A "Behind The Scenes" Peek at the Famous Choir of KAJ
The KAJ choir was introduced in Germany by Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch. The choir was reintroduced in the United States by Rav Breuer over seventy years ago and has sung on a regular basis since then with the exception of a few weeks off during the summer months owing to the absence of some of the choir members who are away on vacation. Rather than consisting of paid professionals, the choir is comprised of volunteer amateur men and boys who are members or children of members of the kehilla. The choir’s conductors have also always been volunteer members of the kehilla. The choir has always had professional musical directors who have taught and trained the members at their weekly rehearsals. The purpose of the choir is to lead the kehilla in the singing adding a sense of dignity and majesty to the avodah in the bais haknesses.
KAJ's choir is often asked to sing at weddings and has also periodically presented their Shiro V’Zimroh concerts when they have been joined by such greats as Chazzan Joseph Malovany along with other guest chazzonim. The choir’s reputation for their beautiful renditions and perpetuation of the kehilla’s traditional melodies as well as the occasional introduction of new and fitting melodies has gained them worldwide renown especially as it is one of if not the last shul choir of it’s type.
Many people may not realize all the hard work and dedication that goes into the choir's seemingly effortless performances. Their extensive repertoire necessitates weekly rehearsals, where they not only review the music and the nuances, but they are given voice training as well.
You, my readers are being given a rare treat. I am going to share with you a look at KAJ's Choir rehearsing.
(If you made it all this way and still want more, there are some warm up exercises on my YouTube playlist)
Please also be aware that this is raw rehearsal footage. Any constructive criticisms contained therein should be viewed as just that.