By Jack Kugelmass.
If you are of the view, as is in fashion today in some quarters, that synagogue choirs are passé, then this article is not for you. On the other hand, if you love to sing and synagogue music is important for your wholehearted experience of prayer, then our own Holy Blossom Temple Singers needs your ongoing interest and support.
The Temple Singers have been part of Holy Blossom for almost 50 years. Each year new participants join our ranks and under the tutelage of Cantor Maissner, learn to sing a diverse body of musical compositions created for the synagogue.
Whether your interest is in contemporary Israeli and North American composers, Renaissance choral pieces, the elegance of the music of the great choral synagogues in Germany and Austria or the traditional cantorial arias whose tropes are part of our liturgical heritage, the Temple Singers provides opportunities not only to sing these melodies, but also thanks to Cantor Maissner’s scholarship, we learn about the composers themselves and their special understanding of liturgical music.
Temple singers not only plays an important role in enhancing our services, but we also participate with other community choirs, offer concerts of our own and from time to time participate in recordings that make available to congregants and the community at large, melodies to enhance our enjoyment of home rituals, Shabbat and festivals.
Temple Singers also contributes to extending the range of musical experiences of our congregants and members of the broader Jewish community. Our repertoire now includes new African-Jewish melodies, music of Canadian Jewish composers, Yiddish music and musical compositions commissioned for special events and occasions in our own community.
Temple Singers is a welcoming group. Newcomers quickly learn our musical repertoire and if you are concerned about your musical literacy, there are enough musicians among us who provide support and encouragement for new learners.
If you’re like most of us in the choir, once you get a taste of how wonderful a Jewish musical experience Holy Blossom Temple Singers provides, you too will come to enjoy the great pleasure available to us in our own synagogue. Rehearsals are held for several hours on Sunday mornings, with breaks for the winter and summer vacation periods. We’d love to have you join us. Please contact Cantor Maissner if you are interested.