West Ott, Cantor Anna

American. Ordained in May 1998 from the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York City. Cantor at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple since July 1999. She had a diverse career in central New Jersey as a singer, pianist, guitarist, educator, and choral director long before she came to the cantorate. She grew up in Metuchen, graduated from Hillel Academy in Perth Amboy and Bruriah High School in Elizabeth, graduated with honors from Douglass College with her BA in Music Education and Piano while taking advanced courses in the Hebraic Studies department, and obtained her MA in Vocal Performance from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey). She taught vocal music for ten years in the public schools of Piscataway Township, NJ and taught private students in piano, guitar, voice, Hebrew, and B nai Mitzvah studies. Her performing career has integrated her varied talents as singer, pianist, and guitarist ranging from opera and oratorio to musical theater, folk, jazz, madrigals, and cabaret, including featured roles with the Middlesex Opera Company and Plays-in-the-Park. Cantor Ott s great love is choral directing and producing memorable performances of Jewish music of all styles. Under her direction, Anshe Emeth s (New Brunswick, NJ) music program now includes a teen choir, adult choir, and a band made up of her student guitarists. In addition, she co-directs Makhelat HaMercaz, the Jewish community chorus of central New Jersey, and founded the Anshe Segulah Men s Chorus which has sung at the Jewish Federation s Yom Hashoah observance. In the past she has directed Kol Halayla, the Jewish a cappella ensemble of Rutgers University, and has sung with the New Jersey Cantors Concert Ensemble. Information from: