2016│ Ma’oz Tzur 2008│ Hashkiveinu • Ha-Yom Teamtzeinu • Yismehu 2004│ Sim Shalom • Yevarekhekha
Mary Feinsinger runs the Broadway and American Standards sing-in at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and also directs the Broadway at 92Y Chorus. A graduate of The Juilliard School in voice, she was a Teaching Artist at OperaAmerica. As vocalist and keyboardist of the West End Klezmorim she performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the White House. She been a member of the voice faculty, Extension Division, Mannes College of Music and Julliard’s piano-accompanying staff, and is a composer/lyricist in the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop. She recently completed a short opera with librettist David Johnston about George Lincoln Rockwell. She serves the Rossmoor Jewish Congregation as cantor and is on the Board of the American Society for Jewish Music. More of Mary’s work can be found at maryfeinsinger.com.
2016│Blessings 2010│Healing Song for All 2008│New Moon
Singer and composer Susan Colin is a cantorial soloist based in Phoenix. She is Music Director at NefeshSoul, an independent synagogue in Chandler, Ariz., and sings regularly at other Reform and Conservative synagogues in the Phoenix valley. Her music incorporates themes that address the human experience through a Jewish lens. She has released 5 CDs and has been a featured performer at numerous conferences including the Women Cantors Network, CAJE and the URJ Biennials. Her compositions have been selected for Shalshelet Festivals in 2010 and 2013. She is also the owner of oySongs.com, an online distributor of Jewish music. More of Susan’s work can be found at susancolin.com.
2016│Eve’s Version • Yokheved’s Song 2013│HaShem, Lo Gava Libi 2010│Song of Songs
Aaron Blumenfeld received an M.A. in music composition from Rutgers University. He is a composer and concert pianist who has worked intensively in classical, jazz and Jewish music and has published books on the art of blues and barrelhouse piano improvisation. Primarily a classical composer, he has composed eleven piano concertos, works for chamber ensembles and for solo piano. He has extensive experience as a cantor and conductor of synagogue choirs. Compositions on Jewish themes include several symphonic works, Ez’kroh: A Symphonic Poem and Holocaust Memorial Symphonic Poem; two Yiddish operas, Rachel and Pagiel & Bathsheva; and many art songs. His manuscripts are in the music archives of the University of California, Berkeley. More of Aaron’s work may be found at www.aarons-world.com.
(z”l) 2010│ ’Aseret ha-Diberot, The Ten Commandments
Leonard Elliot grew up on Chicago’s South Side where, as a young child, he began performing on the piano and as a vocalist. At the age of 16, he and his older sister Sibyl won the Morris B. Sachs Amateur Hour with a piano duet. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism, he served in the army for fours years in Panama and Italy during World War II. After the war he returned to Chicago to pursue a career in advertising, working at the Leo Burnett Agency for some 18 years. At age 50, he left the business world and entered DePaul University’s music school, later following his teacher Pamela Kimmel to the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University to complete a BA in American Arts with a major in classical guitar. For the next 25 years he taught private guitar students and music appreciation classes throughout Chicago’s North Shore. With his wife Florence, he was among the co-founders in 1983 of Congregation Hakafa in Winnetka, Illinois, and he served as its music director for some 17 years. He passed away at the age of 89 in February, 2010.
2010│ Vatikah Miriam 2008│Hashkiveinu 2004│ Mah Tovu honorable mention
Marsha Dubrow is Spiritual Leader and Cantor of Congregation B’nai Jacob in Jersey City, N.J., giving her an ideal platform for creating and presenting her liturgical compositions, which she also performs at venues in the New York metropolitan area and beyond. She has composed settings of Mah Tovu, Hodu L’Adonai, Ki Mitzion, Tov L’Hodot, V’Shamru, Adon Olam, Halleluia, and Shema Yisrael among many others. Her work has been honored at Shalshelet Festivals in 2004 and 2008. A musicologist by training, she is a Resident Scholar in Jewish Music Studies at the Center for Jewish Studies at The CUNY Graduate Center and an Adjunct Professor of Jewish Music at New York University. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, with an M.A. from New York University, and an MFA. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, all in music, and also earned a Certificate in Yiddish Studies from the Columbia/Yivo Uriel Weinrich program. She has received numerous awards from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in music, including a Composer’s Grant in Musical Theatre and Opera, and Folk Arts Fellowships in Hazzanut and Yiddish Song. A member of the Dramatists Guild and an alumna of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City, she has produced on- and off-Broadway theatre including Band in Berlin, the story of the Comedian Harmonists.
