2013 Festival Composers 

Besamim   2013│Et Tzemah

Besamim was formed at Camp Ramah Darom in 2009. Three members are from Florida: Samuel Rotenberg (West Palm Beach), Samuel Rosenbaum (Boca Raton), and Marcy Morris (Boca Raton); Elisha Brodsky is from Jerusalem. Sam and Sam have been writing Jewish music together since they were in high school and in 2009, when they were on the music staff at Camp Ramah Darom. Marcy Morris began singing with them there.  Elisha joined Camp Ramah Darom music staff in 2011 and became Besamim’s drummer. Their music reflects the contributions that each  brings to the song-writing process. Besamim’s music has taken root in the Ramah Darom community, and in the Jewish community of South Eastern Florida at large. www.RockShabbat.com

Aaron Blumenfeld    2013│HaShem, Lo Gava Libi   2010│Song of Songs
Aaron Blumenfeld is a composer and concert pianist who has worked intensively in three disparate fields of music: classical, jazz and Jewish music. He received an M.A. in music composition from Rutgers University and has published books on the art of blues and barrelhouse piano improvisation. He has worked extensively as a cantor and conductor of synagogue choirs. He has composed several large symphonic works on Jewish themes, most notably Ez’kroh: A Symphonic Poem and Holocaust Memorial Symphonic Poem, both of which have been performed in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also composed two Yiddish operas, Rachel and Pagiel & Bathsheva, and many art songs on Jewish themes. Primarily a classical composer, he has composed eleven piano concertos (three have been performed), as well as works for chamber ensembles and for solo piano. His manuscripts are in the music archives of the University of California, Berkeley. www.aarons-world.com

Lise Brown   2013│Ani Shalom
Lise Brown is a musician and composer living in New York City.  For the past five years she has studied at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, and from 2007-2009 was an arts fellow there as a composer. As well as composing Jewish music, she performs on flute and saxophone in dance music genres: Latin, swing, and most recently Irish-based contra dance music. She leads an eight-piece Irish-Latin-swing band called Big Bandemonium which has performed coast to coast in the US at major music festivals and dance camps.

Gerald Cohen    2013│We Are Loved by an Unending Love
Cantor Gerald Cohen received a B.A in music from Yale University and a D.M.A in composition from Columbia University. He is Cantor at Shaarei Tikvah Congregation in Scarsdale, N.Y. and is on the faculty of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of The Jewish Theological Seminary and the Academy for Jewish Religion.  The recipient of many honors, including the Cantors Assembly Max Wohlberg Award for distinguished achievement in the field of Jewish composition, his compositions have been published by Oxford University Press, G. Schirmer/AMP and Transcontinental Music. His cd Generations is on the Composers Recordings, Inc. label. His opera Steal a Pencil for Me, based on a true concentration camp love story, premieres in concert in New York this April. www.geraldcohenmusic.com

Jonathan Comisar   2013│Shalom Rav • To Number Our Days
Cantor Jonathan Comisar began his music career as a piano student in the preparatory department of the Eastman School of Music in his native Rochester, New York. He continued piano and music theory studies at Oberlin, and after graduation studied composition with David Del Tredici.  An invested Cantor with a Masters in Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music, he served as the Cantor of Community Synagogue in Rye, New York from 2002 to 2008. He currently teaches courses on music theory, arranging, and composition at HUC and is active in the Lehman-Engel BMI Musical Theater Workshop in New York City as composer/lyricist. His musical, Things As They Are, won Best of the Festival Audience Favorite Prize at the New York Musical Theater Festival, 2010. His musical Cynthia and the Dreadful Kite will be produced in the 2014-15 season by Vampire Cowboys, an Obie Award winning theater company,

Andrew Dennen  2013│Sim Shalom
Andrew Dennen has been playing, performing and composing music for over 30 years. For the past decade, since his involvement at Hava Nashira, the Jewish Music workshop created by Debbie Friedman and Jeff Klepper, his creative energies have been directed to the world of Jewish music.  At Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, Illinois, he helps lead worship services and was recently  commissioned to write a new piece for High Holy Days. He has three CD’s of Jewish music to his credit and a new project in the works

