Winning Composers Spanning the Globe Featured At Shalshelet s Second International Music Festival
CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND — Shalshelet: The Foundation for New Jewish Liturgical
Music, announced the names of the 28 composers whose 36 compositions will be
presented during the Second International Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music on
Sunday, June 11 at Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase, Maryland (8300
Meadowbrook Lane). The 7 p.m. concert will feature 15 of these liturgical works, and
the day-long Festival, beginning at 10 a.m., will showcase the remainder of the
Tickets: In advance concert only: $20; workshops & brunch: $30; concert and
workshops & brunch: $40. Purchase tickets: send a check payable to Shalshelet, PO
Box 15836, Chevy Chase, MD 20825 or www.shalshelet.org. At the door additional $5 for each event.
Building on the success of the inaugural Festival in November 2004, this year s
submissions totaled more than 300 from 107 composers across the U.S., as well as
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Israel and Uganda. The winning composers comprise a
diverse group geographically and musically, and in their Jewish affiliations and
practices — Rabbis and Cantors, teachers and students, and those with primary
occupations outside the Jewish and music worlds. The compositions include tunes for
congregational singing, cantorial solos, and choral pieces in styles ranging from
Hasidic to jazz, classical, South American and American pop.
I am in awe, overwhelmed with delight, said Hazzan Dr. Ramón Tasat, Shalshelet s
president. That the numbers have doubled this year twice as many submissions by
twice as many composers this is nothing short of amazing. It is a testament to
the contribution Shalshelet continues to make as an essential outlet for liturgical
music, he added.
Shalshelet encourages submissions (using a blind review process) from amateur and
professional musicians. The music review committee consists of three highly
accomplished musicians — Hazzan Dr. Ramón Tasat, Hazzan Natasha J. Hirschhorn and
Dr. Norma Brooks. (committee members bios attached)
The Festival is designed to provide an opportunity for the audience to hear
traditional Jewish texts in fresh musical settings, and to learn from the composers.
This year s program includes a Sunday evening concert and Sunday morning workshops
with composers, focusing on four liturgical themes: Shabbat, Psalms (Tehillim), Days
of Awe (Yamim Noraim) and Unusual Texts. The Sunday morning presentations and brunch
allow for lively discussions of the creative process and musical approaches to text.
Shalshelet (Hebrew for chain ) was established as a non-profit in 2003 to encourage
the creation of original Jewish liturgical music. The Foundation s mission is to
build bridges within the Jewish community and beyond, by exposing a wider audience
to Jewish religious music in creative ways.