AJ Presents J-Harmony, an A Capella Weekend of Music




Congregation Adath Jeshurun
I invite you to share the realization of my dream at the 2015 Adath Jeshurun Musical Festival, Saturday, January 31, at 7:30 p.m. at AJ.

My original dream was to pull together five regional Jewish a cappella choirs for a festive concert on the weekend of Chanukah. Each choir would sing at each synagogue and the weekend’s activities would culminate in a concert after Havdalah.

But there were problems, and the Chanukah concert didn’t happen.

First, the only all male group I could find regionally was not a college choir; also, they were no longer all men so no group was available for Anshei Sfard.

Second, none could really make it for the weekend of Chanukah.

I realized that I would need to change my vision. Getting four groups to come together for a weekend was going to be a challenge. Some schools have different months off, students take time for learning opportunities out of the country, and tests are scheduled at different times. Still, I pursued my dream, and right up until the last minute, I thought I had three groups, but in the end, one couldn’t confirm because of too many classes missed.

My professional organization, the Cantors Assembly, was trying to create a Shabbat Shirah weekend where many of our congregations would invite local a cappella groups to sing for the services of synagogues around the country the weekend of January 30-February 1. After a great deal of negotiation, that became our weekend.

Finally, the two groups that became available for the weekend were Staam (just ’cause) from Washington University and Hooshir (get it? Hoosier in Hebrew!) from Indiana University (IU). Both have sung nationally and won awards at the 2014 Kol HaOlam National Jewish A Cappella Competition.

Finally, I decided that I wanted to sing some a cappella pieces with colleagues as well. Cantor Hordes from Keneseth Israel is an IU grad (’96) and I decided to add one more to the mix – her predecessor Cantor Paula Pepperstone (IU ’94). Our Jewish Community Choir consisting of past and future college grads will begin and end the program to create a well-rounded program.

In keeping with my original dream, I arranged for the visiting choirs to come in for the weekend and perform at Shabbat services across the community. If you attend services at to AJ, KI, The Temple or Temple Shalom, you’ll be able to grab a listen of the choirs prior to the concert on Saturday night at AJ.



Here is the schedule:
Friday, January 30, at The Temple: 7 p.m. service with Staam
Friday, January 30, at Temple Shalom: 6:15 p.m. service with Hooshir
Saturday, January 31, at KI: 9:30 a.m. service with Hooshir
Saturday, January 31, at AJ: 9:30 a.m. service with Staam
The entire community is invited to get together at AJ for the concert at 7:30 p.m.
For ticket prices and sponsorship opportunities, call 458-5359 or go to www.adathjeshurun.com/musicfestival.

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