‘Brigadoon’ for Jewish singers, choral festival showcases the wonder of music

by | Jul 14, 2023 | Religion

TARRYTOWN, NEW YORK (RNS) — Twenty-two-year-old soprano Shani Chamovitz flew in on a 10-hour flight from Israel, landing at Newark Airport at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday for the annual North American Jewish Choral Festival, held this year in Tarrytown, New York. She didn’t get much sleep but said the hassle was worth it.“It’s been life changing for me,” said Chamovitz, who attended for the first time last year. “It was an amazing experience, singing with such a range of people of all ages, beliefs, outlooks on life and outlooks on Judaism. But it was mostly the musical part of it, and the conducting workshops, that gave me so much.”
The festival is jokingly described by several attendees as “Brigadoon for Jewish choral singers” — a reference to the 1947 musical about a magical town where time essentially stands still.
“Every summer we get back and it’s like there was never a year in between,” said longtime attendee Steve Cohen from Larchmont, New York.
For five packed days from July 9-13, singers attended a slew of workshops on music and Judaism, rallied together for informal community sings, attended nightly professional-level concerts and formed “instant” choirs on site organized by sight-reading skill. Hallways of the Sleepy Hallow Hotel where the f …

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