GREAT BARRINGTON – On Aug. 10th, while Yo Yo Ma was working his magic at Tanglewood, and Michael Feinstein was preparing to perform at the Mahaiwe, an audience of 60 welcomed another wonderful musical event: the inaugural concert of the B’Shalom Chorale of the Berkshires, held at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire. Seventeen singers, conducted by Jack Brown and accompanied by Joe Rose on the piano, presented a range of Jewish music, sacred and secular, in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English. Noted clarinetist Paul Green embellished the choral works and performed several lively Klezmer tunes. The concert also highlighted the voices of Jack Brown and Cantor Emily Sleeper Mekler, who brought the house down with two powerful duets.
The Berkshire Chorale was imagined, created, and coordinated by Cantor Mekler, who also founded and coordinated the Greater Hartford Zimriyah and was the long-time cantor of Sinai Temple in Springfield. The singers came from all over Berkshire and Franklin Counties. The chorale is seeking people willing to organize, publicize, and fundraise the group, as well as more singers. The next planning meeting for B’Shalom Chorale will be held Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 15 North St. (just off Rte. 7) in Great Barrington. For more information, contact Cantor Mekler at (413) 531-8706 or firstname.lastname@example.org.