Norman Cohen Falah   2013│Ve Erastikh Li
Cantor Norman Cohen Falah was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the son of an Ashkenazi mother and a Sephardic father. These traditions bore a strong influence, inspiring him to pursue a lifelong celebration of both cultures.  He studied Hazzanut at the Latin-American Rabbinical Seminary, and guitar and piano at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Buenos Aires.  After serving as Hazzan in Argentina for eight years, he served the Liberaal Joodse Gemeente (Liberal Jewish Community) in Amsterdam, and then Belsize Square Synagogue in London.  He recently joined Temple Sinai of North Dade, Miami as cantor. He has written many songs and several liturgical compositions. His new CD TefiLatina! Includes Latin American Jewish liturgy, modern Hebrew songs, Sephardic and Yiddish music, boleros and tango.  www.cantornorman.com

Joshua Fishbein   2013│May the Words of My Mouth • Psalm of Praise  2006Musaf Kedushah

Joshua Fishbein composes for both vocal and instrumental genres. A native of Baltimore, he studied piano performance and music theory at The Peabody Preparatory, completed his Master’s degree in Music Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is currently working towards a PhD in Music Composition at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music. He is the recipient of numerous prizes, including a 60th Annual BMI Student Composer Award, The American Prize, the Hollywood Master Chorale’s “Voices of LA” Project, the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival Composition Contest, and the National Lutheran Choir’s 25th Anniversary Choral Composition Competition. His Jewish choral music has been included in the Baltimore Choral Arts Society’s Student Composer Project, and the Max Helfman Institute for  New Jewish Music, and he was a recipient of the Guild of Temple Musicians’ Young Composers Award.  www.fishbeinmusic.com

Manel Frau-Cortes  2013│Kol Sason  2010│Shahar Avakeshkha 2008│Mah Tovu
Born on the island of Mallorca, Cantor Neil Manel Frau-Cortes currently serves Temple Beth Shalom in Mechanicsburg, Pa, and also works at the University of Maryland. He earned a PhD in Medieval Hebrew literature (U. Girona), Master’s degrees in both Hebrew-Aramaic Letters (Barcelona Central U.) and Jewish Music (Gratz College) and a cantorial ordination (RRC).  He studied classical and jazz piano, composition and arrangements at Ciutat de Mallorca’s Professional Conservatory, and Taller de Musics in Barcelona. He is a published translator and music researcher. His career as a composer, arranger, producer and performer spans from folk to jazz-fusion and New Age. In addition to liturgical settings, he has composed soundtracks for several short films and music for theatre. www.manelfrau.info

Isabelle Ganz     2013│Far Vos? 2010│El Nora ‘Alilah • Psalm 113 2006│Ha Lahma Anya • Ke Rahem Av

Dr. Isabelle Ganz has had a long and varied career as pianist, flutist, folksinger, classical mezzo-soprano, cantorial soloist, avant-garde performer, master class and workshop leader, Sephardic music singer and instrumentalist, choral conductor and composer. She received a Fulbright grant (to Jerusalem), an NEA Solo Recitalist grant, and holds a DMA in Voice and Music Literature from the Eastman School of Music. She currently teaches voice at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.  She has recorded over 18 CDs of contemporary music (Cage, Berio, and others), songs by composers of the Holocaust, songs of the Gershwins, and international folksongs. Her New York-based ensemble, Alhambra, has released three CDs of Sephardic music and has performed internationally. Her compositions are published by Boosey and Hawkes, Hal Leonard and Transcontinental.   www.isabelleganz.com

Raquel Pomerantz Gershon 2013│Eizehu • Geshem
Raquel Pomerantz Gershon became a “serious” songwriter after being named a finalist in the first American Zionist Movement songwriting competition in 1994.  With encouragement from Debbie Friedman, z”l, she continued composing and begin recording her original songs. Her CDs Jerusalem on My Mind (1996), and Candlesticks of Silver (2011), include songs she has written for both adults and children, including a number of commissioned works.  She holds degrees in both Jewish education and special education and studied sacred Jewish music at JTS. Over the years she has served as a cantorial soloist and has taught Jewish music and tefillah to children and adults of all ages and abilities at summer camps, day schools and supplemental Hebrew schools at Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist congregations. She lives with her family in Dallas, Tex.

