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Re: what's a cantorial soloist?
- From: Sam Weiss <samweiss...>
- Subject: Re: what's a cantorial soloist?
- Date: Mon 23 Apr 2001 05.26 (GMT)
You'll find cantorial soloists almost always in a Reform congregation.
For many decades Reform congregations (or, more often, Reform rabbis)
resisted hiring cantors. This reflected the classic Reform worship
aesthetic modeled on the Protestant church, where there is one
officiant, the priest (= rabbi), and where the burden of music making
rests on a choir with organ accompaniment. Some of the unavoidably
soloistic passages were then assigned to the "cantorial soloist," who
tended to be one of the Jewish choir members possessing a better voice
and, sometimes, some acquaintance with Hebrew. Slowly there developed
an understanding of the broader and deeper functions of a cantor, with
the ironic result that the first cantorial school in America (founded in
1948) was the one at the Hebrew Union College.
Cantor Sam Weiss === Jewish Community Center of Paramus, NJ
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