Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Blended Voices

Barbara Bensoussan

Somewhere in between celestial choirs of angels and the corner barbershop quartet is an increasingly popular phenomenon: the chassidic men’s choir. It’s not Pirchei, and it’s not about celebrity vocalists. Today’s music users are becoming infatuated with the blended sounds and mature harmonic backgrounds only a bunch of leibedig, music-loving guys can produce together.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It’s one thing to sit around the Shabbos table at home or yeshivah singing your heart out, but could you imagine yourself doing it in front of a crowd? Fourteen years agoChiluPosen couldn’t imagine it either. Could a love of singing really segue into a career?

“A friend of mine from yeshivah told me, ‘I know you love to sing. Why don’t you come sing at my son’s bar mitzvah?’ I got together a few guys, and it was such a big success, it convinced me I could really do it for a living.”

Posen didn’t immediately resign his day job working in a Judaica warehouse. But as the reputation of his choir, Mezamrim, began to grow, he got so busy he had to quit in order to devote himself to it full time.

He explains that while Pirchei boys choirs have been performing and recording popular Jewish music since the 1970s, this is an entirely new genre; in the past decade there’s been a growing demand for this new entertainment medium — the adult chassidic choir. It has become de rigueur at weddings, Shabbos affairs when instruments are prohibited, sheva brachos, and fundraising and testimonial dinners — and not just in the chassidic world.

Suddenly Posen found himself inundated by calls asking, “Can I join your choir?” or “Could you check out my son?” Now, with up to 24 singers, Posen is out almost every night on jobs, a schedule he admits isn’t easy for his wife, although it allows him to be more available during the day. “I try to be home when the kids come home from school,” he says.

Shraga Gold began his career singing with yeshivah friends, launching Shira Choir about ten years ago. He had a job working in diamond settings, but left it when his choir took off. “Many people were making simchahs with a one-man band, and they realized a choir added a lot,” he says. “And during times like Sefirah or the Three Weeks, some people will employ an a capella choir for functions.” Choirs are also in demand as backup for CD work, promotional video clips, and performances. Now, Gold says, Shira Choir — which has released four of its own discs including a collaboration withMordechaiBenDavid, and has performed at Chabad telethons, HASC concerts, and the recent Shas-a-thon — has work just about every day of the year, drawing from a pool of 30 adult singers.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you