Makhelat Micha’el: The Mishkan Shalom Community Choir meets weekly on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Chapel. We welcome anyone who loves to sing ethnic and classical Jewish music and songs of peace and freedom. We are members of Congregation Mishkan Shalom and of other synagogues and churches and other community members. We began as a choir assembled by Rabbi/Cantor Liz Bolton for the ceremony after the death in 1998 of longtime Mishkan singer Michael Litan. Liz named the group Makhelat Micha'el (Michael's choir). Conductor/composer Janice Hamer directed the choir from 1999-2011. Rabbi Liz has now returned to lead the choir. She is a multi-talented rabbi, cantor, singer, voice teacher and choral conductor. She earned a B.F.A. in Music and Women's Studies from Concordia University. She also studied Voice and Opera at McGill University, the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts in British Columbia and in Austria.
Repertoire and Concerts
Our repertoire is broad; we explore all branches of Jewish choral music, from the classical composers (Rossi,Mendelssohn, etc.) to contemporary American, Israeli and other Jewish pieces. We maintain a continuing repertoire of arrangements of Yiddish, Ladino, Yemenite and other "ethnic minority" works. Our recent work includes musical settings of the Psalms and Song of Songs. We also perform peace and freedom songs, and have performed in Arabic as part of several Middle East peace concerts. We have also premiered several works by members of the choir and of Mishkan. You can listen to practice tracks of some of our repertoire here: https://sites.google.com/site/mishkanchoir/ This may be the only choir that sings in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, Ladino, Zulu, and Arabic!! Concerts have included such events as the Thanksgiving Northwest Interfaith Movement service, a performance at the Lovett Memorial Library in Mt. Airy with the Summit Presbyterian Church Choir, Delaware Valley Jewish Choral Festival, a collaboration with a local African-American church, a collaboration with Intercultural Journeys (an ensemble of Arab and Jewish musicians), a service during the Gay Pride Festival, participation with Mothers Against Violence and with the Philadelphia Interfaith Peace Walk, performances at retirement communities and many Mishkan events. In short, we are a community choir that works on and performs a concert repertoire while also contributing music suitable for peace and justice events to the greater Philadelphia community. A warm, extended-family atmosphere makes the choir socially enjoyable as well as musically challenging.
If you are interested in joining the choir, come visit us during one of our Tuesday evening rehearsals and see if you'd like to sing with us. Rabbi Liz will hear all prospective singers informally, to make sure you have a musical ear and the potential for musical growth. Non-sight-readers as well as more advanced musicians will be considered.
• Please contact Amy Mann, choir member, at firstname.lastname@example.org