Andrew Greene 2013│Psalm 150

Andrew Greene has a degree in music from MIT, where his teachers included Evan Ziporyn and John Harbison. He sang with the Zamir Chorale of Boston under Joshua Jacobson from 1992‒2007.  His works include choral settings of Kabbalat Shabbat and Pesukei d’Zimrah (from which “Psalm 150″ is excerpted), and “Bible Bystanders”, a collection of lighthearted retellings of Tanach narratives from the perspective of minor characters. His “Siddur Hiddur Tefillah” integrates musical cues for nusach and familiar congregational melodies with artistic typography. His non-musical creative pursuits include constructing crossword puzzles for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  He lives in Newton  Mass. with his family. www.greenehouse.com/a/

Steven Greenman   2013│L’kho Doydi  2008│Yah Ribon

Steven Greenman is a practitioner, composer and teacher of traditional East European Jewish klezmer violin music.  He has self-produced two recordings documenting his original Jewish and klezmer compositions with Stempenyu’s Dream (2004) and Stempenyu’s Neshome (2010), the latter containing his original melodies.  A co-founder of the Khevrisa ensemble with cimbalist and historian Walter Zev Feldman. he is also co-producer and lead performer of the recording Khevrisa – European Klezmer Music on the Smithsonian Folkways label.  He also performs Hungarian nota, Romanian lautari music and urban East European Gypsy music. He performs with the ensemble Harmonia and has been a guest soloist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Canton Symphony and the Akron Symphony performing his own arrangements. www.stevengreenman.com

Iouri Grichetchkine   2013│Sim Shalom

Iouri Grichetchkine, born in St. Petersburg, began composing at the age of ten.  He studied choral conducting, piano, and music theory at Choral College and completed master-level studies at the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory, graduating with honors from both schools. From 1988 to 2000, he was choir master for the Eterna Muziko choral ensemble which performed over 500 concerts in the former Soviet Union and internationally. Since 1991 he has lived in the New York metropolitan area serving as music director at churches and synagogues, and conducting choirs. His choral works are regularly performed at the New Jersey-West Hudson Valley Choral Festival. He has written several masses, anthem songs, pieces for organ and jazz compositions for piano.  Currently he is choir director and accompanist at Temple Beth-Am in Parsippany, New Jersey, and music director at St. Savior’s Church, Brooklyn.

Beth Hamon  2013│City of Love/Ahavat ‘Olam
Beth Hamon is a singer-songwriter whose original material reflects Jewish and secular themes of social justice and peace. She serves as a youth and family song leader and religious school instructor at Congregation Beth Israel and as a music-leader at Havurah Shalom, both  in Portland, Ore.  She has performed at the Northwest Folklife Festival and performs regularly in coffeehouses and pubs in the Portland/Vancouver area. Her music enjoys airplay on multiple online and radio sources including Butterflies Radio.com and WISA’s Kol Isha. She holds a B. A. from Portland State University. She has released a CD, City of Love and is at work on a CD of original Jewish folk/roots music.  She is also a visual artist whose folk-art Judaica (made from recycled bicycle components) is in the permanent collection of the Yeshiva University Museum in New York.  www.reverbnation.com/bethhamon

Matt Holsen  2013│From Three Settings of Texts from the Psalms:  From Psalm 8 • From Psalm 139
Matt Holsen is a composer, arranger, singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He trained in composition with W.S. Huffman and has performed and written in a wide variety of styles.  He has sung in choirs from age eight, and started his professional life in music singing and recording in the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass.” Since then he has worked with groups as disparate as Uptown Jazz (vocal jazz quartet), The Washington Bach Consort, and Dinorock (a Grammy-nominated puppet company.) His interest in Jewish liturgical music has developed during his 13 years as a member of the Robyn Helzner Trio.  He is working on a cycle of 12 psalm settings for mixed choir. Two of the first set of three are being presented at this Festival.   www.mattholsen.com

Lisa Marcus Jones  2013│Tzadik Katamar Yifrah, The Righteous Will Bloom

Lisa Marcus Jones began her music career as a pianist and musical director in musical theater productions, conductor of an a cappella jazz vocal group, and ballet accompanist.  After earning an undergraduate degree from Yale University, she spent four years  pursuing music full-time in Madrid which exposed her to jazz and flamenco and heavily influenced her musical direction.  She studied arranging and piano at Berklee College of Music, receiving the John Dankworth Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arranging.  Over time, she was drawn to the nexus of spirituality and music. Her compositions include choral and solo works for worship as well as Jewish children’s songs. She studies flamenco guitar with renowned guitarist Juanito Pascual and plans to explore the connection between Jewish music and flamenco in future compositions. She serves Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, Mass. as cantorial soloist and choir director.

