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|Meet the 2010-11 Mary Wolfman Epstein Conducting Fellows |
Zamir welcomes soprano Betty Bauman and bass
Devin Lawrence as the 2010-11 Mary Wolfman Epstein Conducting Fellows.
Betty Bauman Betty received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance
and Music Education at Ithaca College and currently works as an elementary
vocal music specialist and middle school chorus teacher in the Stoughton Public
Schools. Formerly assistant chorus/band
director for the Prozdor High School at Hebrew College, Betty conducts
Arbah Kanfote, a Jewish women's chorus in Sharon. Betty studied voice and
Italian at the Florence Voice Seminar and served as conducting intern and
accompanist for the Ithaca Children's Choir. About the Fellowship, Betty says, "I
am looking forward to learning more about Jewish music and working with the
talented singers of Zamir!"
Devin Lawrence Devin teaches music in Lexington, offering private piano
lessons to primary school children and directing a choir of senior citizens. He
received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with vocal music emphasis from
the University of Redlands, in California. A former K-12 music teacher, Devin
has conducted vocal and instrumental ensembles, including youth and adult
choirs, and college a cappella groups. He is currently pursuing a Certificate
of Jewish Sacred Music and a Master of Jewish Studies and Music at Hebrew
College. As an MWE Fellow, Devin looks forward to working with an "an amazing
Jewish choral ensemble (Zamir!), improving my conducting skills, and learning
from the best, while immersing myself in the rich and varied choral heritage of
the Jewish people."
The Mary Wolfman Epstein Conducting
Fellowship was established in September 2000 by Scott Offen to train conductors
in the area of Jewish choral music.
Baruch Dayan Ha-Emet:
Donna Levy z"l
(shown here in 1991)
The Zamir family was deeply saddened by the loss of Donna
Levy, who died on August 1, of cancer, after surviving an earlier cancer.
Donna was a beloved member of the soprano section in the late 1980s and again
in the '90s, serving as president and board member during her Zamir
tenure. She was blessed with a beautiful voice, an optimistic nature, and an
indomitable spirit, which shone even as she faced the end of her life. At
Donna's request, a group of current and past members of the Chorale sang the
Ladino lullaby, "Durme, Durme," and "Yihyu L'Ratzon," from Bloch's Sacred
Service at her funeral service, held at the Levine Chapel in Brookline on August 3. We extend our
profound condolences to Donna's daughter, Helaine Alon, and the rest of her family.
She will be greatly missed.
|Dear Friends of Zamir, |
Shanah tovah to you and your families! Our
42nd season features a terrific slate of concerts and special collaborations,
so get out your calendars and save the dates! And enjoy the first installment
of "Musings on Jewish Music," a column by Joshua Jacobson that will
appear regularly on the Zamir website. May 5771 be a year filled with
happiness, health, and sweet harmony.
"MUSINGS ON JEWISH MUSIC," BY JOSHUA JACOBSON
In each issue of E-Notes, Artistic Director Joshua
Joshua Jacobson Jacobson will share his unique insights and experiences as a world-renowned scholar, composer, conductor, and influential teacher of Jewish music. Here, Josh describes his trip to Berlin this summer, where he spoke at an international conference.
(Photo by Larry Sandberg)
I had been invited to give a paper for a conference on Jewish music at the University of Potsdam, just outside of Berlin. My talk focused on the early Zionists' retrojection of their political program onto the story of the Maccabees, and how that was reflected in popular Jewish songs from the late nineteenth century on.
Ronda and I decided to stay a week in Berlin and see the sights. I was particularly interested in the music created for
Oranienburgerstrasse Synagoguethe great Oranienburgerstrasse Synagogue in the late 19th century by the composer/choir director, Louis Lewandowski. This magnificent synagogue held over 3,000 worshippers and boasted one of the finest pipe organs in the city.
The Oranienburgerstrasse Synagogue today is a museum; the building was reconstructed after the fall of the Berlin Wall. While it no longer serves as a working synagogue, the majesty of the building can be seen from its fašade. But we were able to attend a beautiful service Friday night at the Pezalozzistrasse Synagogue, where they have preserved Lewandowski's musical traditions.
The Jewish Museum is the most visited museum in Berlin. The building designed by Daniel Libeskind
Jewish Museum, Berlinimmediately disorients the visitor with its sharp angles. The exhibits are a wonderful testament to the extraordinarily rich cultural legacy of German Jewry. At the end of the week, we took a train to the outlying town of Oranienburg, where the Nazis had erected a camp that would serve as a model for all subsequent concentration camps. The Sachsenhausen camp held special interest for me, as I had done some research into and resurrected the "Jewish Death Song," "Tsen Brider." This composition was written by Martin Rosenberg, a musician who was imprisoned in the camp in the early 1940s, and who organized a secret chorus of a few dozen Jewish inmates. I visited the barracks where the choir rehearsed their swan song, shortly before they were all transported to Auschwitz.
