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In This Issue
Jacobson on Jewish Jazz
JaZZamir at Sanders
Upcoming Concerts
Winter Roundup
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MWE Conducting Fellowship Available
THE MARY WOLFMAN EPSTEIN CONDUCTING FELLOWSHIP
was established in September 2000 to train conductors in the area of Jewish choral music.
 
Thanks to a grant from the family of Mary
Wolfman Epstein, the Zamir Chorale of Boston each year provides
training for a conducting intern.
 
EACH INTERN:
  Is engaged in a study of Jewish choral repertoire with the Chorale's
Artistic Director
 
Sings as a regular member of the Chorale, attending all rehearsals and concerts
 
Attends monthly staff meetings
 
May be given opportunities to conduct the Chorale in rehearsals (both
tutti and break-out rehearsals) and in concert
 
May sit in on auditions for new members
 
Interns may also serve as assistant conductors, vocal coaches, and/or
section leaders.
 
QUALIFICATIONS:
Excellent skills and experience in choral conducting

A pleasant voice, appropriate for choral work
 
Advanced musical literacy
 
Interpersonal and leadership skills
 
An interest in Jewish choral music
 
SALARY:
Stipend: $2,500/year.
The term is generally for one season (September through June).
Send letter of application, together with a resume, and a letter of
recommendation to:
Joshua Jacobson,
Artistic Director
Zamir Chorale of Boston
1320 Centre St.,
Suite 306
Newton, MA 02459
Baruch Dayan
Ha-Emet:
Rabbi Zachary Heller
Rabbi Zachary Heller, former Zamir board member, gifted speaker and thinker, writer, academic and pastor, passed away on March 22.  Internationally known as President of the World Council of Synagogues, Rabbi Heller served as Associate Director of the National  Center for Jewish Policy Studies at Hebrew College for the past 12 years. Previously he was the senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Bayonne, NJ for 29 years.
Rabbi Heller was a devoted fan and supporter of Zamir. We 
 extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Lynne, and their children.
Quick Links
  SPRING  2010
Dear Friends of Zamir,

Chag Kasher v'Sameach! Warmest Passover greetings to you and your families. And t'nu la-shemesh yad! Let the sunshine in! After the long, long rainy winter and urgent calls for Noah's ark (and sump pumps), the air is clear, the buds are budding, and we're headed into our final series of concerts and activities for spring. We hope to see you in the coming months, culminating in JaZZamir on Sunday, June 6, at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge.

HOT OFF THE PRESS!
Joshua Jacobson on Jewish Jazz


What role did Jewish musicians play in the world of jazz music in twentieth-century America? In anticipation of our June 6 JaZZamir concert, Maestro Jacobson offers some historical context. Here is an excerpt from the full essay, which is posted on our website.
 
In 1925, Samson Raphaelson wrote The Jazz Singer, a play that dealt with the essential conflict of the immigrant experience: the choice between maintaining the traditions of the old country or assimilating 40th cakeinto American culture. In the preface to the first edition of his play, Raphaelson wrote, "In seeking a symbol of the vital chaos of America's soul, I find no more adequate one than jazz.... I have used a Jewish youth as my protagonist because the Jews are determining the nature and scope of jazz.... Jazz is Irving Berlin, Al Jolson, Sophie Tucker. These are Jews with their roots in the synagogue." 
 
In our JaZZamir concert, we will explore some of the wonderful music that arose out of that creative tension between old world and new, that irresistible synergy created when the ba'al tefilloh met the blues, when Jews encountered jazz.

Between 1880 and 1924, more than two million Jews emigrated from Eastern Europe to America. For many of these immigrants, jazz was an important marker of American culture, to be embraced by those who wanted to become real Americans. Moreover, African-American musical idioms--jazz, blues, spirituals--held a special appeal for Jews with roots in Eastern Europe. The blues scale was nearly identical to the synagogue's selicha mode. Its free rhythms and improvisation resonated with the art of cantorial recitative. And Jews who had just escaped Russian pogroms, Jews who had yearned for centuries to return to their homeland, could relate to the African-American longing for freedom, for relief from suffering and persecution.
 
So Jacob Gershowitz, under his new name, George Gershwin, became one of the greatest American songwriters of the twentieth century, fusing jazz and blues with European classical models in hit songs such as "I Got Rhythm" and his masterful jazz opera, Porgy and Bess. German-born Fred Fisher, who composed popular hits such as "Come Josephine in My Flying Machine" and "Peg o' My Heart," also had a hit with the Jewish market with his "Yiddisha Charleston," a novelty song whose optimistic lyrics depicted "the Cohens and the Kelleys doing it everywhere" and an egalitarian dance floor on which "millionaires of all nationalities meet the Israelites."
 
