Cantor Marcy Kadin wants to introduce local Jewish teens to choral music. She is the conductor of HaZamir Rockland, a newly formed chapter of the national HaZamir, the International Jewish High School Choir. The chapter is open to Jewish county youths in eighth through 12th grade.
Cantor Kadin of Beth Am Temple in Pearl River noted the chorus, which will begin practices in September gives Rockland teens a chance to learn beautiful music and meet other Jewish teens from across the United States and Israel. Auditions will be held on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:30 p.m. along with an information session for parents.
Rehearsals will take place on Sundays with an accompanist to learn the music. They run from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Beth Am Temple. All the chapters learn and sing the same songs through the course of the year.
Last year was Hazamir Rockland's second year and it has attracted members from New City, South Nyack, Tappan, Sloatsburg and Suffern. Its members will join with other chapters from Baltimore to New England in January to practice for their gala concert. Then in March, the HaZamir chapters from the United States and Israel will gather to rehearse for two days prior to the 20th Annual HaZamir Festival Gala Concert on March 17 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center.
Cantor Kadin said HaZamir, which has 21 chapters including Bergen and Westchester counties, is unique in America.
“HaZamir is a network of choral chapters that teaches Jewish choral music to high school teens at the highest performance standards,” the Piermont resident explained. “HaZamir is a pluralistic program and any teen who identifies as Jewish and has the required musical ability is eligible for HaZamir.”
According to HaZamir, its goals go beyond music and include building a pluralistic community and facilitating leadership skills.
“Rockland County is a hub of Jewish life and I feel strongly that our county should be represented in the HaZamir organization so that the Jewish teens in our county can benefit from this proven program,” said Cantor Kadin. “Also, being in HaZamir is a very social experience for teens. They get to meet and perform with fellow singers from Rockland County and also from all the other chapters across the country, and HaZamir Israel. Great and long lasting friendships are made."
She started the Rockland Chapter because she thought it was valuable.
"It's important to me that Jewish music continues on through the generations," she said. "Jewish teens are our future and will carry Jewish music forward."
Cantor Kadin, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-202-0118, provided information about what aspiring participants will be asked to do at the audition.
“Potential “HaZamirniks” are asked to match pitch,” she said. “I will sing a melody and they must repeat it back to me in the same key that I sang it in. They are also asked to sing in harmony with the other singers.”
HaZamir is sponsored by The Zamir Choral Foundation, which was founded in 1993 by Matthew Lazar.