Berlin is a magnificent city, rich with culture. Its Jewish community is small, but growing. And the people of Berlin are intent on preserving and proudly displaying the rich Jewish cultural heritage of that city.
|HOT OFF THE PRESS! |
Zamir Commissions Choral Symphony Blending Arabic and
Jewish Musical Traditions
On Sunday, April 10, 2011, the Zamir Chorale will present
the world premiere of a large-scale choral symphony, "Poems and Prayers," by
Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz, a work that promotes dialogue between
Arabic and Jewish musical traditions and cultural trends.
Mohammed Fairouz Fairouz's third
symphony is an artistic and administrative collaboration with Northeastern
University's Middle East Center for Peace, Culture, and Development, under the
direction of Professor Denis Sullivan. The work is scored for large chorus, orchestra, children's choir, and two soloists
(mezzo soprano and baritone). Other performers include the Northeastern
University Chamber Chorus, also conducted by Jacobson, and renowned soloists
Lynn Torgove and Dana Whiteside.
This unique collaboration draws on the sacred and secular
texts of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Middle East and weaves together a
Fadwa Tuqan that seeks to illuminate the counterpoint between the poetics,
music, languages, and peoples in the region. It also includes the poetry of
modern Arab poets, Mahmoud Darwish and Fadwa Tuqan, and Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai.
"As a composer dealing with these
ancient and contemporary texts that illuminate the poetic tradition of this
part of the world, it strikes me as incredibly poignant that this symphony is
actually about these remarkable people who are in a state of seemingly endless
conflict. This collaboration represents the musical hope of creative dialogue
Yehuda Amichai between Arabs and Israelis and is an acknowledgment of our shared histories,
traditions, and suffering," says Fairouz. "Jacobson and the Zamir Chorale of
Boston are distinctively situated to bring this vision to life through their
singular profile and individual understanding of the choral music of the Middle
The music of Mohammed Fairouz straddles
multiple worlds, from the Sanskrit invocations of the Bhagavad Gita, to the
Latin Mass and Arabic music, minimalism, indie rock, romantic tonality, jazz,
thorny modernism, musical theater, the avant-garde, and other idioms. His work
has been extensively performed throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle
East, and Australia, and in venues such as New York's Carnegie Hall and
Boston's Symphony Hall. In 2008, he was honored with a national citation from
the embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington D.C., for outstanding
achievement in artistry and scholarship.
more on this exciting new composition, read this interview with Fairouz in Opera Today.
ALUMNI TO HONOR |
RUTHIE BIRNBAUM PERNICK AND JOHANNA EHRMANN
Join the Zamir Alumni Relations Committee (ZARC) to honor alumna Ruth Birnbaum Pernick and veteran Zamir member Johanna Ehrmann on Sunday, December 5, at Temple Reyim in Newton. A festive luncheon will be served from 12:30 to 2:00 pm, followed by our Open Sing at 3:00 pm. (See details below.)|
"Ruthie and Johanna have been integral to Zamir's success and I'm thrilled that we will recognize their contributions over the years," said Alan Teperow, ZARC Chair and former chairman of the Zamir board.
Ruth Birnbaum Pernick Ruth Birnbaum Pernick
sang in Zamir from 1973 to 1985. She then moved to Nanuet, NY, with her husband, Dan. Ruth's love of music has been passed down to all four of their children: Sarah, Ben, Josh, and David.
Since 1986, Ruth has been teaching Hebrew School at Beth Am Temple
in Pearl River, NY, where her husband is the rabbi. She also teaches at Temple Beth El
in Spring Valley, NY.
Ruth was a prime mover in the formation of Shirah Community Chorus on the Palisades
and continues to sing with them. She has also sung with New York Zamir, Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus, Rockland County Choral Society, the Beth Am Temple Choir, and Zachor. Along with her brother, Herb, Ruth serves on the Zamir Alumni Relations Committee, where she helps to represent the NY/NJ region.
A lifelong choral singer and gifted writer and editor, Johanna Ehrmann
joined Zamir in 1979. She has spent most of her time in the alto section,
but did sing soprano for a couple of years and even pitched in (very briefly) as a tenor. She was chorus librarian for two years in the 1980s and is embarking on her 25th season as alto section leader. In that role, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the alto section, taking notes for absent members during rehearsals, acting as a conduit between singers and staff, and making sure that all is well with her altos.