"Jewish Jazz" continues on our website. Click here!
 
Boston's Walk for Music and Arts on May 23
 
Rain or shine (we hope shine!), join us for the Boston's Seventh Annual Walk for Music and Arts on Sunday, May 23--a community fundraiser to support programs in Greater Boston, with 40th cake100 percent of the proceeds going straight to each music or arts organization. It's an easy two-mile loop--a great family outing, too! Or, if you can't make it, please consider sponsoring a Zamirnik. Watch your email for further details! 
JAZZAMIR AT SANDERS 
Sunday, June 6 at 8:00 pm, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, on the Harvard University campus.
 
Order your tickets now for our fabulous finale, JaZZamir, featuring jazz music from Israel, the Yiddish theater, 40th cakethe Broadway stage, and the synagogue. The spectacular band includes world-renowned artist Hankus Netsky, piano; Taki Masuko, percussion; and Amir Millstein, flute. JaZZamir also features the artistry of  choreographer Gabrielle Orcha, Daniel Stepner on violin, and Eli Newberger on tuba. Highlights include tunes by Dave Brubeck, Kurt Weill, Jef Labes, Ziggy Elman, as well as George Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" and selections from Porgy and Bess, "A Yidisha Charleston," "Venezuela," "Niga El Ha-Chalom," and "Java Jive" (in Hebrew). This concert is cosponsored by the Consulate of Israel to New England, Berklee College of Music and Hebrew College.  For more information, go to www.zamir.org.
 
Our 2010 honorees are four beloved Zamir family and devoted board members, who work tirelessly on behalf of the Chorale: Alan Teperow and Suzanne Hanser, and Peter and Nancy Finn.
 
40th cakeAlan "Tep" Teperow, a singer in Koleinu, Boston's Jewish Community Chorus, has been Zamir's board chair for six years, during which time he revived the Alumni Association. Since 1982, Tep has served as Executive Director of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts and is a founding member of Zamir (and former roommate of Josh Jacobson!). Tep's wife, Dr. Suzanne Hanser, is the founding chair of the Music Therapy Department at Berklee College of Music. Suzanne was named by the Boston Globe as one of 11 Bostonians Changing the World.  
 
Peter Finn is a senior partner with the law firm of Rubin and Rudman and former president of Jewish Big Peter and Nancy FinnBrother Big Sister Association. He was a founder of Zamir and served as board chair for five years. His wife, Nancy Finn, is a marketing communication consultant and the author of three books on communication and technology. Also a Koleinu singer and member of Zamir's board, Nancy chaired Zamir's marketing efforts for many years.
 
To purchase tickets and/or to place a greeting in our Tribute Book toasting this quartet of community leaders, visit www.zamir.org.
 
MORE UPCOMING CONCERTS
A Very Za-Merry Month of May
 
Sunday, May 2 at 7:30 pm, Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland: If you missed this winning combo last year, be sure to come out for a jazzy, jivin' time when the Zamir Chamber Chorus teams up with the Jazz Tuber Trio, featuring world-renowned artists Eli Newberger, tuba; Jimmy Mazzy, banjo; and Ted Casher, clarinet and sax, at Temple Shir Tikva, 141 Boston Post Road, in Wayland. Thanks to our newest board member, Robert Snyder, for sharing his appreciation for this special partnership with his synagogue. For ticket information, contact Shir Tikva at 508-358-9992 or email execdir@shirtikva.org.
 
Sunday, May 16 at 3:00 pm, Duxbury: Zamir brings its popular road show to the First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist, 842 Tremont Street, in Duxbury, Mass., where our longtime (and fabulous) accompanist, Edwin Swanborn, is Music Director. We hope to see our South Shore and Cape Cod friends for a fantastic afternoon of the best in Jewish choral music. For ticket information, contact the First Parish Church at uuduxbury@verizon.net.
WINTER ROUNDUP
Hanukkah Happens: 20th Anniversary 
 
A full house turned out at Temple Emanuel in Newton on December 24 for the 20th annual Hanukkah Happens concert, featuring "best of" selections from past seasons, joined by pianist Won-Hee An, flutist Jessica Lizak, clarinetist Bruce Creditor, and percussionist Taki Masuko.
 
And if that had been the program, dayeinu (oops, wrong holiday). 40th cakeBut there was more. The SRO audience was treated to the premiere performances of two works commissioned for the occasion: Kodesh Hem by noted composer Nick Page, who also sang the uplifting solo; and Hallel Shir V'Or, a rhythmically sparkling and joyful work in three movements by 17-year-old composer Jeremiah Klarman, who earned an extended and well-deserved standing ovation.
 

A Cappella Fest at KI


On January 30, Zamir's Chamber Chorus performed Israeli and American pop tunes at the Fourth Annual A Cappella Fest at Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline, along with groups from Berklee College of Music, Brandeis, Brown, Boston University, Gann Academy, Harvard, and UMass Boston. 
 