Diane Kaplan   2013│Enosh (Man)

Diane Kaplan, raised in Arizona, has been living in Israel since 1979. From age 17 she performed folk, Irish, world and country music until a life-changing event in 2007 caused her to shift her musical direction. She now composes music for texts from Psalms, and other spiritual sources, written in rounds or in vocal parts to be sung in harmony. In 2011 her CD KeZeit Ra’anan/Like an Olive Tree was released., and performs her music in Israel, the USA and Germany. She brings her music to hospice settings and to music circles of Arabs and Jews. The child of Holocaust survivors, she brings a message of healing through performance and vocal workshops in Germany.  She also leads three weekly choirs in Northern Israel that sing mostly from her repertoire. www.dianesong.com

Lisabeth Kaplan  2013│K’doshim
A prolific songwrite, Lisabeth Kaplan (1963 – 2008) was a music graduate of the California Institute of the Arts.  She  was also one of the first women to receive full paramedic credentials and served the Monterey Peninsula as a paramedic for almost two decades. She also served many Jewish communities as cantorial soloist and composed and arranged music for synagogues and other Jewish organizations in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas. She devoted herself to interfaith community work, especially Moslem-Jewish dialogue, and sang her songs to bridge understanding and achieve reconciliation and well-being for all people. Shortly before her death in October 2008 at age 45, she finished recording ten of her songs.  The CD, And the Angels Sing, was completed by musician friends and released in 2010, a tribute to her dream of reaching many more people with her songs. www.cdbaby.com/cd/lbkaplan


Read about composers from all Shalshelet Festivals 


Judi Lamble 2013│Come, My Help   2010│Shema 2008│’Oseh Shalom
Judi Lamble is a self-taught composer focusing on Jewish vocal music.  Most recently, her L’chu N’ran’na (Psalm 95) was included in the 2012 Annual Convention of the American Conference of Cantors; earlier in the year she premiered her Century Song Cycle of Jewish art songs for the American Composers Forum; and her choral and congregational works have been performed by several Twin Cities synagogue and community choirs.  Her compositions have been honored in previous Shalshelet Festivals.  She is co-founder and Chair of the Twin Cities Jewish Chorale, entering its fourth season in 2012, which celebrates the full range of Jewish music, including new works.  She lives with her family in Edina, Minn.  www.jewishvocalmusic.com,  sheet music at oysongs.com.

Matthew Levitt   2013│B’khol Dor Vador

Matthew Levitt is a multi-genre performer and songwriter playing a spiritual music he refers to as mystic folk. He has performed in clubs, festivals, parties, and nontraditional venues throughout Minnesota and the upper Midwest with select national and international performances. He has released two CD’s of Jewish music; Ahava Raba (2011) and The Prophets, Volume One (2014) and three CD’s with his own band, Levitt8, in funk and jamband styles. He lives in St. Louis Park, Minn. with his family and regularly shares his music at Beth Jacob Congregation (Mendota Heights), Shir Tikvah Congregation (Minneapolis) and Temple Israel (Minneapolis).

