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In This Issue
Josh Jacobson's Musings
Zamir Sings Anthem at Fenway 
Gala Golden Anniversary Concert
50th-Anniversary Alumni Events
Zamir Becomes Choir-in-Residence at Temple Reyim
Upcoming Concerts

Quick Links

Upcoming Concerts 
Z@50 Alumni Events
Meet the New Conductors
Zamir to Be 
Choir-in-Residence at Temple Reyim
Auditions for 
2019-20 Season
 Board  and Chorus
Officers Elected
 
SUMMER 2019
Dear Friends of Zamir, 

Wow! That's all we can say as we continue to revel in the spirit, sounds, and sense of deep connection that the Zamir community experienced during our Gala 50th-Anniversary events. But if you weren't able to get to Boston for the festivities, we'll still cover all the bases in this chock-full-of-news issue; and also look ahead to the fall season, which includes a return trip to Berlin for the Louis Lewandowski Festival. Speaking of covering the bases, be sure to watch the video of Zamir singing the national anthem at Fenway Park on June 13! Also below is Josh Jacobson's latest musing, this time on music and social change. Finally, we bid goodbye to our longtime home, Hebrew College, as we take up residence at Temple Reyim in Newton. 
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.
   
(Photo by Andy Weigl)
I recently attended a seminar on " The Role of Art in Social Change " at my college class ' s 50th reunion. The description read, " What role can the arts play in informing and inspiring action, reaching hearts and minds, and building a shared commitment to enacting difficult change? " It was interesting to hear the panelists relate how they had used music in their careers as social activists. And keep in mind, ours was the class of 1969, so social change played an oversized role in our thinking. But it made me think. Does music have to justify its existence? 

Does music have to justify its existence?
We ' ve heard a lot about how music  can make people better. A few decades ago , the " Mozart Effect " inspired expectant mothers to play Wolfgang ' s music to make their fetuses smarter. Lately, neuroscientists have teamed up with musicians to study how the brain processes music. A study of choral singers showed that Immunoglobulin A, a protein used by the immune system to fight disease, increases by 150% during rehearsals and by 240% during concerts. Scientists have recorded the release of dopamine in anyone who performs or even listens to music. Chorus America has commissioned studies that (not surprisingly) reveal that young students who join a chorus improve their grades in all school subjects, and adults who sing in a chorus are by and large more philanthropic and better citizens.

Perhaps some songs have had an effect on social change. Think of the power of " We Shall Overcome " or " Blowin ' in the Wind. " Patriotic songs can be stirring. But to what extent does music effect social change, and to what extent does it reflect social change?

For me, if music is to be powerful, it must be because of the quality of the music itself. We can be tremendously moved by the music of Mozart ' s Requiem even if we don ' t know the back story of Count Walsegg ' s secret commission, even if we don ' t understand the Latin lyrics. I understand that music has extra-musical uses. Zamir uses music as a banner of ethnic pride. But (for the most part) I choose only music that can stand on its own two feet, even without the crutch of its extra-musical message.

Yes, music can effect social change and, more likely, can be affected  by social change. Yes, there are many proven health and social benefits of performing, and even listening to, music. And yes, there are many extra-musical factors that may influence our attraction to or appreciation of a particular style or composition. But in the end, for me, it ' s all about the music itself.
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Take Us Out to the Ball Game

As part of Jewish Heritage Night, on Thursday, June 13, members of the Zamir Chorale were extremely honored to perform the national anthem during the festive pre-game ceremonies at chilly, drizzly Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox played the Texas Rangers and, no doubt bolstered by Zamir's indomitable spirit (!), came back from a 6-1 deficit to win 7-6. Special thanks to chorus president Rachel Miller for making Zamir's appearance a reality. Go Sox!
Maestro Jacobson conducts national anthem. (Photo by Mickey Goldin) 

For more photos, visit our Photo Gallery.
To watch the official video, click here.
(Zamir sings around minute 9:00.)

JewishChoralMusic.com Is Live!

We are thrilled to announce the official launch of a brand-new website, JewishChoralMusic.com , a comprehensive resource center for anyone looking for choral music from a wide variety of Jewish traditions and experiences. The website was developed as part of Zamir's 50th-anniversary educational projects. Choral conductors, singers, and musical leaders from around the world now have access to music representing a wide spectrum of styles, eras, voicings, nationalities, languages, and levels. Visitors may use the site's resources to read articles, books, and blogs; review programming suggestions; buy sheet music; listen to podcasts and recordings; and much more. 

