On Wednesday evening, August 4th, Usdan Center students will present a
historic performance of one of Ernest Bloch’s greatest works, his Sacred
Service (Avodath Hakodesh)
for orchestra, chorus, and baritone soloist.
Sacred Service has rarely been presented by young people, and its
performance on August 4th will be an artistic point of pride for Usdan, and
for its partner organization, UJA-Federation of New York.

Usdan’s senior orchestra and chorus will close the Center’s August 4th Gala
Concert with two parts of Sacred Service. The ensembles, composed of high
school-aged music students, will be conducted by Adam Glaser, a Usdan Center
alumnus, and the conductor of Juilliard’s top Pre-College orchestra. The
critically acclaimed young baritone, Jesse Blumberg, will perform the
cantor’s role in Usdan’s performance. Usdan’s chorus will be prepared by
Karen Lehman, conductor of the Center’s senior choral ensembles

Musicians throughout the United States are honoring Bloch in 2010, the 50th
anniversary of his death. Sacred Service was commissioned by San Francisco’s
Congregation Emanu-El, and it was premiered there in 1934. Usdan’s Gala will
conclude with the dramatic scene that Bloch most loved. It is the moment
when the Torah is taken from its ark, and presented to the congregation as
the chorus sings “Torah tzivoh.” Bloch considered this part of his piece to
be the embodiment of his personal journey of reunion with Judaism.

Usdan’s Executive Director, Dale Lewis, recently spoke of the significance
of the Center’s August performance: “Sacred Service was a watershed
composition for Bloch, one that ignited his transition from a classical
style of composition, to one that was deeply religious. As we look back on
50 years of musical history since Bloch’s death, we now see his pieces as
among the most significant examples of Jewish art produced in the United
States. The Center’s conductors look forward to introducing Bloch’s music to
our students, and to presenting a major work of historic and religious
significance to our community.” A former concert cellist, Lewis has
performed the composer’s entire repertory for the cello, including Schelomo,
the Hebrew rhapsody for cello and orchestra that is among the most important
concertos for the instrument. Lewis’s performances of Bloch’s Jewish Life
suite were accompanied by the celebrated American composer, Yehudi Wyner,
and his Carnegie Recital Hall debut, as winner of the New York Violin
Teachers Guild competition, included a performance of Bloch’s Supplication
for cello.

For more information, visit ,
write to , or call (212) 772-6060 or
(631) 643-7900. Usdan Center is an agency of the UJA-Federation of New York.The Center is
on a 200-acre woodland setting at 185 Colonial Springs Road in Huntington.

The acclaimed young American conductor Adam Glaser is now in his ninth
season on the faculty of the Juilliard School, where he conducts Juilliard’s
Pre-College Orchestra in regular concerts at New York’s Lincoln Center. Mr.
Glaser was awarded the American-Austrian Foundation’s prestigious Karajan
Fellowship for Young Conductors, which sponsored his residence at the
Salzburg Festival and the Internationales Orchesterinstitut Attergau in St.
Georgen, Austria.

An active composer, Mr. Glaser has enjoyed performances of his works by 19
major orchestras throughout the U.S. and Canada including the Philadelphia
Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and
the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, along with the orchestras of Victoria, New
Mexico, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Illinois, Long Island, Richmond, South
Bend, and Naples, and various college orchestras including the University of
Michigan, Stanford University and Cornell University. His choral conducting
engagements include appearances at the Oregon Bach Festival, and
performances of his choral compositions and arrangements include those by
choirs of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Kol HaKavod, a vocal
ensemble dedicated to the performance of Jewish music. He has appeared as a
guest conductor of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony
(B.C.), and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Glaser earned a diploma in orchestral conducting from the Curtis
Institute of Music, a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from
the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at
the University of Michigan. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School
Pre-College Division in composition, and a magna cum laude graduate of the
University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English, Afro-American Studies and
Music. Additional studies include piano performance at the Oberlin
Conservatory, and composition at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory

