Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Multiple harmony-singers in one room! It's a miracle!

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic ate the entire human species, it's been almost impossible to find live multi-part harmony.  So imagine how delighted I was to read this announcement on Facebook:

Facefriends. I want to invite you to a special zoom service I’m leading tonight (and again on the 28th and sept 11th). I’ll be leading a small group of singers distanced and live from our sanctuary in Atlanta, and my hope is that it will be both meaningful and uplifting.
If you’d like to join us, you can find the link at for Friday night services.
Mincha will begin at 6:30est Friday, and services will be done by 8pm at the latest.
Wishes for a sweet shabbos

Back in the good old days pre-pandemic, when such things weren't potentially deadly, my husband and I attended Hadar's Rising Song Intensive.  That's where I met (now-Rabbi) Sam Blustin.  He was among those presenting short d'vrei Torah (words of Torah/Jewish learning) after dinner, and since he mentioned an independent minyan that he was involved in leading, I went up afterward to ask his advice on choosing tunes for our then-in-the-planning-stage lay-led minyan (which finally took place on Shabbat Shira in February 2020).  His advice was very helpful.  But unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, we never got to visit the Shira B'Dira Minyan before COVID sent it online and before Sam received his rabbinical ordination and left New York City for an Associate Rabbi position in Atlanta. So this zoom service was our chance to see a bit of what we'd missed.
What a delightful service!  There was Rabbi Sam up on the bima, leading several invisible singers in harmony.  Multi-part harmony, live, done safely in the middle of an airborne pandemic!!!!!  The senior rabbi joked that the sanctuary looked like a recording studio, presumably because of all the wiring needed to power several microphones scattered around the room.  But it was well worth it to hear a "sweet singer of Israel" and his accompanying meshorerim (choristers, harmony singers).  We hope to join Ahavath Achim again on September 11.


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