Time flies, and the Zemel Choir’s annual concert at Belsize Square Synagogue will soon be with us. The choir has been particularly busy since the last concert, performing at the inaugural Louis Lewandowski Festival in Berlin and hosting its own International Jewish Choral Festival in London in June. Following such energetic internationalism we are now returning to one of our favourite musical homes. This year we will be ringing the changes Jewish-style, with a Chanukah concert instead of our usual performance for Kristallnacht. Come and join us for festive fun and a programme of beautiful and contrasting music. We will be performing Five Hebrew Love Songs by Eric Whitacre, a grammy-award-winning composer/conductor who wrote these gentle and thought-provoking pieces to words written by his Israeli wife, soprano Hila Plitmann. We will also be performing one of the classics of British choral music, the humorous and riotously catchy Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo, written by Michael Flanders (of Flanders and Swann) and émigré composer Joseph Horovitz. In addition there will be a new melody for Maoz Tsur, a cheekily irreverent medley of Chanukah songs, an evocative piece by Cecilia McDowell that was warmly received by audiences at the Zemel Choir’s International Jewish Choral Festival in June, and the unusual sound of Jewish gospel music.
For this concert the Zemel Choir is joined by the acclaimed Jewish barbershop quartet, bOYbershop, which regularly entertains audiences with its eclectic mix of Jewish music, classic close harmony and new arrangements. We are also joined by the enthusiastic singers of the Youth Choir of Belsize Square Synagogue. Expect humorous close harmony and enthusiastic singing, with new arrangements and something for everyone. And if you don’t like music, you can always come to eat doughnuts. So join us on December 9th and help us to usher in Chanukah with song.