I was born in the suburbs of Reading, Pennsylvania and started playing the drums at age 6. By the age of 9, I was playing in my first rock group, The TDC Trio. We even performed in public.
I attended Muhlenberg School District where I played in anything that involved music. Outside of school, I was in various rock bands that played the likes of Rush, The Who, and The Police . I first started to enjoy jazz drumming once I joined the high school jazz band.
I decided to pursue a life of music so I moved to Boston and attended Berklee College of Music, where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in music. Berklee was very good to me. Not only did I have a chance to study with the top musicians (Ian Froman, Joe Hunt, Hal Crook, George Garzone, Livingston Taylor, etc.) I had a chance to play with those that were up and coming at the time. (i.e. Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roy Hargrove, Geoff Keezer, Antonio Hart, Dwayne Burno!)
In 1990, I moved to Philadelphia and became part of the local music scene. I have been fortunate to have played with the likes of Charles Fambrough, Jerry Nieman, Ralph Bowen, Al Grey, Tony Miceli, Matthew Parrish, Jim Ridl, and John Swana. Throughout the years, I have performed clinics, judged high school jazz festivals, and recorded jingles and soundtracks for NFL Films. Amongst others, I have participated in the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival and Friends of Pennsylvania Jazz Festival.
Currently, I am performing regularly at various venues in Southeastern Pennsylvania with numerous musicians/groups, including The Dave Thomas Trio, The Dave Wilson Quartet, and The Tom Pontz Project.
Since the 1990s Tim Celfo has been making his musical mark upon the greater Philadelphia music scene. Tim has served as both bassist and vocalist for musical groups The Gilroys, Rolling Thunder Blues Review and Mason Porter. He also works his bass skills in orchestra and jazz ensemble’s in the area.
On the education front, Tim teaches music at the West Chester Area School District starting young musicians on the path of expressing themselves through the string orchestra program.
Mark Oppenlander began his guitar studies at the age of seven years old at Taylor’s Music Store in West Chester, PA. Mark began his tenure as a guitar instructor at Taylor’s in 1980 where he teaches full time to this day.
After graduating Unionville High School in 1978, he attended the College of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1983.
At Temple he met oboist Jill Haley with whom he co-founded the music trio One Alternative. One Alternative has performed all over the east coast of the United States and has had its music broadcasted throughout the world. The trio has released six recordings of original music with the latest called “Pendulum” released in 2003.
Mark also performs as a solo classical, steel six string and twelve string guitarist. He plays instrumental music in a variety of styles including, classical, flamenco, popular, and folk.
Jill Haley’s oboe and English horn playing draws from classical, folk, and jazz styles creating a sound that is her own. She can be heard on numerous nationally released CD’s by many artists. She also can be heard playing original music with her trio, “One Alternative”. Several orchestras also use Jill to perform in their oboe section.
After graduating from Temple University, Jill formed a trio, One Alternative, with 2 guitarists. They have created 6 CD’s, and performed throughout the country over the last 20 years. Jill drew on the improvising skills she developed accompanying folk singer, Kevin Roth, to compose and create solos in One Alternative’s music. The trio’s music has been heard worldwide through radio and television airplay.
Jill has also worked as an accompanying musician in concerts and in the recording studio for Will Ackerman, founder and guitarist of Windham Hill Records. She has played concerts throughout the country for almost 20 years with this innovative guitarist. Jill created oboe parts for one of Will’s compositions on Windham Hill records. This led to numerous sessions recordings for other musicians at Imaginary Road Studios. She has recorded with many solo pianists and guitarists, usually creating solos over their compositions.
Her work with Will Ackerman also led to an opportunity to record a holiday piece on a Polygram release, “On a Winter’s Night,” with her husband, guitarist David Cullen. David and Jill also recorded their first album of original music, “Exploding Colors,” on SolidAir Records. They perform their original music at recitals and concerts throughout the area.
In the classical vein, Jill also performs regularly as an oboist and English horn player with the York, Pottstown, and Schuylkill Symphonies.Visit website
A native of Minersville, Pennsylvania, Dana Weiderhold studied under Simon Maurer, Sylvia Ahramjian, James Stern and Arnold Steinhardt and has received degrees from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and University of Maryland. Dana has concertized in Venezuela, Romania, Cameroon, Carnegie Hall and various universities across the country. She is principal second violinist of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, and has performed as an orchestral musician with the Baltimore, Annapolis, Allentown Symphonies. As an active chamber musician, she performs with Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, is second violinist of “Elysian Camerata”, violinist in the piano trio “Salisi” and appears as a guest artist with the Gabriel Chamber Ensemble. Expressing her interest in various genres of music, Dana has performed rock music with Rachel Barton Pine, tango music with Trifilio Tango and Indy Rock music in the Azrael String Quartet with Philadelphia singer/songwriter Andrew Lipke.
