In a cappella contest, Maryland’s Rak Shalom comes in second

There was neither Glee snark nor teenage sexual innuendo at the Kol HaOlam National Collegiate Jewish A Cappella Competition on Saturday night. Instead eight Jewish student song groups staged a friendly competition on stage at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington. The college-aged singers hailed from Temple, Binghamton, Washington and Johns Hopkins universities and the universities… Read More

Choral singers practice, look ahead to Carnegie Hall

Baltimore is a long commute from Reston, where Kate York lives. The 18-year-old senior at South Lakes High School had for years wanted to join the Jewish high school choral group HaZamir, but couldn’t justify the once-a-week drive. That changed when the Zamir Choral Foundation started its Washington-area chapter. York is one of 15 singers… Read More

Piotr Gajewski leads National Philharmonic

Music has always been an important part of Jewish culture,” said Piotr Gajewski, conductor and founder of the Montgomery County-based National Philharmonic. The Warsaw-born maestro founded the orchestra in the mid-1980s as the Montgomery Chamber Orchestra with an eye toward bringing a world-class musical organization to Montgomery County. In succeeding years the group evolved and… Read More

Israeli violinist’s career on the rise

Israeli-born violinist Netanel Draiblate, concertmaster to “three-and-a-half” orchestras in the region, has seen his solo career blossom of late. Draiblate, who makes his home in Odenton, serves as concertmaster to the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Forest Symphony and the project-based experimental PostClassical Ensemble. In a typical year, Draiblate performs one… Read More

Chanukah kicks off with concerts Baltimore and Washington areas have some rockin’ holiday shows

Chanukah is a complicated holiday for many. While its more recognizable symbols and rituals have to do with the miracle of the oil, Chanukah’s story is also that of a military victory. “We’re celebrating two separate things … so it’s kind of schizophrenic,” said Beth El Congregation Cantor Thom King. “The main reason the oil… Read More