In fact, Johanna embodies the musicality and sensitivity that distinguishes Zamir's alto section.
Johanna coordinated alumni singers for Zamir's 36th and she was delighted to help honor Sue Carp-Nesson last year. Deep connections with other singers and musical highs--especially tackling new works in rehearsal and performing in concerts that lift audiences out of themselves--keep her coming back year after year. Watch your email for ticket and sponsorship information.
|UPCOMING CONCERTS |
Halleluyah/Alleluia: Psalms of Praise |
Sunday, October 17, 2010, 4:00-6:00 pm,
Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St, Boston. Don't miss this celebration of the
sesquicentennial of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church and the fifth anniversary of
Boston Jewish Spirit. "Halleluyah/Alleluia" presents Jewish and Christian
musical interpretations of psalms of praise from ancient to modern times,
including works by Salamone Rossi, Louis Lewandowski, and Leonard Bernstein.
Zamir joins with the Orpheus Singers, directed by James Olesen; and the
Spectrum Singers, directed by John Ehrlich. Reverend Pamela Werntz and Rabbi
Howard Berman will offer historical commentary. Tickets: $20; $10 for students
Tickets are available at the door or online, please go to bostonjewishspirit.org and follow the Psalms of Praise link.
Sunday, October 24, 3:00 pm. Zamir will perform what
Zamirniks lovingly call a "synagig" at the Charter Oak Cultural Center of Beth
El Temple at
2626 Albany Ave, West Hartford, CT. A "synagig" encompasses the very best of
Zamir--a taste of the traditional mixed with jazz, folk, Yiddish, and liturgical
favorites. We'd love to see our Connecticut friends there! For ticket
information, call Beth El Temple directly at 860-233-9696.
"Upward" with the Mystic Chorale
Saturday, November 20, 8:00 pm, and Sunday, November 21,
3:30 pm. Zamir is delighted to perform as special
guests of Nick Page's 200-voice Mystic Chorale for "Upward," a musical
extravaganza at Converse Hall, Tremont Temple, 88 Tremont St, Boston. The
weekend concerts will showcase the best of Jewish choral music as well as songs
from diverse traditions. Tickets: $28; $15 for seniors and students. For more information, visit www.mysticchorale.org, or call 781-316-2500.
Fifth Annual Open Sing: Handel and Bloch
Sunday, December 5, 3:00 pm, at Temple Reyim, 1860
Washington St, Newton.You've sung Messiah,
now sing Handel's other great oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus, and the first
three movements of the most sublime setting of the synagogue liturgy, Ernest
Bloch's Sacred Service. Open to all interested singers and
listeners. Tickets: $10; $8 for seniors and students and GBCC members;
available at the door only. Free admission for conductors and conducting
students. Musical scores will be provided. Zamir is grateful to Phyllis and Michael z"l Hammer and the Newton Cultural Council for
underwriting the Open Sing.
Hanukkah Happens XXI:
Tribute to Leonard
Thursday, December 23, 7:30
pm, Temple Emanuel, 385
Leonard Bernstein Ward
St, Newton. Although the holiday itself will have passed, let the
celebrating continue at our 21st "Hanukkah Happens" concert at Temple Emanuel,
marking the 20th anniversary of Bernstein's death. The program will feature the
composer's Hebrew music (including Chichester Psalms), and highlights
from three of his stage works: West Side Story, On the Town, and
Candide. Ticket information will be available in November.
Save the Dates for 2011 Concerts
Sunday, March 13, 2011, 2:00 pm, Sanders
Theatre, Cambridge. Zamir offers an all-Bernstein program in collaboration with
the Brookline Chorus, directed by Lisa Graham, and the Boston Jewish Music Festival. Ticket information will be available in January.
Sunday, April 10, 2011, 2:00 pm, Sanders Theatre,
Cambridge. Premiere of Mohammed Fairouz's Symphony #3, "Poems and Prayers."
(See article above about this exciting commission.) Ticket information will be
available in February.
Chorus in the Catskills
Zamir brought its signature sound and repertoire to the 400+
participants kicking off the 21st annual North American Jewish Choral Festival
in Kerhonkson, NY, on July 25. Highlights included favorites from last season's
"JaZZamir" performances and the New York premiere of "Hallel Shir V'Or," by
17-year-old Jeremiah Klarman, with the composer at the piano.
|KEEP IN TOUCH AND CHAG SAMEACH!|
|As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far.|
Wishing you all a Chag Sameach--a Happy and Healthy Sukkot Holiday!