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
2010│ Mah Gadlu • Modah Ani • Salam, Shalom – Peace, Peace • Yevarekhekha
Central California Coast-based singer songwriter and cantorial soloist Alisa Fineman was inspired as a child by a musical family and Jewish summer camps, as well as her wilderness experiences in the Rocky Mountains and Big Sur coast in college and beyond. Since then she has toured diverse communities and folk festival stages across the country while deepening her cantorial studies. Her newest CD, Closing the Distance: Poems, Prayers and Love Songs, features contemporary arrangements of traditional and original songs from the Jewish Diaspora. It is her first Jewish music CD. She currently serves Congregation Beth Israel in Carmel, Calif. Her songs have appeared in film documentaries Seasons of the Soul – Holistic Teachings on the Jewish Holiday Cycle, and Sulha California 2004. www.alisafineman.com
2010│ Eikha Ashir/How Can I Sing? 2008│ Mi Yodea Oz 2006│ Shehecheyanu honorable mention 2004│ Ve Heishiv Lev • Shiviti
Sylvia F. Goldstein brings a classical music background and love for and knowledge of Jewish music to her compositions, which have been featured in the Annual Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Conn. In addition to composing, she has been a director of temple music, taught at community college, and directed a JCC choir. She is Piano/Keyboard Department Chair of the Hartford Conservatory of Music, where she teaches classical piano and theory. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she studied at the Juilliard School of Music Preparatory Division, Cornell University, Brandeis University and the University of California at Berkeley. She has a B.A. and M.A. in music, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Connecticut State Music Teachers Association, Women Cantors’ Network, and The Guild of Temple Musicians. Compositions of hers have been honored at every Shalshelet Festival since 2004.
2016 │ ‘Ale Elai 2010│ Let Me Be a Seal Upon Your Heart • Arise My Beloved 2008│ Modeh Ani
David Goldstein is a composer of Hebrew chant and sacred choral works. His Song of Songs Suite for Women was premiered at West Virginia University. He is the leader of the Tikkun Chant Circle in Pittsburgh and a graduate of the Kol Zimra Chant Leadership training program led by Rabbi Shefa Gold. He was formerly Composer in Residence at East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. In addition to Alay Aylai, his compositions have been honored at the 2008 and 2010 Shalshelet Festivals. He is also a business director at Pittsburgh Glass Works. He lives with his family, north of Pittsburgh.
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
2010│ Ahavah Rabbah 2008│ Candle Blessing • Ve Shamru
Cantor Marcelo Gindlin, born and raised in Buenos Aires, now lives in southern California where he serves as cantor of the Malibu Jewish Center & Synagogue. In addition to certification as Hazzan and Ba’al Tefillah from the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, he has two degrees in music therapy and has published several scholarly papers in that field. He has extensive experience as a teacher, composer, choir director, and performer. He has taught at the University of Judaism for the last six years, and has performed numerous times with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony. In 2009 he was invited by the Cantors Assembly on two occasions to sing at Auschwitz, and also gave performances in Krakow and in Israel. In 2007, in collaboration with Shari Cohen, he released a CD for a new children’s book Alfie’s Bark Mitzvah. His CD Shabbat and Holidays with Cantor Marcelo and Friends contains Candle Blessing which was selected for Shalshelet’s 2008 Festival. His recording of Hine Ma Tov with actor Adam Sandler can be heard on the new CD The Jewish Songbook, along with songs by other notable Jewish performers/composers of popular music. He has performed with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, at CAJE national conferences, and at synagogues around the U.S. In 1986 he performed in Buenos Aires with Ofra Haza (z”l), and in 2007 he was selected to officiate at Kabbalat Shabbat on the occasion of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s visit to the University of Judaism (now the Ameerican Jewish University).
