enotes logo
Join Our List
In This Issue
Josh Jacobson's Musings
Luca Shapiro Antonucci, 
Conducting Intern
Auditions
Upcoming Concerts
Gilbert Schiffer Elected Board Chair
Spotlight on Steve Ebstein
Spring Roundup: "awePsalm" and More

Quick Links

UPCOMING CONCERTS 
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Spotlight on . . . Steve Ebstein
 
SUMMER 2017 
Dear Friends of Zamir,

In the good ol' summertime, after appearing at the North American Jewish Choral Festival in July, the Zamir family will take a short breather before embarking on our 49th concert season in the fall. In this issue, you'll find a sneak preview of next season's exciting offerings and meet our tenor section leader, Steve Ebstein, and new conducting intern, Luca Antonucci. We'll also look back on this spring's programs, including our "awePsalm" concert held on June 14 at Temple Emanuel. Below, Artistic Director Joshua Jacobson offers a poignant inside look at the reasons behind some recent repertoire choices. Enjoy your summer! See you in the fall.
JOSH JACOBSON'S MUSINGS
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.
   
Josh Jacobson
Sometime last fall I decided that I had to add three significant songs to our repertoire for the season. Irving Berlin's 
"Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor" is a setting of the 1883 poem by Emm a Lazarus that adorns the Statue of Liberty and welcomes refugees to our shores. "Ani Ve-ata Neshaneh Et Ha-olam" ("You and I Can Change the World") is a song written in 1971 by Arik Einstein and Miki Gabrielov, and has become a gentle anthem for those seeking to make the world a more hospitable place for all. In 2009, Ahinoam Nini and Mira Awad, an Israeli Jew and an Israeli Arab, teamed up to compose "There Must Be Another Way," a song that they describe as "a simple call to respect the humanity of others."
 
Songs can be powerful forces for change.
Songs can be powerful forces for change. Think of the impact in the 1960s here in the United States of Pete Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "If I Had a Hammer," and "We Shall Overcome." Abel Meeropol's "Strange Fruit," written in 1937 and made famous two years later by Billie Holiday, brought to light the injustice of racism and the horror of lynching. More than 200 years ago, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle's "La Marseillaise" became the rallying call of the French Revolution and an inspiration for freedom fighters throughout Europe. And Beethoven's 1824 setting of Schiller's "Ode to Joy" served as an inspiration and a powerful symbol for anti-monarchists and partisans of democracy. In 1989, Leonard Bernstein conducted a performance of Beethoven's Ninth
Symphony as an "Ode to Freedom" to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Composer William Parker wrote, "It is the role of the artist to incite political, social, and spiritual revolution, to awaken us from our sleep and never let us forget our obligations as human beings to light the fire of compassion." Conductor Robert Shaw wrote, "In a time when religious and political institutions are so busy engraving images of marketable gods and candidates that they lose their vision of human dignity, the arts have become the custodians of those values which most worthily define
humanity, which most sensitively define Divinity." And noted author Salman Rush die  wrote, "The fictions of literature declare themselves as fictions--they are lies which admit they are lies and are therefore able, at their best, to tell profound truths. The fictions of politics declare themselves as truths and are therefore, often, just lies."
 
This is the time for us all to be singing "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor" and "Ani
Ve-ata Neshaneh Et Ha-olam" and "There Must Be Another Way."
SPRING ROUNDUP
Awesome awePsalm!
 
Linda Frieze, Host Committee co-chair, presents Robert Snyder with gift reflecting the first few musical notes of his composition.
On June 14, Temple Emanuel in Newton was packed for our season finale, "awePsalm," a diverse and exciting program of psalm settings from the Renaissance to the present. Honoree Robert Snyder, Zamir's outgoing board chair, received special recognition for his dedicated service, followed by a turn at the piano for the premiere of his jazzy setting of Psalm 1, entitled "Happy Is the Man." The orchestra and gathered voices performed works by Rossi, Schiller, and Debussy and many more, with accompanist Edwin Swanborn.
 
Other highlights included
Josh Jacobson thanks the audience after a standing ovation.
excerpts from Jeremiah Klarman's "Hallel Shir V'Or," with the composer at the piano; a moving setting of Psalm 90 by Charles Ives; Simon Sargon's stirring "Hallel 2000"; and Karl Jenkins's percussive "Tehillim," a setting of Psalm 150.
 
Zamir singers and alums gather at the post-concert reception. (L-R) Leila Joy Rosenthal; Barbara Wild, alumna; Deborah Melkin; Johanna Ehrmann; Debbie Sosin, alumna and E-Notes editor
But the climax of the evening was Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, with a group of Zamir alumni lending their voices to the performance; and the able soloist, Sam Higgins, offering a beautiful rendition of the "Adonai Ro'i." Afterward, many in the enthusiastic audience exclaimed that this might have been the "best Zamir concert ever. Simply awesome!" Thanks to all who contributed to this wonderful tribute to Robert Snyder.

Photos by Mickey Goldin. For more, visit our photo gallery.

If you missed "awePsalm" and would like to learn more about the music behind the Psalms, watch these informative videos, created by Josh Jacobson:
 
 

Community Spirit at Boston's Vilna Shul
 
On April 9, Zamir performed at the historic Vilna Shul on Beacon Hill in downtown Boston as part of " Voices of Freedom Chorale Concert," a multicultural event featuring Voices 21C, directed by Andre de Quadros, a diverse choir dedicated to positive interactions, social justice, and global understanding; and the Boston Community Gospel Choir, directed by Dennis Slaughter.
 
Andrew Mattfeld
The three choirs performed individual sets representing Jewish, Muslim, and Christian cultures respectively, then a joint set. Zamir's solo set included Israeli, classical, and Yiddish tunes, including "Uri Tsafon," "
Samachti," "Dona Dona," and "Lift Thine Eyes" from Mendelssohn's Elijah. The rousing joint set included renditions of "Would You Harbor Me?" (de Quadros conducting); "Total Praise," (Slaughter conducting); and "Akanadmada" ("We Have the Power"), conducted by Zamir's assistant conductor, Andrew Mattfeld, who ably led the group in Josh Jacobson's stead.
AUDITIONS COMING IN SEPTEMBER
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 2017-18 season will be held:  

Sun., Sept. 24 
7:30 - 9:00 pm
Hebrew College
160 Herrick Rd. Newton, Mass. 
 
Auditions are by appointment only and must be scheduled in advance by emailing  manager@zamir.org.  

In addition to the audition, candidates are required to attend open rehearsals at Hebrew College on Tuesday, September 12, and Tuesday, September 19, 7:15-10:00 pm.

Candidates must have excellent vocal quality, the ability to sightread music, and previous choral experience. Visit our website for further details.
SAVE THE DATE FOR "MASTERWORKS OF MAJESTY"
The Zamir Chorale of Boston presents
 
European synagogueMasterworks of Majesty 
 
part of the Divine Majesty Series*
 
Mon., November 6, 2017, 7:30 pm
at Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley

Joshua R. Jacobson, Artistic Director

What makes music great? What makes music sacred? What makes music popular? We will be investigating these issues through performance of some of the greatest and most popular synagogue music of the 19th century, music that is still being sung after more than 150 years.

Tickets available in September.

*The Divine Majesty Series is made possible by an anonymous underwriter in memory of Mary Wolfman Epstein and 
Cantor Barney Mould.
KEEP IN TOUCH!
As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far. Have a happy, healthy, and relaxing summer!    
 
 
   Sosin2
Barbara Gaffin            Deborah Sosin
Managing Director       Editor, E-Notes