It all began back in 1983 when an oboist and two guitarists decided to compose and perform their own style of music. They wanted their sound to be an alternative to other acoustic ensembles by using a unique instrument lineup and by exploring different musical styles. This became ONE ALTERNATIVE.
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.