Nashirah Chorale to Hold Annual Spring Concert Next Weekend


Photo by John Hayes

Nashirah, the Jewish chorale of Philadelphia, under the artistic direction of Jonathan Coopersmith, will hold its annual Spring Concert at Society Hill Synagogue on Sunday, April 21, 2013.

Nashirah is the only auditioned community-based chorale in the Greater Philadelphia area that performs exclusively Jewish and Jewish-themed music. The 90-minute program, “Sabbath Variations,” will celebrate the Jewish Sabbath service as performed from the seventeenth century through today, and from Yemen to Israel to the United States.

More after the jump.
Nashira’s Concert selections include traditional and contemporary musical arrangements performed in Hebrew and English. Featured works include Italian Renaissance songs by Salomone Rossi and a surprising Hebrew arrangement for Kiddush by composer Kurt Weill, usually known for his theatrical scores such as The Threepenny Opera.

A highlight of the concert will be a collection of songs by Tziporah Jochsberger. Reeling from the death of her parents in Auschwitz and the loss of millions like them, Jochsberger resolved to use music and Jewish melodies to waken the dormant Jewish soul of American Jewry.

In its nine year history, Nashirah has grown to a chorale of 30 singers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Nashirah has performed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Jewish History, Prince Music Theatre, Andrea Clearfield’s Salon, American Chorale Directors Association, the Delaware Valley Jewish Choral Festival, the Gershman Y, Israel 60 Parade and Festival, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and synagogues, senior centers and churches throughout the Philadelphia area.  

Under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Jonathan Coopersmith, the Nashirah is moving into the league of nationally known groups such as the Zamir Chorale of New York City and Zemer Chai of Washington, DC. Coopersmith is the chair of Musical Studies at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music where he has been teaching harmony, counterpoint, music history, and solfege since 2004. A native of Princeton, Mr. Coopersmith has been the Associate Conductor for The Philadelphia Singers since 2002 and is a guest choral director for The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Pennsylvania Ballet. He is a regular guest lecturer in the Philadelphia area, with recent lectures at The Curtis Institute of Music, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and The Philadelphia Museum of Art. In the past, he has served as Music Director for Philadelphia’s Opera on the Square, Rittenhouse Row Festival, and The Philadelphia Festival of the Arts, and has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra Society, The Westminster Conservatory Orchestra, The Wilmington Orchestra, The Mannes Orchestra, and The Penn’s Landing Orchestra.

Coopersmith notes:

There is an extraordinary legacy of chorale music that is largely unknown even in the Jewish community. My priority has been to choose from the best of this heritage or to commission new music to be performed by Nashirah at a high level. My hope is that Jewish music, performed in a concert setting, will be seen as artistic, high quality, and even forward-looking.

Tickets prices for the concert are $25. Student rush tickets (with school or college ID) will be available at the door for $10.