Friday Night Singing




Friday Night Singing

Second Friday of Each Month

Kolot haLev and Shirat haNefesh celebrate 10 years of existence

Kolot haLev is a choir that strives to experience the beauty of choral singing regardless of musical background, Hebrew knowledge or vocal abilities.

Shirat haNefesh has grown with the intention of providing its members a strong and direct Jewish experience.
Dr. Ramón Tasat is the Cantor of Shirat haNefesh and the musical director of Kolot haLev. Kolot haLev became the Shirat haNefesh choir-in-residence in 2008 and since then it has changed many of the paradigms associated with choral music in a Jewish liturgical setting. From September to June, KHL provides musical inspiration for Friday evening services once a month as well as for other special religious events as the occasion arises.
On the second Friday of each month Kolot haLev leads Shirat haNefesh Shabbat services. Accompanied by talented instrumentalists, Kolot haLev creates a sacred atmosphere that surrounds those attending. Seekers of moments of deep spirituality fill up the Shirat haNefesh intimate sanctuary singing with great excitement.
For decades, choirs have been criticized for monopolizing religious music and denying those attending services the chance to express themselves through singing. Frequently, choir directors paid little attention to the relationship between the prayers and the music. Too often, the singing lacked spirit and a true connection to the words.

Many participants argued that choirs sung music from a past time that did not reach them nor speak to them. Unbeknownst to them, many of the melodies they sung where truncated versions of beautiful choral renditions that once embellish religious services and now hardly anyone recognized it.

Choirs became an impediment to the creation of sacredness and to reaching into our souls. Unsurprisingly, choirs began to disappear from synagogues at an alarming rate. For many, the waning of choral music opened a new period of musical “liberation”, a time when all could sing, not just a few, a new era when one need not be an experienced singer in order to add her voice to the room.
The musical icons of this new time reinforced the feeling that synagogue music was not authentic unless written by a few composers such as Debbie Friedman, Salomon Sulzer or Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, to name a few.

A major goal of the Kolot haLev choir is to bring to Shirat haNefesh and many other audiences around the US, a vast array of Jewish music not usually presented or available. Kolot haLev sings many types of Jewish music: from jazz to classical; from the 14th Century up to contemporary; Ashkenazi and Sephardic; and ethnic music from all over the world. The selections come from many countries and cultures including England, Russia, Morocco, Turkey, India, Africa, Iraq, the United States, and Israel. Kolot haLev believes that this unique music enhances the identification of congregants with their Jewish culture heritage and religious practices.

Choirs began to disappear from synagogues at an alarming rate. Kolot haLev seeks to revitalize this form of sacred music through a vast array of Jewish music not usually presented or available.