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In This Issue
Josh Jacobson's Musings
Upcoming Concerts
2014-15 Sneak Preview
Spring Roundup

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Robert SnyderRobert Snyder, of Wayland, was unanimously elected to another term as Chair of the Board of Directors for the 2014-15 season at Zamir's Annual board meeting held in June. 


Sharon resident Gilbert Schiffer, a

Gilbert Schiffer

Zamir board member and chorus singer since 1993, was elected Treasurer. 


Peter Finn, a Partner at the law firm of Rubin & Rudman, LLP, was elected Clerk. A Needham resident, Peter has served as Chairman of the Board of Zamir and is a longtime supporter of the chorus.


"We are delighted to have Dan [Bauman] back on the board and Frumie [Burns] and Rick [Blocker]join our efforts in meeting the challenges of the coming years for the continued growth of Zamir," said Snyder. "I have witnessed the contributions that these three have made to Zamir and know that they will be important additions to Zamir's leadership."


Snyder extended his deep appreciation to Jeff Rosenberg, who is stepping down as Treasurer on July 1 after seven years as an officer.

"Jeff's contributions to Zamir are unsurpassed, and we are fortunate that he will remain as our volunteer bookkeeper. We are indebted to him for his vigilance at keeping Zamir financially sound and transparent." 

Snyder also thanked Jon Tepper, who is stepping down. 


The following board members were elected for the 2014-15 season: 

Joshua Jacobson, President

Robert Snyder, Chair

Gilbert Schiffer, Treasurer

Peter Finn, Clerk

Daniel Bauman

Rick Blocker

Frumie Burns

Bruce Creditor 

Bruce Donoff

Barbara Gaffin, ex-officio, Managing    Director

Judith R. Pike, ex-officio, Chorus      President

Elana Rome, ex-officio, Chorus Vice-  President

Lawrence E. Sandberg 


Hinda Eisen TTD

If you are an experienced singer with a strong choral background, consider joining the Zamir Chorale of Boston. All voice parts welcome! 


Auditions for the 2014-15 season will be held:  


Sunday, September 21, 

7:00 - 9:30 pm

Hebrew College

160 Herrick Road,

Newton Centre


Auditions are by appointment only

and must be scheduled in advance by emailing [email protected]


In addition to the audition, candidates are required to attend open rehearsals at Hebrew College on

 Tuesday, September 9, 


Tuesday, September 16, 

7:15 - 10:00 pm


Candidates must have excellent vocal quality, the ability to sight-read music, and previous choral experience.


Additional details will be posted on the Zamir website in July. 

Zamir CDs
In each issue of E-Notes, we will feature "Fans' Favorites."
Our top pick for Summer 2014 is 
A multiethnic concert experience




With guest vocalists and instrumentalists, Zamir created an unparalleled journey through the sounds and rhythms of the Book of Psalms. Experience the excitement of ancient Jewish cantillation and Gregorian chant; liturgical compositions and songs by Jews, Christians, and a Muslim; and modern secular compositions from Israel, Brazil, and the United States. 


SUMMER 2014 

Dear Friends of Zamir,


Summertime greetings! This issue of E-Notes features Josh Jacobson's "Musings" from Down Under, where our indefatigable artistic director participated in the Australian Jewish Music Festival. Also, we wrap up the spring season, including photos and videos from the rockin' "Elijah Rocks" concert at Sanders Theatre in May. And we look ahead to an especially exciting fall, including our December trip back to Berlin for the Lewandowski Festival. So get out your phones or calendars to save some important concert dates. Have a relaxing summer!

In each issue of E-Notes, Artistic Director Joshua Jacobson offers his unique insights and experiences as a world-renowned scholar, composer, conductor, and influential teacher of Jewish music. 


I'm writing this column from my hotel in Sydney, Australia. Sydney is a beautiful city, built on hills overlooking the harbor. Since we're below the equator, June is the beginning of the winter, and yet the temperature hasn't gotten below 60, the lawns are still green, and most of the trees still have their leaves. And the people are extraordinarily friendly!


The Australian Jewish Choral Festival Josh Jacobson has invited me here to be their conductor in residence. Also teaching at the Festival are songwriter Sam Glaser and conductor Russell Ger. The Festival is the brainchild of Judy Campbell, an enthusiastic and tireless musician and organizer. I had met Judy at the North American Jewish Choral Festival and at the American Conference of Cantors/Guild of Temple Musicians international convention, and we had been discussing this project for several years. Now it has finally come to fruition.


The Festival has attracted about 75 choral singers, mostly from Sydney, but some have traveled from Melbourne and Canberra. I presented two speeches, "The Power of Choral Singing" and "Jewish Music: What's That?" I led master-class rehearsals with Coro Austral, the Sydney Jewish Choral Society, and Bel A Cappella. I led all the participants in several "Big Sing" sessions and conducted an "instant choir" of about 30 singers in four rehearsals and a performance. And all of this in a span from Saturday night until Monday afternoon!


