You're invited - yes you!! - to the first ever Hava Nashira Jewish Music Conference coordinated by the Centre for Living Judaism and sponsored by the UPJ. Building on the momentum of the UPJ Biennial Conference, Hava Nashira will provide attendees with an opportunity to join together for a weekend of song, spirituality and skills workshops designed to empower our region's musicians with the tools and techniques to make music an integral, inviting part of our communities' worship experience.
The UPJ Music Network held a gathering in Sydney on 18-20 November 2011, with participants from ACT, Queensland, Melbourne and Sydney in attendance (pictured from left: Jerry Jacobson, Pauline Lazarus, Sally Castle, Marshall Voit, Jocelyn Robuck, Andrea Catzel, Judy Campbell, Peter Wise, Stephen Koder).
Led by convenor Judy Campbell, topics discussed included: accessing and sharing music resources, developing and training lay leadership, involving youth in music programs, and the creation of a Progressive musical guidebook. The group engaged in workshops to learn new repertoire and joined the North Shore Temple Emanuel choir for a Friday night "Groove" service and Shabbat morning service. Marshall Voit, Centre for Living Judaism fellow, shared information about resources provided by the CLJ, including music videos on the CLJ website (www.livingjudaism.org.au).
Peter Wise, who attended the gathering, wrote: "Despite the varying backgrounds and congregational situations of the participants, there was a great spirit and unity of purpose amongst the participants. It was great to be able to learn new repertoire which we could use in services and, coming from a small congregation, to be able to participate in a service with all the 'trimmings'."
The Music Network plans to hold regular meetings, in addition to attendance at the UPJ Biennial Conferences and regional gatherings.
ACC/GTM Convention: This is the joint annual convention of the American Conference of Cantors and the Guild of Temple Musicians. Members of the ACC are accredited cantors in the Reform movement who have completed the course of study through the Sacred School of Music at Hebrew Union College. Members of the GTM are diverse, including composers, accompanists, choral directors, choral singers and cantorial soloists who have completed other cantorial programs and/or are informally active in their congregations in this role.
Approximately 300 people dedicated to the ongoing life of synagogue music attend the annual convention. It includes concerts, choices of workshops, and separate plenary sessions where the ACC and GTM report to their respective memberships on the year past, and discuss matters relevant to members. Throughout the convention there are many opportunities to network with colleagues, an aspect of the event that is highly valued by attendees. This year’s convention took place in Boston.
Liturgical music serves to make Jewish worship meaningful and memorable. The Union for Progressive Judaism is concerned with assuring that every worship experience is joyful and contains appropriate music. A music workshop, focusing on the weekly Shabbat service, was held in Adelaide in 2006. Participants brought back new tunes and new ways of conducting services in their home congregations.
The UPJ has a core of people ready to assist others in enhancing the music in their congregations. It is not necessary to have people who can sing, read music or carry a tune. They only need to bring their enthusiasm and commitment to Jewish worship.
Shir Madness is excited to announce their partnership in March 2012 with the Australian Jewish Choral Festival (AJCF). Presented by Jewish Arts Inc., this inaugural event will take place at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. It is modeled partly on the North American Jewish Choral Festival, now in its 22nd year, where many Jewish singers come together annually to learn about, sing and celebrate Jewish choral music. It also draws elements from the excellent vocal ensemble workshops at Smith College, Massachusetts, presented by the acclaimed 6-voice New York a cappella vocal ensemble, the Western Wind. Jewish Arts has really pulled one out of the hat by successfully engaging this fine group to travel to Australia next year as the teaching faculty for the festival.