Usdan’s baritone soloist for Sacred Service will be Jesse Blumberg, an
artist equally at home on opera, concert, and recital stages. He has
appeared at The Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Chicago Opera Theater,
and the Ravinia Festival, and is the founder and artistic director of the
Five Boroughs Music Festival. He has created roles in new operas produced by
the Minnesota Opera and the Utah Symphony, and he performed the title role
of Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses to His Homeland, after which the
Baltimore Sun raved, “Jesse Blumberg commanded the stage, physically and
vocally. His virile baritone grabbed the melodic lines with remarkable
dynamic force, lighting up the hall with his every appearance.” In 2008
Jesse sang John Brooke in Little Women with Opera Delaware and reprised his
role in The Grapes of Wrath with Pittsburgh Opera. In 2009 he performed
Silvio in Pagliacci with Annapolis Opera and then debuted with the Boston
Early Music Festival, as Mercurio in L’incoronazione di Poppea and Adonis
in Venus and Adonis.

In concert, Jesse Blumberg has performed with American Bach Soloists, Los
Angeles Master Chorale, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, Berkshire Choral
Festival, Handel Choir of Baltimore, and the Waverly Consort. In 2005 he
joined the Mark Morris Dance Group for a tour of the United Kingdom, and in
2007 he sang performances of Carmina Burana with the Pennsylvania Ballet at
New York’s City Center. As a chamber musician, Jesse has collaborated with
the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and the Ensemble for the Romantic
Century. He has premieres two important chamber works for baritone: Lisa
Bielawa’s The Lay of the Love and Death at Alice Tully Hall in 2006, and
Ricky Ian Gordon’s Green Sneakers (with the Miami String Quartet) at the
Vail Valley Festival in 2008. In 2006 he and pianist Thomas Bagwell gave a
recital of Wolf Lieder, which the Washington Post described as “no less than
revelatory.” Also that year he and pianist Martin Katz presented an On
Wings of Song recital for the Marilyn Horne Foundation, which has since been
heard on various radio broadcasts nationwide.

In 2007 Jesse Blumberg was awarded first prize in the National Federation of
Music Clubs Young Artist Auditions, and in 2006 took second prize in the
Lieder Division of the Liederkranz Foundation Awards. He has been recognized
by Opera Index, Inc. and the Marian Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical
Artists. In 2004 he was named a first place winner in the Art Song category
of the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Vocal Competition. In 2003 Blumberg was
awarded third place at the 10th International Johannes Brahms Competition in
Austria, and in 2002 he won first place in the 2nd International Yrjš
Kilpinen Art Song Competition. He received a Master of Music degree from the
University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music and undergraduate
degrees in History and Music from the University of Michigan.

Usdan Center, now entering its 43rd season, has introduced the arts to more
than 50,000 Tri-State Area children since its founding in 1968. The Center,
on a 200-acre woodland setting at 185 Colonial Springs Road in Huntington,
is open to all young people from age 6 to 18. No audition is needed for most
programs – rather, admission is based on an expression of interest in the
arts. Each summer, 1,500 students are transported to the Center in
air-conditioned buses every day. One-third of Usdan’s students attend on
scholarship. Although the mission of the Center is for every child to
establish a relationship with the arts, the unique stimulation of the Center
has caused many to go on to arts careers. Alumni include singers Jane
Monheit and Mariah Carey, actresses Natalie Portman and Lisa Gay Hamilton,
and members of major music, theater, and dance ensembles, such as the New
York, Boston, and Los Angeles orchestras, to the New York City Ballet and
American Ballet Theater.

The 2010 season of Usdan Center opens on June 28, and continues through
August 13. For information on applying for participation in the Center’s
program in Organic Gardening and Simple Food, or for more information about
other programs at Usdan Center, visit ,
write to , or call (212) 772-6060 or
(631) 643-7900. Usdan Center is an agency of the UJA-Federation of New York.