Repertoire ideas

Repertoire Possibilities

For our music committee meeting today.  Note: 10 rehearsals before RH (9/28).  11 before YK (10/7).  We have had 4 rehearsals so far.

Current repertoire

  • Oseh Shalom – Spanish/Portugese
  • Hashkivenu – Taubman
  • Liturgical: Mi Shebeirach (Friedman), Ein Keiloheinu

High Holidays – YK Afternoon

  • Sim Shalom (Maseng or other)
  • Hashivenu – once through unison, then in a round
  • Or Zarua – behind reading?
  • Let us adore – Isaacson

Hard Lox – mid October

  • Yism’chu – done with sunglasses at Hard Lox in past
  • Halleluyah – Israeli pop tune we started

High Holidays – other

  • Mima’a makim
  • V’al kulam
  • Ma Tovu (probably not enough time)
  • Avinu Malkeinu (probably not enough time)


  • Halleluyah – Israeli pop tune we started
  • R’tzei – four parts, Richards, that we started
  • Gospel version of Ein Keloheinu (from Ellen)
  • Ladino version of Ein Keloheinu (from Ellen)
  • Yism’chu – done with sunglasses at Hard Lox
  • Friday Night Live
  • Debbie Friedman
  • Kabbalah Kirtan
  • Matisyahu – One Day

Future Holidays

  • Karev Yom (multiple versions from Ellen).  Passover?  Needs arranging?
  • Chanukah suite

First rehearsal June 5th


So excited about our first rehearsal!  Now, I know that a number of us won’t be able to make it (conflict with Sisterhood Annual Luncheon).  No worries!  This is a volunteer choir, so we’ll all miss a rehearsal from time to time.  Just pick up with the next rehearsal.

All the rehearsals are intended to be enjoyable, spiritual, musical, educational, community Jewish experiences.  There won’t be anything especially special in the first rehearsal that won’t be repeated.

To those who have repertoire ideas:

1) Would you like to start up our “Music Committee”?  The Music Committee would guide the selection and provision of all our music.  The guiding principle would be selecting music that beautifies the service for the congregation.  Either the committee or I will work with Rabbi and Cantor to make sure anything we pick is in alignment with the grand scheme of things.

2) Post your ideas to our new “music ideas” page.  Just copy & paste YouTube links, and give the music committee something to think about!!  This will help us collect ideas all in one place, and for posterity.  (Also might become a great resource for great Jewish music, eh?)

In the next week or so, I’ll post an agenda for our first rehearsal.  But generally, I’m thinking the overall flow of each rehearsal will be:

  • Gather & schmooze
  • Focusing exercise (niggun, silence, chanting…) led by a different choir member each week
  • Vocal warmup & brief group voice lesson
  • Work on polishing old pieces and learning new ones
  • “Business”: any performances, announcements, etc.
  • More work on choir pieces & strengthening our ability to support the congregation on standard liturgical pieces
  • Closing song

Can’t wait!  Until then, Shalom, y’all!

— James


Summer rehearsal schedule


The results are in – thanks to all who voted!  When the time came to decide on a schedule for the summer, it was a tie between Sunday noon – 2 and Wednesday 7-9.  I’ve never done a “daytime choir” before, but let’s try it out.  Sundays noon – 2 pm it is!

I’m open to changing in the fall if we find that’s better for everyone, or if the kids choir starts up again at the same time.

So, the schedule will be, all from noon to 2pm:

June 5, June 12, June 26
July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31

It’s every Sunday, except for Father’s Day (June 17) and the day before July 4th (July 3rd).

Let’s see how this goes, then schedule August and beyond.

I’ve been working on selecting music for us to start out with, and it’s very exciting!  I’ve got an amazing beautiful yet simple 4-part Oseh Shalom.  Maybe the Taubman Haskivenu and/or Rom’mu.  We may want to start on Avinu Malkenu.  There’s a rocking Halleluyah based on an Israeli folk tune, but that may be for the fall.  I’ll make sure to sync up with Cantor when she returns to make sure we fit into her plans.

As I alluded to in the invitation, and in the vision, there are abundant opportunities for leadership.  Over the course of the next few months, we will find that we will need many leaders to help us be successful.  Here are some of the roles I’m thinking of – see if any spark something for you:

  • Assistant directors
  • Soloists/duets/trios…
  • Section Leaders
  • Rehearsal Hosts (help keep us on task, on time, on mission – like a master of ceremonies)
  • Logistics Mavens (help keep us organized: coordinate times, dates, outfits, transportation, microphones and sound system availability, any setup needed, etc.)
  • Coaches: rhythm, artistry, presentation (for one song or rehearsal segment, sit in the congregation and give us feedback and coaching)
  • Congregational Advocates (for one song or rehearsal segment, listen and watch what we’re doing from the congregation’s point of view – coach us on what the congregation would want us to improve next)
  • Communications and Outreach: write and coordinate communications for The Menorah, for Temple announcements, JCC, wider community
  • [New role 5/24/11] Music committee chair/members.

Thoughts on the roles?  Suggestions for pieces you’d like to sing?  Add a comment below!!