink Dairy Farm, Bake House and performing arts center.”
Amram plays a wide range of folk, blues, country and other American vernacular music — aside from his own originals, some of which he said he’s been performing for more than 50 years.
Now 80, Amram was raised on a dairy farm, and is a regular at the annual Farm Aid, Philadelphia Folk and Hudson River Clearwater Festivals.
“The lessons I learned milking my own cow by hand and doing all kinds of farm chores and the hard work of farming in general, as well as having seven acres of my own to cultivate later on, taught me that there are no shortcuts in completing any task,” he wrote in an e-mail response. “And that hard work and doing better than expected was rewarding because you had completed a job well done, and this was the most important thing to do — every day — to have a meaningful life.
“I also learned to ask about the constant mysteries of farming and apply these same principles as a classical composer, conductor and improvising multi-instrumentalist.”
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