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In This Issue
Josh Jacobson's Musings
Podcasts in a Time of Corona
Multicultural Outreach
Zamir Alumni Sing-Along
Schiffer Re-elected Board Chair; Miller Re-elected Chorus President

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Musical Messages: Podcasts in a Time of Corona
Alumni Sing-Along
Multicultural Outreach Is Part of Zamir's Mission
Hot Off the Press

Dear Friends of Zamir, 

Summertime greetings to you! We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well during this most challenging time. As you're undoubtedly aware, most choruses are adapting to the "new normal" and Zamir is no different. Although we're on hiatus from live performances, we intend to continue bringing Jewish choral music to you as best we can, virtually. Read Artistic Director Joshua Jacobson's Musings about our current time--and what to expect for the near future. Catch up on the latest staff and board elections. And be sure to schedule your "in-home mini concert" with Zamir very soon by clicking on our video links.
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.
(Photo by Andy Weigl)
Interesting times we're living through. I had no idea that the most dangerous mode of virus transmission would be singing! Choruses across the globe have been shut down since March. That's a lot of people: more than 54 million Americans participate in choral groups today, nearly one fifth of all adults. And not just choruses--churches and synagogues and mosques are now required to forbid communal singing.

More than 54 million Americans participate in choral groups today, nearly one fifth of all adults. And not just choruses--churches and synagogues and mosques are now required to forbid communal singing.
So, what to do? We can't rehearse and we can't present concerts. Zamir has been meeting weekly by Zoom. But because of a lag in the video-conferencing system we can't actually sing at the same time. Since March we've made two "virtual choir"
videos , in which each singer performs his/her part from home and then sends a video of that performance to our engineer, who puts all the voices together onto one exciting screen. Furthermore, for our audiences, I've been sending out weekly mini concerts, many of them with interesting back stories about the music and its composer. It's a changing world; the organizations that succeed will be the ones that adapt quickly. So we need to be flexible this year, willing to experiment with new modes of communication.

But, of course, all of this is
Boker Shel Zahav screen shot
"Boker Shel Zahav" virtual choir created by Ariel Wyner
no substitute for the real thing: singing harmony together in person. Famed actor and radio personality Garrison Keillor wrote, "To sing like this, in the company of other souls, ... this is transcendence. This is the power that choral singing has that other music can only dream of."
Choral singers attest that singing in a chorus makes them more optimistic, mindful, resilient, with an elevated sense of social well-being. And older choristers credit choral participation with helping keep their mind sharper. How can we possibly give all that up?

"Hallelujah Amen" virtual choir created by Ariel Wyner
As soon as it is safe, we will begin to rehearse again, although we realize that may be many months away. As soon as it is safe, we will perform concerts that we had to postpone. We were so excited about the "Concert in the Round" -- we'll reschedule it as soon as it is possible. We will reconfigure our symposium on "Women in Music" as a webinar and offer it to the public next season. And we'll present the music from that program, if not "live," then on video. In addition, we're planning a concert around the theme of "A Better World," with beautiful and inspiring music by Randall Thompson, Yehezkel Braun, and others.

Sociologist Peter Berger calls hope a "signal of transcendence. ... It is through hope that [we] overcome the difficulties of any given here and now. And it is through hope that [we] find meaning in the face of extreme suffering." We will keep that hope alive until we can be together again in the same room at the same time, making inspiring music.

For an enhanced version of this Musing by Josh Jacobson, click here You can also listen to Zamir on  YouTube   or on our  CDs .
The following board members were elected for the 2020-21 season: 

Gilbert Schiffer, Chair
Gilbert Schiffer
Peter Finn, Clerk
Michael Victor, Treasurer
Peter Bronk
Bruce Creditor 
Bruce Donoff
Elyse Friedman
Barbara Gaffin, Managing Dir.
Josh Jacobson, Artistic Dir.   
Rachel Miller, Chorus Pres. 
Dawn Ringel
Jeff Rosenberg
Lawrence E. Sandberg 
Robert Snyder

Josh Jacobson with Rachel Miller
The chorus also held elections for next season. Rachel Miller was re-elected as president; Deb Wollner succeeds Anne Levy as vice-president.

As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far. May you and yours be safe and healthy this summer!

Barbara Gaffin           Deborah Sosin        
Managing Director       Editor, E-Notes