Friday, October 24, 2008

Music in My Life

I love singing ever since I know myself. I sang in the kindergarden choir, school choir and the choir of the Jewish community in Oradea. I have a basic musical ear and musicians among my ancestors, but my basic talent has not been properly developed.

In 1970 I inherited my cousins' piano and took lessons from 3 piano teachers. The first one, Lazar Herman, tought me popular songs that my grandma sang along, but no sheet music. The others tought me more pedagogicaly, but I shirked practice and my parents gave up on me. Petty.

In 1979 I enrolled in the classical singing program of the Popular School of Art in Oradea, in this beautiful building, that mainly serves as the county library. "You sing like a bird", my teacher, Rea Silvia Pop D. Popa used to say, meaning I don't have enough volume for the opera-like pieces. The two years I spent on this program were truly magical for me. I remember leaving each lesson totally uplifted.

When I came to Israel, I was busy learning Hebrew, earning a living, raising my children and getting higher education, so music was not part of my life for too many years.

After finishing my MBA, I was ready to devote time for my soul. The trigger came at our silver anniversary, where the organizers surprised me with the 'Ve'al Kulam' duet I sang with Yossi Adler, the former cantor of the Zion Temple in Oradea (where I got married). Yossi, dressed in festive white, used to do the Yom Kippur singing from downstairs and I used to peek from the window on the right of the pipe organ while singing my solo part.

Coworker-friend-Enghlish teacher-playwright-musician Jeff Meshel advised me to join a choir. A good way to find something is tell everybody you know you are looking. So I spread the word and another friend, Sandy Noymer, forwarded me an ad from Alex Eshed, the conductor of Barberina. I joined Barberina about two and a half years ago as a lead singer. This is where I learned about the barbershop genre. You can see and listen to what we sing here.

(Then I found out that another friend of mine, Rely, who lives in the UK, is also a lead singer at Phoenix, a much larger award winning barbershop choir that will soon perform in Hawaii.)

The pictures on the left were taken at our last performance at the Abu Gosh festival.

So what's next? Lately, I've been having thoughts about taking piano lessons again.

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