By Ben Tinsley
DALLAS — The Hampton Synagogue Choir and special guest Raquel Pomerantz Gershon join Cantor Itzhak Zhrebker and the Shearith Israel Choirs Kol Rina and Kol Neshama for their Cantorial Concert 2016 at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 6, in the Aaron Family Main Sanctuary of Congregation Shearith Israel, 9401 Douglas Ave.
It is the latest in the Small Waldman Cohen Signature Series. Last October the series sponsored Israel’s superstar composer-singer-songwriter David D’or.
The Hampton Synagogue Choir — a vocal ensemble that specializes in Jewish liturgical and folk music under the direction of Izchak Haimov — has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center.
Zhrebker said this year’s “out of the box” decision to include them in the Cantorial Concert should really pay off in terms of musical quality.
“This isn’t just a choir — it is an ensemble of soloists,” Zhrebker said. “Any one of them could be a cantor. They all have had training on that level. It will be interesting to a wide audience due to the performance abilities of the group They can go from liturgical to classical, from Hasidic to opera. There also will be Italian and English and Hebrew songs.”
Indeed, the choir’s wide repertoire spans Jewish liturgical music, Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Russian, Italian, French, Spanish, Neapolitan songs, Broadway, opera and classical pieces.
Many of the choir members have independent operatic careers of their own. As such, the Hampton Choir is considered to be one of the most important vocal ensembles in the music world. Group members come from different countries and their varied tones of Jewish culture combine to create the group’s signature sound.
Izchak Haimov, choral director for the Hampton Synagogue Choir, said he has been looking forward to this performance for quite some time.
“The cantor is my good friend — I met him in Israel in 1990,” Haimov said. “… The choir is very well-known professionally and they have a different type of music. This will be a very unique program. The audience will enjoy it. I am expecting a full house.”
Raquel Gershon, Jewish educator, local singer and songwriter of contemporary Jewish music, will make a special guest appearance at the concert. She will perform two songs from her second CD, Candlesticks of Silver. She has released two CDs and currently is working on a third.
“In addition to my two original songs I will be performing two songs with Cantor Zhrebker and the Hampton Synagogue Choir,” she said.
Gershon serves as High Holidays cantor in Tucson, Arizona and as part-time cantorial soloist at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville. Additionally, she is religious school music director and bar mitzvah tutor at Congregation Shearith Israel.
Gershon — who plays wedding ceremonies, private house concerts and luncheons — will have CDs available for purchase after the concert. Her music currently is available on iTunes, oySongs, and cdbaby.
“I’m looking forward to being part of this fabulous musical event,” she said. “It’s always a joy to sing with Hazzan Zhrebker.”
The March 6 concert runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cost will range from $10 to $12 per person.
To inquire further, go to shearith.org, or contact Sandi Burt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-939-7315.