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Dear Friends of Zamir, 
Happy 2019! We hope you had a restful, joyful, and harmonious autumn. Our 50th-anniversary season events are in full swing, with much more to come. Read here about our fall concerts; a surprising and uplifting meeting between Josh Jacobson and conductor George Mxadana, of South Africa; our October Cabaret Reception; and details about upcoming activities, including the capstone event of this jubilee year, our June 4 concert at Sanders Theatre.
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
It's strange. I've had conversations with leaders of Boston's Jewish community who have never heard of the Zamir Chorale of Boston. And what makes that so strange is the fact that, through our recordings, our performances, and our website, Zamir actually enjoys an international reputation.

Serbian Baruch Brothers
Baruch Brothers Choir, Belgrade
A few years ago, when I was teaching at the Louis Lewandowski Choral Festival in Berlin, Germany, Micha, a singer from Amsterdam, approached me to say that he had heard Zamir on the radio years ago. He was so impressed with the music that he searched for us on the web and ordered all of our CDs. At that same festival, I also met Mila, who sings in the Baruch Brothers Choir in Belgrade. With great enthusiasm, she told me that for several decades her choir has been enjoying singing Zamir's music.

Last June, I was in Sydney, Australia, to conduct at their Jewish Choral Festival. They had arranged for me to do an interview with Nitza Lowenstein on SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) Radio. Imagine my delight when Nitza informed me that she had a collection of Zamir CDs and played them all the time on her program.

But the biggest surprise came
Imilonji KaNtu South Africa
Imilonji KaNtu Choral Society
a few months ago. The Imilonji KaNtu Choral Society from South Africa was on tour in Boston and Hebrew College's School of Jewish Music was sponsoring a workshop and a concert. Toward the end of the workshop, their conductor, George Mxadana, looked at me (I was in the audience) and asked, "Are you Josh Jacobson?" After I confessed, he proceeded to shower me with accolades. He is a big fan of Zamir and said he enjoys our recordings. And in particular he mentioned that his choir has included in their repertoire synagogue music of Louis Lewandowski, modeled after Zamir's interpretations. We had an awesome hug.

Okay, Boston. Now it's your turn.
Sunday, February 24, 2019, 4:00 pm, Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford, CT: Zamir is pleased to return to our neighbors to the southwest to present an afternoon concert featuring Zamir's celebrated "mix" of musical styles and periods. Zamir delights in broadening audiences' understanding of what is "Jewish music."  The Charter Oak Cultural Center, housed in Connecticut's oldest synagogue building, is a nonprofit, multicultural arts center committed to giving access to the arts to all people and doing the work of social justice. For info, charteroakcenter.org.

Sunday, March 24, 2:00 pm, Museum of African American History, 46 Joy St, Boston: Join us for the third annual "Voices of Freedom" concert! Zamir will perform along with VOICES 21C, a diverse choir dedicated to positive interactions, social justice, and global understanding; and the Boston Community Gospel Choir. Each group will perform individually and then come together for a special set of music with a theme of freedom and justice, aimed at transcending cultures and forging common bonds. Presented in partnership with the Museum of African American History and the Consulate General of Israel to New England. For info, vilnashul.org .

Wednesday, May 15, 7:30-9:30 pm, Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Rd, Newton: Symposium on Ethnic Identity and Choral Singing. The Zamir Chorale of Boston and Hebrew College's School of Jewish Music will present a roundtable panel discussion exploring issues related to ethnic identity and choral singing. The participants--representing Jewish, African-American, Hispanic, Greek, and Arab traditions--will discuss a number of challenges as well as benefits for a chorus that specializes in music from a single ethnic tradition. Free admission. For details and to register, click here. 

Tuesday, June 4, 7:30 pm, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge: A Gala Golden  Anniversary Concert . Capping off this jubilee season, Zamir presents a gala concert to honor our founder and artistic director, and to celebrate the very best in Jewish choral music over the centuries. The chorus will be premiering six new works, by composers Klarman, Lampl, Leshnoff, Osborne, Page, and Schiller, commissioned for the occasion . A lumni will join the group for a performance of favorite selections from Zamir's five decades of repertoire. Complete program and ticket information will appear in our Spring E-Notes, as well as information about alumni events on the weekend before the concert.
28th-Annual "Hanukkah Happens" at Temple Emanuel
On December 24, Zamir was thrilled to present its annual holiday extravaganza at Temple Emanuel, with host and soloist Hazzan Elias Rosemberg. The program featured a fabulous "best of liturgical music" selection from the past 100 years, from Israel Goldfarb's "Sholom Aleichem," written in 1918 (yes, that "Sholom Aleichem"); to Klarman's "Hodu"; and Sussman's "Yihyu Leratson," written 100 years later. The program also included works by Davidson, Lampl, Gottlieb, Janowski, Helfman, Isaacson, and Bloch. A tribute to Leonard Bernstein included the revival of "Un'saneh Tokef" in an oratorio-like setting by Prof. Solomon Braslavsky, whom Bernstein acknowledged as his first great musical influence. Cantor Rosemberg and the chorus received an extended ovation for their performance of this dramatic work. Many thanks to the Temple Emanuel Music Committee for hosting.
"A Light Through the Ages" at Central Reform Temple
On December 2, Zamir returned for another favorite tradition, a performance of the cantata "A Light Through the Ages," an annual Hanukkah celebration held at the Central Reform Temple in Boston. The event was created by Rabbi Howard Berman and recounts the story of the Maccabees. At the end, the audience participated in a candle-lighting ceremony, which illuminated the beautiful sanctuary at CRT's home, Emmanuel Church in the Back Bay.
Duxbury's First Parish Church Features Organ Music
On November 4, Zamir traveled to Duxbury, Mass., to the First Parish Unitarian Universalist, the home church of our longtime accompanist, Edwin Swanborn. This special program featured Ed playing the church's newly refurbished pipe organ. Choral and organ selections included works by Rossi, Lewandowski, and Vaughan Williams; instrumental offerings included works by Bach; and Gabrieli, with a brass ensemble.

Temple Reyim Hosts a "Synagig"
On October 21, Zamir performed to an enthusiastic audience at Temple Reyim in Newton. The full-length concert featured works from across the centuries and around the world, including the first of our year-long tribute sets in honor of Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday and the State of Israel's 70th, as well as liturgical works from Salamone Rossi to Louis Lewandowski to Kurt Weill.

50th Kickoff Reception at Newton City Hall
On October 11, Zamir hosted a festive reception at Newton City Hall's War Memorial Auditorium to kick off its 50th season (see photos on left and on Zamir's photo gallery). Over  150 friends and supporters of Zamir were treated to a short choral performance and a season preview. The highlight of this festive evening was the premiere of the "Halleluyoh Virtual Choir" video, featuring 150 singers from around the world singing Lewandowski's masterpiece. What a way to start our golden anniversary year! Thanks to committee members Susie Jacobs, chair, Joyce Bohnen, Frumie Burns, and Sheri Olans.
As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends from around the world. Stay well, stay warm, and have a happy and peaceful winter season. See you in the spring! 

Barbara Gaffin           Deborah Sosin        
Managing Director       Editor, E-Notes