Renanim Youth Singers is celebrating its bar mitzvah year with a gala concert, May 26 at the Daniels Spectrum, Ada Slaight Hall.
The concert, Renanim Shirim: A Celebration in Song, will feature choir alumni and jazz/blues vocalist Jackie Richardson as guest soloist.
Susan Michaels, founder and director of the choir, which is aimed at youth from grades 6 to 12, said she started it when her children were in Hebrew day school.
“There was no music in the day school system, and I didn’t think we had to choose between music and a Hebrew education. I didn’t know the choir would last so long, but it just blossomed over the years.”
The choir’s repertoire includes Jewish music, as well as popular, classical, Broadway, jazz and rhythm and blues.
Choir members, who must audition, typically stay from four to 10 years, she said. “They are ambassadors. They represent the Jewish community and become the musical voice of Jewish youth.”
She said that since its inception, the choir has been to Israel twice and has put out a few CDs.
Recently, the choir completed a five-year globally sponsored educational recording project with Koltor Publishing of more than 100 songs selected by internationally partnered rabbis and cantors. The music is now available for Jewish day school curricula around the world to help teach Judaic material of prayers, songs and blessings.
For information on the concert, call 416-720-0352 or visit renanimyouthsingers.org.