Cantor Green was trained by masters of Jewish music in the art of ‘wordpainting’ our t’filot – implying the meanings of our prayers through melody and motif, inflections, harmonies, dynamics, and emotion, so that even those who are not Hebrew-speakers can understand them and connect with them.
The key goal of all music at KBI – choral, cantorial, and congregational – is to involve the community. We highly encourage congregational singing (though it’s important to know that listening to or meditating on a prayer is still engaging with it and participating); our choristers are members of the KBI community; and we bring our music to greater Ottawa, and indeed the whole world through our virtual efforts.
As a Conservative synagogue, KBI members and our Cantor hold dear the traditions of nusach Ashkenaz (the melody conventions sung the world over specific to each holy day, each season, each time of day); congregational melodies that remind us of the best parts of our earliest Jewish memories or inspire us to join in song; set compositions from around the calendar; and a touch of chazzanut, the cantorial art of Jewish arias and recitatives. The collection of musical choices Cantor Green makes on a given Shabbat or Yom Tov are meant to bring to our services reverence, joy, serenity, familiarity, finesse, innovation… and also fun and frivolity whenever appropriate!
Our Shabbat services are enhanced on a monthly basis and on the High Holy Days by Kol Beit Yisrael, our adult youth choir. The choir’s repertoire is carefully chosen and arranged by our Cantor to bring outstanding choral harmonies and textures to familiar or traditional synagogue music, and to introduce uplifting and inspiring new melodies. The adult choir rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., and the youth choir meets on Tuesdays from 6:15 p.m. to 6:55 p.m. and includes a pizza dinner. During the pandemic, our rehearsals take place on Zoom on a slightly different schedule. Contact Cantor Green to learn more or to try-out for the choir.
Producing a “virtual choir” video that’s worthy of sharing takes time, resources, and is artistically and technologically demanding on all involved — especially when the choir is so large! KBY is therefore extremely proud to have produced two professional-quality, spiritually uplifting, virtual videos since the pandemic started, with other projects already in the works. Here’s a short YouTube playlist:
We want everyone coming to KBI and praying together to be familiar with the melodies we use in prayer. Below is but a small selection of the tunes and motifs that we sing and hear in our services. There are many melodies that can be used for specific prayers, and if you would like Cantor Green to add particular melodies below, just let him know!
You can find many videos of KBI’s music, prayers, events, classes, and more on our YouTube Channel. Don’t forget to bookmark the page, and subscribe to get updates when we add videos.
The music program at KBI is supported by funding from the Leslie Shinder Choir Fund. The Shinder fund provides for musical equipment and technology, sheet music costs, third-party arranging and composition fees, concert costs (including performer honourariums, accompanist fees, instrument rentals), virtual production expenses, choir travel, and more. If you are a lover and supporter of Jewish music, or appreciate the hard work by our dedicated volunteer choir members and our Cantor, or if you want to remember, honour, acknowledge, or appreciate a cherished individual in your life, you can donate to the Shinder Choir Fund on our Give page. Thank you for your generosity!