Temple Sholom’s Ruach

From Aug ’08 Spotlight: Metro Chicago hosted some incredibly talented people this summer: the American Conference of Cantors/Guild of Temple Musicians (ACC/GTM), the American Jewish Press Association (AJPA), and the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) all had their annual conferences here, and I happily dipped into sessions sponsored by all three.

On Tues June 30, the crowds converged at Temple Sholom on Lake Shore Drive to hear Ruach: Music of Chicago’s Jewish Soul. The ACC/GTM Ensemble gave voice to famous local composers, performing Yiddish melodies like “A Din Toyre mit Gott” by Erwin Jospe (once of Anshe Emet), traditional prayers like “Birkat Hachodesh” by Max Janowski (once of KAM Isaiah Israel), and new arrangements like Gerald Rizzer’s “Vayiven Uziyahu” (with text from 2 Chronicles).

Special guests for the evening included Walt Whitman’s Soul Children of Chicago (who had us all clapping along to Riki Lippitz’ arrangement of “Let the Heavens be Glad”) and harmonica genius Howard Levy (who offered a blazing rendition of Solomon Secunda’s jazz classic “Bay Mir Bist Du Sheyn”). By the time all the performers got onstage for the grand finale (Scott Lavender’s version of “Oseh Shalom”), the whole audience was on its feet, stomping and singing along.

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