Lenka Lichtenberg  2013│Adonai, Mah Adam? • Shiviti Adonai

Lenka Lichtenberg is a Toronto-based, Prague-born composer, vocalist, arranger, producer, and band leader. with five solo CD releases and several collaborations including “Lenka Lichtenberg & Roula Said: Bridges” – Jewish and Arabic music in dialogue, and “Lullabies from Exile”, a work-in-progress with Yair Dalal, of intertwined Yiddish and Babylonian music. She performs internationally as a solo artist, with a trio, or with her six piece ensemble “Fray”.  Her release “Songs for the Breathing Walls”, recorded live in Czech and Moravian synagogues, was nominated for 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards in two categories; her Yiddish world music album “Fray” received nominations in 2012 Toronto Independent Music Awards and the 2011 Canadian Folk Music Awards.  Her song “Peace is the Only Way”  won 2011 Songs from the Heart, multicultural category, and was a finalist in the 2011 John Lennon Songwriting competition. www.lenkalichtenberg.com

Jeff Marder 2013│ Mi Sheberakh • Sheva Berahot  2010│ Song of Miriam • El Maleh Rahamim 2004│Shalom ’Aleikhem

Jeff Marder is active in the Broadway world as a conductor, keyboardist, and synthesizer programmer. Broadway credits include: Newsies, Leap of Faith, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Wicked, Shrek the Musical, The Little Many), Disney’s Aladdin (5th Avenue, St Louis MUNY, Tuacahn Center for the Arts), Cirque du Soleil’s O, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. His Jewish liturgical compositions have been presented at ACC/GTM conventions, and in synagogues throughout the United States. He is Vice President for Music Technology for the Guild of Temple Musicians. www.mardermusic.com

Audrey Merwin  2013│Ki Simahtani

Audrey Merwin has experienced the joy of singing in choirs from public high school and college settings to the Collegiate Chorale to temples including Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City. She is a member of the choir at the United Synagogue of Hoboken in Hoboken, New Jersey, where she frequently leads prayer services. She has attended and recommends choral workshops offered by the Western Wind and the North American Jewish Choral Festival (Zamir). She composes for synagogue choir with the goal of lifting up key ideas and phrases from liturgy, text, and tradition.

Wendy Morrison  2013│Lulei HaShem Ezrata Li   2006│Hinei El Yeshu’Ati • Mi Pi El  2004│Tzur Mi Shelo • Ner l’Ehad, Ner l’Meah • Im Ein Ani Li Mi Li

Wendy Morrison is a Maryland native from a family in which everyone sang and played at least one musical instrument. Having learned to play piano from her mother beginning at age five, she later taught herself to play accordion, whistle, concertina, and banjo. She attended high school in South America and learned Hebrew as an adult. She began composing Jewish music in 1988. A member of Tikvat Israel in Rockville, Maryland, she leads adult education classes in Jewish liturgy and Hebrew scriptures. She also teaches music privately, and performs with the band Klezcentricity.

Sarah Myerson    2013│The Maker of Light

Sarah Myerson is currently enrolled in her third year of the Master of Sacred Music/Diploma of Hazan program at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. Where she is a recipient of the Margaret R. Rice Scholarship Fund, the Dr. Hirsch Herman Scholarship Fund and the Sanders and Pinkus Family Scholarship. She is the student leader of the Columbia University Klezmer Ensemble, and performs as a representative of JTS at regional fundraising events for the Torah Fund of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. She graduated from the Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, with a Bachelor of Music (Composition Honors) in 2009. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys rock climbing and Yiddish dance.

Susan Pereira   2013│Shiru L’Adonai

Susan Pereira is a vocalist, pianist, percussionist, composer and arranger.  Active in New York’s Brazilian music scene, she leads the jazz group Sabor Brasil which has performed at festivals and venues including Lincoln Center, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Savannah Jazz Festival, the Hartford Jazz Festival, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) . She has co-led master classes on Brazilian percussion at the University of Delaware and Rutgers University and has composed and/or arranged music for OMNI Music and Alfa Records, among others. Since 2004 she has played keyboard for Congregation B’nai Jeshurun’s (NYC) High Holiday services. She has also played for Shabbat services there and at other New York/New Jersey congregations.  She has sung with the Shalom Singers a cappella ensemble since 2000. susanpereira.com