Having never traveled below the equator until now, I was unaware of the vibrancy of Jewish life in Australia. So much for my northern-hemisphere-centricity! There are many synagogues here, both Orthodox and "Progressive," with great cantors and dedicated choirs. I was struck by the enthusiasm and the devotion of the singers I met. Many of them had been singing my Zamir arrangements for years. All were excited to be bringing together their love of Judaism and their passion for choral singing in this supportive environment, and sharing it with so many other like-minded individuals.


For those of us who teach, conduct, and perform music, the greatest reward is seeing that we have touched people's lives, that we have had an emotional impact. In the words of pianist and educator Karl Paulnack, we become "therapists for the human soul." I certainly felt that soul connection, based on the enthusiastic feedback I received from all of the participants in this wonderful festival.   

Sunday, July 20, 2014, 9:00 pm:

Zamir will help kick off the festivities on opening night of the North American Jewish Choral Festival at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in Kerhonkson, NY. Zamir is always delighted to join Mati Lazar and the Zamir Choral Foundation to celebrate Jewish choral music with musicians from all over the United States. For more information, visit 




Monday, November 10, 7:30 pm, Goethe Institute, 170 Beacon St, Boston: Join us for this special preview event in anticipation of our December trip back to the Lewandowski Festival in Berlin, Germany.


Sunday, December 14, Time TBA, Central Reform Temple, 15 Newbury St, Boston: "A Light Through the Ages," a Hanukkah celebration.


Thursday, December 18-Sunday, December 21, Lewandowski Festival, Berlin, Germany: Details to come in our fall issue.


Wednesday, December 24, 7:30 pm, Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward St, Newton, Mass: It's time for Hanukkah Happens XXV, this year celebrating "Seasons of Our Joy," a concert of joyous music for the Jewish holidays around the year featuring Cantor Elias Rosemberg. 


Saturday, March 7, 2015, 8:00 pm, Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St, Boston: Zamir will join the Metropolitan Chorus for a performance of Handel's magnificent oratorio Israel in Egypt.


Thursday, June 4, 7:30 pm, Temple Emanuel, Newton, Mass: Season finale honoring Cantor Elias Rosemberg, with the Toucan Trio and Jewish music from Latin America.



"Elijah Rocks" Sanders Theatre 


They were dancing in the aisles at  Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, on May 19, when Zamir and guests performed the season finale, "Elijah Rocks: The Bible According to Zamir" to a large, enthusiastic audience. From the Creation to Cain and Abel, from Noah's flood to Moses and the Exodus, from Joshua and Shadrack to Elijah the prophet, the program featured a smorgasbord of classical, romantic, contemporary, jazz, folk songs, and spirituals with biblical themes. 


Nick Page (left) and Michael Harlow (on piano)

Joining the chorus was the incomparable singer/songleader Nick Page, who led a rollicking audience sing-along of "There's Honey in the Rock." Other highlights included "Go Down Moses," with Charles Coe and Cantor Rick Lawrence; a jazzy "Shadrack"; a vibrant selection from Mendelssohn's Elijah; and a toe-tapping rendition of the traditional "Elijah Rock." The talented band included Zamir accompanist Ed Swanborn, Takaaki Masuko on percussion, and Jim Guttman on bass. Slides with translations and images were prepared by Hinda Eisen.


Following intermission, Zamir board chair

Charles Coe

Robert Snyder introduced the first of the evening's honorees, noted poet and arts advocate Charles Coe, who shared a few thoughts about Zamir's cultural contributions to the community. Then alumna Lisa Goldberg and Pam Adelstein introduced our second honoree, alumna Heather Zacker, who reflected on her tenure

and offered inspiring words. Coe and Zacker served as narrators and, at
Heather Zacker
times, soloists, adding their dulcet tones to the multimedia experience. Michael Harlow, Heather's son, riffed masterfully on the piano for the evening's spirited encore of "There's Honey in the Rock."


To view more great photos of "Elijah Rocks," visit www.zamir.org. 


Photos by Mickey Goldin



Bowdoin on a Sunday Afternoon


On April 6, Zamir performed for the first time at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, alma mater to board chair Robert Snyder, soprano Debbie West, and bass Rich Lustig. The stunning Studzinski Recital Hall, formerly a swimming pool (!), was the setting for a delightful afternoon concert featuring psalm settings by Rossi, Lewandowski, and Schiller, as well as Braun's Shir Hashirim. Other selections included Bloch's "Kedushah," from Sacred Service; Bernstein's "Sanctus," from MASS; and a lively potpourri from Zamir's jazz, Israeli, and contemporary repertoire. Many thanks to our hosts--we hope to travel northeast to entertain more downeaster audiences in the future.


As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far. Have a wonderful summer, wherever you are!


Barbara Gaffin 

Managing Director



Deborah Sosin

Editor, E-Notes