Winter Sunday at SeniorLife

On February 7, Zamir returned for our annual concert for the residents at Hebrew SeniorLife in Roslindale, a special afternoon of song and sharing. This year, we featured jazz and musical theater numbers, including "Some Enchanted Evening" and "Summertime." As a special treat, Alto Hinda Tzivia Eisen, assistant to the conductor, premiered her arrangement of "Ha'ir HaLevana," by Naomi Shemer.
 
Zamir Hits the Airwaves
 
We hope you all set your clocks forward on March 14 for the broadcast on WERS FM's show "Chagigah," which brings listeners the best in Jewish and Israeli culture 40th cakeeach Sunday morning. Zamir singers Michael Krause-Grosman, Devin Lawrence, Rick Lawrence, Anne Levy, Deborah Melkin, Susan Rubin, Jill Sandberg, Larry Sandberg, Martin Wahl, Phyllis Werlin, Deb West, and Avi Wolf rocked the studio with their a cappella renditions of "Boker Shel Zahav," "Niga El Ha-Chalom," and "Lech LaMidbar." Susan and Larry contributed comments about their longtime experience as Zamirniks; and Joey Baron, co-founder and executive director of the Boston Jewish Music Festival, set the stage for the Bloch concert that afternoon.
 
Photo by Angelica Davila

Zamir Joins Chorus pro Musica for Bloch's
Sacred Service
 
Hundreds of Boston music lovers braved the elements on March 14 for a rare and exciting performance of Ernest Bloch's magnificent Sacred Service at Boston's John Hancock Hall, the finale of the first annual Boston Jewish Music Festival. The Ernest BlochChorale were invited guests of Chorus pro Musica, under the direction of Betsy Burleigh, and the New England Philharmonic. David Kravitz, baritone solo, delivered a stirring performance. The program also included the premiere of Kaddish Prayer, by composer Andrew Rindfleisch, commissioned by CpM. A panel discussion before the concert included Maestro Jacobson, former Boston Globe classical music critic Richard Dyer, and Ernest Bloch II, the composer's grandson, who offered their sensitive and enlightening perspective on Bloch's music in the context of mid-twentieth-century world events. 
 
"What a wonderful and satisfying collaboration!" said Josh Jacobson after the concert. "And I was especially delighted when a singer from Chorus pro Musica approached me to say that when she was a little girl learning about religions (she's not Jewish), she 'understood why you'd want to be Catholic: you had to work hard in life, but then you got to go to heaven.' But, she said she never got a satisfactory answer about being Jewish--it seemed like a lot of work with no clear reward. But then she started learning the Bloch, and she finally got her answer--she 'felt the mystery, beauty, and strength of the piece and, by extension, Judaism.'" 
 
For those lucky audience members who were there, we know exactly what the CpM singer means. Thank you, Betsy, and Chorus pro Musica, for a memorable experience. May this be the beginning of many happy collaborations. 
 
A Happy P.S.: We were delighted to read a review by Liane Curtis, writing for the Boston Musical Intelligencer: [T]he choirs and orchestra, directed by Burleigh, conveyed a convincing understanding of this powerful work....The choir was technically fine--precise, enunciating clearly,... full of emotion..... Joshua Jacobson's comparison of Bloch's Sacred Service to Beethoven's Missa Solemnis became convincing rather than (as it seemed initially) far-fetched. A large musical work, it reaches beyond its liturgical origin to convey a universal meaning of gratitude, hope, and compassion, a remarkable and fitting conclusion to this music festival."
 
Pictured above: Ernest Bloch
 
A Jewish Music Medley
 
On Sunday, March 21, Zamir performed as part of the Hebrew College School of Jewish Music's Hebrew College choirs and Zamir March 2010Jewish Choral Festival at Houghton Memorial Chapel on the Wellesley College campus. In the afternoon, educators and musicians attended a fine array of workshops, including "Unlocking the Cantillation Code," with Professor Joshua Jacobson; "A Cappella from Alef to Tav," with Honorable Menschen, Boston's premier Jewish a cappella group; and "Sing Along with Jeff Klepper," the renowned composer of "Shalom Rav" and other synagogue classics. In the evening, Hebrew College's four choirs in residence took the stage for a rousing finale to a melodious day: Zamir; Koleinu, Boston's Jewish Community Chorus; Shir Tziyon, HC's cantorial choir (both directed by Carol Marton); and Prozdor High School's Kol Rinah, directed by Avi Wolf; along with a set by Honorable Menschen.

Photo by Larry Sandberg

As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far.

Barbara Gaffin              
Managing Director 
 
Deborah Sosin
Editor, E-Notes