Orit Perlman    2013│Birkat Ha-Derekh • Hallelujah • Yedid Nefesh  2010│Lamdeni Elohai • Ahavah Rabbah • Esa ’Einai 2008│Song of the Omer • ’Ozi Ve Zimrat Yah • Ve Ten Tal
Orit Perlman is a cantorial soloist, singer, composer and lyricist who specializes in Jewish musical traditions. Having served congregations in Israel and the USA, including Hebrew Union College Jerusalem, Ohel Avraham (Haifa), and Sulam Yaakov (Zikhron). Her recordings include M‘ayin Yavo, original Jewish music based on traditional texts (including five pieces honored at Shalshelet festivals), Ot Azoi! – Yiddish with a zest of jazz, and Tfilotai, traditional and original prayers, created in collaboration with HUC Jerusalem as a resource for educators. Forthcoming is a double cd of ladino from Saloniki, a project supported by Haifa University and the Recanati family under the musical direction of Dr. Suzanna Weich-Shahak. Her compositions appear in Transcontinental Music Shabbat Anthologies IV and V. She lives with her family in Haifa, Israel.  www.oritperlman.com

Will Robertson  2013Hashkivenu Lullaby

Will Robertson is the chorus director and bandleader at Congregation Bet Haverim, a Reconstructionist synagogue in Atlanta, Geo.  He composes or arranges much of the music performed by the chorus, in styles ranging from classical to world music to African-American spiritual and beyond. He studied double bass performance, conducting, and composition at Rice University and music production and engineering at Berklee College of Music. As a multi-instrumentalist and singer, he has played in orchestras and chamber groups, sung in choirs, and performed with several Grammy-winning and -nominated musicians. He has also produced/engineered, performed with and arranged for artists such as Rebecca Loebe (featured on the debut season of NBC’s “The Voice”), David Berkeley, and Eliot Bronson. His work has been featured on TV and radio worldwide. www.willrobertson.com

Daphna Rosenberg   2013│Shalom ‘Aleikhem • Yedid Nefesh 

After many years traveling the world as a wandering troubadour, Daphna Rosenberg returned to Israel and reconnected to her Jewish roots through music. She composes music to prayers and Israeli poetry, and is the main prayer leader of the Nava Tehila Jewish Renewal community in Jerusalem. She specializes in leading Circle of Life ceremonies – such as births, Bar/Bat mitzvas and weddings. In her music one can hear the influence of folk and rock with a touch of Klezmer. She is active in the area of spiritual care for the ill, in creating heart-to-heart connections between people and in dialogue circles between Israelis and Palestinians. Her compositions to prayers have become popular in communities throughout the world

Brian Yosef Schachter Brooks 2013│Shiru L’Adonai • Hodia 

Brian Yosef Schachter Brooks teaches meditation and Jewish spirituality at Chochmat HaLev, where he serves as sacred music and ritual director. He holds a Bachelor in Music from Eastman and received s’mikha from Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as Minister of Sacred Music and as Jewish meditation teacher from Chochmat HaLev. His band, Captain Zohar, plays original Jewish devotional and concert music. He lives in Oakland with his family.  www.captainzohar.com

David Shukiar  2013│Lo Ta’amod (We Will Not Stand Idly By) • Mi Sheberakh • We Remember Them (Yizkor Elohim)

David Shukiar is a composer, arranger, and conductor who serves as Cantorial Soloist and Music Director for Temple Adat Elohim in Thousand Oaks, Calif.  A two-time recipient of the Guild of Temple Musicians Young Composers Award, his work has been commissioned by synagogues around the country and by the ACC/GTM.   His musical theatre compositions include Make Believe, a two-time winner of the Burdette Fitzgerald Memorial Award for Theatre for Young Audiences, Benjamin and Judah, ,and Louisa Mae Alcott’s Little Women, The Musical, winner of the Y.E.S. Festival of New works at Northern Kentucky University. As music director he has worked with CBS Television, Anita Mann Productions, Holland America and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and various synagogues in the Los Angeles area. Transcontinental has published Klei Zemer, a book of his arrangements for synagogue ensembles for Shabbat, as well as a number of his choral works.