Ms. Weiderhold is most recently the recipient of the 2016 LLMEA Private Teacher Award. Dana coaches chamber music at the Bear Crossing Chamber Music String Camp each summer as well as Vermont Music and Arts at Lyndon State College, VT. She is currently on faculty at the Linden Hall School, adjunct professor at Albright College and maintains a private studio located in the heart of West Chester, Pennsylvania.
The members of ONE ALTERNATIVE are co-founders, Jill Haley on oboe/English horn and guitarist Mark Oppenlander. ONE ALTERNATIVE describes its sound as an acoustic fusion that blends the compositional form of classical music with the spontaneity of jazz and rock. The resulting mixture of these elements is an ever-changing, enjoyable listening experience.
For a unique insight into the inception and evolution of ONE ALTERNATIVE, click on the Celebrity Cafe for an interview with Mark Oppenlander conducted in 1998.
One Alternative is actively performing throughout the Eastern half of the United States. Past performances have included Penns Landing and the Keswick Theatre in Philadelphia as well as the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. The group has shared the stage with Spyro Gyra, Oregon, Pentangle, Larry Coryell, Acoustic Alchemy, and the Dixie Dregs, among others. Reviewing a One Alternative concert, Susan Pena of the Reading Eagle wrote: “One Alternative captivated the audience by displaying the precise playing and sinuous melodies that have gained them increased popularity.”
ONE ALTERNATIVE has released six recordings. The first, “Greenlawn”, was recorded in 1985. It was described by Jonathan Takiff of the Philadelphia Daily News as the “tastiest independent record project to come out of these parts in many moons.”. The second album “Take Note”, released in 1988, received much praise from publications such as Billboard and CD Review, where John Diliberto wrote: “There are alot of artists masquerading as new acoustic musicians with saccharine new age formulas. But One Alternative brings a much needed vision to an increasingly faceless genre.”. In 1990, the third album “Shadows” was recorded and released. Radio airplay for this recording was heard on several hundred radio stations in the United States, as well as Japan and Spain.
In 1996 “Yet To Be” was released. John Diliberto said “…it’s their best yet” and Jon Takiff gave the recording three stars stating that “Open minds will delight as the trio flits cheerfully from oeuvre to oeuvre like a bee between flowers…” .
Echoes, a highly regarded radio program that is syndicated throughout the country, picked “Yet To Be” as one of its 25 Essential Echoes CDs of 1996. ONE ALTERNATIVE has performed numerous times as part of the Echoes Living Room Concert Series. One appearance was included on volume three of Echoes live compact disc series.
1998 marked the release of “Changes”, a compilation of music from the four previous recordings. Acoustic Guitar magazine reviewed “Changes” saying that “The recording is first rate and the entire work is thoroughly enjoyable.”
In 2003 ONE ALTERNATIVE celebrated it’s 20th year with Pendulum; the trio’s 6th recording. Pendulum became CD of the month on Echoes and has received airplay all over the world. Also that year, Len Doyle handed over guitar playing duties to David Bozenhard.
Starting in 2006 ONE ALTERNATIVE augmented its live performances with bass and drums. The added instrumentation inspired Mark & Jill to write new music that culminated in November of 2011 with the release of the Air Sculpture CD/DVD.
2013 marked the 30th anniversary of One Alternative. To celebrate, the group played at the World Caf in Philadelphia. Later that year the group opened up for the Rudess/Morganstein Project. For the next few years One Alternative became a quartet with Mark on guitar, Jill on oboe and English horn, Rob Swanson on bass and Tony DeAngelis on drums.
During the years 2016 and 17 an eighth album was being assembled and recorded. Twilight was released in June 2017 on CD, vinyl LP, and digital download. Even though Twilight received a good deal of airplay and praise the group took a hiatus from live performances.
In 2018 with 35 years in the books a new lineup of One Alternative is in the making. Jill, Mark, and Tony will be joined by violinist Dana Weiderhold and bassist Tim Celfo. The quintet will be scheduling dates in the near future so stay tuned!
One Alternative guitarist Mark Oppenlander also performs as a soloist on classical, acoustic steel string, and 12 string guitar.