Please note that the site is still under construction. Look for expanded content, compositions, and information about composers to be added over the next few months. Let us know what you think!
Z@50 ROUNDUP
Gala Concert

Joyce and Michael Bohnen honor Josh. (Photo by Mickey Goldin)
The Z@50 jubilee weekend culminated in the Gala Golden Anniversary Concert honoring Joshua Jacobson at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge on Tuesday, June 4. A packed house of enthusiastic fans, friends, family, and alumni was treated to a rich, rousing, and deeply satisfying program that included the world premieres of six newly commissioned works by composers Jeremiah  Klarman, Kenneth Lampl, Jonathan Leshnoff, Cantor Charles Osborne, Nick Page, and Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller--each one distinct in its tone, harmonies, and meaning, and performed impeccably by the choir, Zamir accompanist Edwin Swanborn, and guest instrumentalists and soloists.
 
Over 50 alumni singers joined the current group to sing five pieces, including Salamone Rossi's "Halleluyah" and Max Janowski's "Sim Shalom." Stanley Sperber, who founded the Zamir Chorale in New York and originated the idea for the Zamir Chorale of Boston, flew in from Israel to honor Josh and to conduct Yehezkel Braun's arrangement of "Uri Tsafon." Other highlights included a screening of the Halleluyoh Virtual Choir video and tributes to Josh from Z@50 chairs Joyce and Michael Bohnen, who presented Josh with an acoustic guitar as a thank you. Thanks to the efforts of Senators Cynthia Creem and Rebecca Rausch (a Zamir alumna), who were in attendance, Josh was also awarded an official citation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Senate in recognition of his contribution to Jewish music and culture.
 
Josh and Stanley Sperber (Photo by Larry Sandberg)
To close the evening, the choir on stage and other singers in the audience sang the "Hineh Ma Tov" movement of Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, whose message is more relevant now than ever: "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." The festivities continued into the night at a boisterous after-concert party downstairs for donors, singers, and alumni.

Much gratitude to the volunteers who helped make Z@50 such a success: Joyce and Michael Bohnen, chairs of the Zamir@50 Leadership Committee; Peter and Nancy Finn, co-chairs; Robert and Myra Snyder, co-chairs; Gilbert Schiffer, Chairman of the Board of Directors; and Alan Te perow, Alumni Committee Chair. Also thanks to Zamir's concert manager Larry Sandberg; and to Devin Lawrence, assistant to the conductor.

Most of all, Kol Hakavod to our musical and spiritual leader, Josh, for his marvelous achievement in creating and building Zamir for 50 years.

It's not too late to donate to Zamir or offer a tribute to Josh! 
(Photo by Mickey Goldin)
 
For more photos, visit our Photo Gallery.

An Apology

We deeply regret the omission of a bio in the program booklet of one of our good friends and esteemed soloist, Hazzan Elias Rosemberg, who sang the premiere of Jeremiah Klarman's joyful "Hodu" at our June 4 gala concert.

Cantor Rosemberg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a family of musicians, including his grandfather, a Hazzan; and his father, a Klezmer clarinetist. At age 18, Cantor Rosemberg worked as a Hazzan at Chaim Weitzman community in San Martin, Buenos Aires, and later studied at the Seminario RabĂ­nico Latinoamericano. 

After serving as cantor in several communities in the U.S., including Temple Beth Emeth in Chestnut Hill, Cantor Rosemberg moved to Temple Emanuel in Newton in 2007. In addition to his cantorial duties there, he performs regularly with the Bostonian Opera and Concert Ensemble and Zamir. He is currently the New England Region Chair for the Cantors Assembly and also serves on their national Executive Council. He is the immediate past president of the New England Board of Cantors and has served on the faculty of the Cantor-Educator program at Hebrew College as a Cantorial Coach. 

Ethnic Identity in Choral Singing Symposium
 
On May 15, at Hebrew College, as part of the Z@50 events, Joshua Jacobson facilitated a diverse panel on "Ethnic Identity and Choral Singing."  Other participants represented Jewish, African-American, Hispanic, Greek, and Arab traditions, including Brother Dennis Slaughter of the Boston Community Gospel Choir; Richard Barrett, Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church; Carol Marton of Koleinu, Boston's Jewish Community Chorus; Andre de Quadros of Voices 21C; Jose Rivera of the University of North Carolina; Nick Page of the Mystic Chorale; and Lynn Torgove of Kol Arev. The group discussed the challenges and benefits for a chorus that specializes in music from a single ethnic tradition, as well as the challenges of cultural (mis)appropriation.
KEEP IN TOUCH!
As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far. Have a wonderful, relaxing summer. We'll be back with much more news in September! 



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Barbara Gaffin           Deborah Sosin        
Managing Director       Editor, E-Notes


Watch Our Halleluyoh Virtual Choir!