Lisa Silver & Teri Simon  2013│Hashkivenu

Lisa Silver was born and raised near Detroit, where her father was a professional synagogue vocalist and choir director.  Since 2002, she has been the Music Director/Cantorial Soloist at Congregation Micah in suburban Nashville, Tenn. Since moving to Nashville, working as a studio musician, she has been awarded over 20 gold and platinum albums for contributions as a background singer and violin/fiddle player.  Her voice has been heard on many TV and radio commercials and she has enjoyed a long career as a Grammy-nominated songwriter. Several of her songs have been published in Transcontinental Music Publications Complete Jewish Songbook for Children, and the Nigun Anthology. She and co-writer Teri Simon have collaborated on several musical projects, including Lisa’s CD MOSAIC, and a musical Shabbat evening service, Kabbalat K’tan Shabbat, which includes Hashkiveinu. lisasilversongs.com

Teri Simon & Lisa Silver   2013│Hashkivenu

Teri Simon (1962 – 2012) was an educator and songwriter in Nashville’s Jewish community since 1984. working to bring originality and fun to the learning experience, and to foster deeper understanding of Torah and Jewish traditions. Recognizing the need to include the younger congregants in the Friday evening Shabbat experience, she was inspired to write an original service, complete with new settings of liturgical songs that would be accessible, engaging, and memorable. In collaboration with Lisa Silver, Kabbalat K’tan Shabbat was created.  It includes Hashkiveinu which has also found its way into the regular adult Friday night service at Congregation Micah in Nashville.

Rayzel Raphael  2013│She is a Tree of Life with MIRAJ  2008│Angels Carry You 2006│Rock to the Rock

Juliet I. Spitzer  2013│She is a Tree of Life with MIRAJ  2006│Zeh HaYom 

Margot Stein  2013│She is a Tree of Life with MIRAJ  2006│Lulei

MIRAJ is an cappella trio with members Rabbi Rayzel Raphael, Juliet Spitzer, and Rabbi Margot Stein, www.mirajtrio.com..  Rabbi Raphael  is a songwriter/liturgist with five recordings to her credit, including Friday Night Revived. Ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, she is the Rabbi of Temple Israel Congregation in Lehighton,  Penn. www.shechinah.com • Juliet I. Spitzer  is Director of Inter-Cultural Exchange at the International Center for Contemporary Education, and is the Cantorial Soloist at Congregation Beth Israel in Media, Penn. www.julietspitzer.com •  Rabbi Margot Stein is a singer/songwriter who has produced or co-produced seven albums of original Jewish music.  This spring, she is teaching Contemporary Jewish Worship at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College as well as Purposes of Jewish Living in the Philadelphia Melton Mini-School. booktobimah.com

Ben Tisser   2013│Ahat Sha’alti
Cantor Ben Tisser is the hazzan at Temple Gates of Prayer in Flushing, New York and also performs and lectures at synagogues around the country. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he began studying hazzanut at age seven. In 2011, he was awarded the Hazzan Louis Donato Memorial Award, presented to a JTS cantorial student for excellence in the presentation of Hazzanut, and he  was also a recipient of the Oheb Beth Israel Scholarship there. From 2006–2010, his cantorial troupe 2 1/2 Cantors performed traditional Hazzanut, operatic arias, Yiddish theatre and Broadway pieces, and Israeli folk music.  In 2010, he released his first solo CD, “Imrei Fi.” www.bentisser.com

Daniel Tunkel   2013│Yom Zeh L’Yisrael
Daniel Tunkel, born in the UK, makes his living as a partner with London law firm Howard Kennedy, where he specializes in financial regulation and investment funds. In his spare time he is very involved with singing, playing, composing and arranging music. He is a member of London’s Zemel Choir (which has performed several of his compositions) and has performed on several occasions with New York’s Zamir Chorale. He has led workshops at the North American Jewish Choral Festival on aspects of Anglo-Jewish choral music. Separately from this, he has completed three international marathon races, is working on a ground-breaking Torah commentary book, and can play a decent game of chess.

Natalie Young   2013│God of Creation • Tzadik Katamar
Cantor Natalie Young is a
vocalist, guitarist, and pianist, who has composed more than fifty original liturgical and secular works. Her early, popular songs were released by Soundswrite Music in her debut solo album, Carry Me. Her second album of original music, Standing On the Shoulders  (in collaboration with Beth Schafer and John Marsden) was recently released.  Born and raised in Los Angeles, she graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, earning a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in conducting. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2004 Dr. Joseph Memorial Prize for Excellence in Composition and the 2005 Guild of Temple Musicians Award.  Invested as cantor in 2006 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, she currently serves as cantor at Ramat Shalom Synagogue, Plantation, Fla. www.natalieyoungmusic.com