2010│ Lekhu Neranena • The Blessing of Memory / ha-Makom Yenahem Etkhem
Abby Bernstein Gostein began composing Jewish liturgical music in 1986, which was the start of a long-term involvement with Reform Jewish musical leadership that has included youth group and summer camp songleading, choral conducting, music teaching, and leading congregations in song and prayer. She has served Union for Reform Judaism congregations as a cantorial soloist since 1994 and currently serves in that capacity at Temple Beth Shalom in Austin, Texas. She holds an M.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from Yale University, where she organized and led the first Jewish singing group on campus. She strives to create compositions that are both moving and accessible, with memorable melodies and contemporary harmonies intended to be easily usable by cantor or soloist, congregation or choir. Her works have been sung throughout the United States and internationally. Her CD Each Blessing contains her original compositions, including her 2010 Shalshelet Festival compositions, Lekhu Neranena and The Blessing of Memory – Ha makom Yenahem Ethem. She is a member of the Guild of Temple Musicians, where she serves as Vice President of Membership, and the Women Cantors’ Network, where she serves on the Music Commission Committee for 2011. www.abbygostein.com
2010│ Yizkor • Elokai
With a mother who devoted her life to teaching music in synagogues, and relatives at the core of Jewish Music Education in the Chicagoland area, it was “beshert” that Michelle Auslander-Cohen follow a similar path. Along the way she pursued opera studies, earned a Performers Diploma from Indiana University, and received numerous awards as a singer. Her first experience as cantorial soloist was at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. She spent two years as the soprano in a high holiday quartet with internationally acclaimed cantor/opera singer Benjamin Warschawski at B’nai Torah in Boca Raton, and served as cantorial soloist for Temple Judea in Palm Beach Gardens, both in Florida. For the past five years she has been an Adjunct Voice Instructor at Florida International University. She has given numerous concerts throughout Florida and Chicago, in genres ranging from Broadway to opera, and Yiddish to cantorial music. She has recently discovered a passion for composing settings for Jewish prayers and poems. She is a member of the Women Cantors’ Network, the Guild of Temple Musicians, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. www.michelleauslander.com
2010│Va Y’daber Elohim 2006│Kumi, Ori
Rick Calvert is a folk musician and cantorial soloist/temple musician who turned to composing modern settings for liturgical text in 1997. His compositions and performances reflect his musical roots in folk/rock and choral music. His inaugural CD, Journeys, was produced through the encouragement of Fran Avni at CAJE 24; a second CD is expected in 2011. He has taught music at the Temple Beth Tikvah Religious School in Madison, Conn. since 1986, and currently serves as cantorial soloist/temple musician there; at Congregation B’nai Jacob in Woodbridge, Conn.; and at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, N.J. His Yis-m’chu was selected for inclusion in Celebrate Shabbat; his Shehecheyanu was selected for use at the 2001 ordination ceremony for cantors and rabbis at Hebrew Union College-Jewish institute of Religion in New York; and his Kumi, Ori was honored at Shalshelet’s 2006 Festival. He has performed extensively in the Northeast and was a featured evening performer at CAJE. www.rickcalvert.net
2010│ Ve erastikh Li/Anah Dodi
Seth Chalmer grew up in Montpelier, Vt. and received a BFA in Acting/Musical Theatre from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Acting credits include Professor Art /Oscar the Grouch on a national stage tour of Sesame Street Live, and various roles at Vermont and New Hampshire regional theaters. He taught acting at Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton, and was Cultural Arts Director of the Dayton Jewish Community Center before moving to New York to work as a Retention Specialist for the Center for Employment Opportunities, helping men and women returning home from prison to succeed in careers. Currently pursuing graduate studies at New York University’s Wagner-Skirball Dual Degree Program in Judaic Studies and Nonprofit Management, he also works as a Project Assistant for the Berman Jewish Policy Archive.