Mancom Talk: Jessica Sherman discusses the choir

The Beit Emanuel Choir

by Jessica Sherman

Shul choirs, including the Beit Emanuel choir, are often told how precious they are and that some people come specially to hear them. It’s really hard to satisfy everyone, the regulars, the irregulars, the rabbi, the committee, the choristers and the conductor. Some of the members who come now and again like to hear familiar tunes whereas some of the regulars enjoy the introduction of new music. The Rabbis have ideas of how music helps to portray the kind of service they want to lead, often wanting more participation from the community which may require a less formal style of music. The choristers naturally get tired of singing the same music every week and the conductor needs to take all these factors into account when planning the weekly programme.

Many progressive congregations in the US and Israel, have chosen to do away with choirs and have a cantor or a song leader instead. The Beit Emanuel choir is clearly going nowhere for the near future and is trying hard to juggle all these considerations mentioned above.

The members of the choir are as follows:

Basses: Jeff Davis and David Fine

Tenor: Don Boroughs

Alto: Jessica Sherman and Marion Block

Sopranos: Leigh Nudelman, Naomi Jaff and Estee Meerkotter

We’re hoping to welcome Leigh back very soon. She has just had her second baby and we wish the whole family mazeltov.

Avi Kanar, our choirmaster, does most of the beautiful arrangements of the songs we sing and the choir rehearses twice a month to keep renewing our programme.

We are starting to rehearse for the festivals and another concert. The concert will be on Saturday night the 24th October, so diarise it now. We promise an exciting and varied programme. The choir is aware that it is expensive to maintain and will be performing in October as a gift to Beit Emanuel.

The proceeds of the concert will assist in keeping the choir going for the next year.


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