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The Two Cantors Concert

Philip Kantor

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 • 8:17pm

On Sunday, March 10th, the Summit JCC is proud to host a concert featuring Cantor Marina Shemesh of Temple Sinai of Summit and its own esteemed Cantor, Janet Ilene Roth.  The two Cantors will sing a variety of classical and popular songs including music from Israel, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Sarajevo and more.  This is an opportunity to hear vibrant, uplifting, unusual and moving music in an intimate and warm setting.

Marina Shemesh joined Temple Sinai in Summit as their Cantor just this past fall.  Her journey to become a cantor is a fascinating one, starting as a child in Russia with almost no religious exposure, experiencing anti-Semitism in the pre-Glasnost Soviet Union, and culminating with her graduation from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.  In Israel, where she lived for nine years,   Cantor Shemesh won first prize at the Rubin Academy vocal competition and performed as a soloist with the New Israeli Opera.  She has concertized extensively in the United States and Canada, presenting a broad repertoire  of Broadway melodies, art and folk music.

Cantor Roth has been leading services at the Summit Jewish Community Center for over 20 years.  In addition to performing the traditional liturgy, Cantor Roth has a special interest in imbuing services and the community’s lives with the beauty of all types of music particularly Jewish folk and choral music.  She is a passionate believer in the power of song to both entertain and transform, and in the understanding that comes from experiencing a diversity of musical styles.  She has hosted numerous events at the SJCC featuring everything from Cuban-Klezmer bands and “Jewish Gospel” to Chamber music and college a cappella groups.  According to Cantor Roth, The Afternoon Music concert series is  an opportunity to bring her colleagues into Summit and to create a forum for “music for music’s sake:” a chance to explore hidden gems of the repertoire and to share it with the community in an comfortable and relaxed setting.

A Little Afternoon Music will start at 4 p.m. on March 10th.  Accompanying the two Cantors will be Dave Davis on piano, the Nevalim Band and the combined choirs of the SJCC and Temple Sinai.  A reception will follow the concert.  Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door for adults and $8 and $10, respectively, for children 12 and under.  The SJCC is located at 67 Kent Place Boulevard.  For more information, please call 908-273-8130.

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