When Alexis Konigsberg told her brother she was going to the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music of The Jewish Theological Seminary, his response was, "We knew that . . . we were just waiting for you to figure it out for yourself."
Alexis's love of singing began when her cantor at Temple Beth-El in her childhood home of Palm Beach County, Florida, discovered she had a beautiful voice. Soon she became an integral part of the temple's youth choir, consistently performing at concerts and events. The more she sang, the more she enjoyed it.
Alexis's time at JTS actually started in the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies, where she was a Joint Program student majoring in Jewish music at JTS and economics and math at Columbia University.
While at List College, Alexis also had the opportunity to take classes at the H. L. Miller Cantorial School. This exposed her to the small classes and tightly knit community that the school is known for. "We learn from each other. I can see down the road when we are all future Jewish professionals being able to call up old friends to ask advice or get together, and I can't think of a more supportive peer group to draw upon during my career," Alexis says.
Yet it was only after a summer internship in finance, which she was also considering as a career, that Alexis knew that her passion lay in music. "I didn't have as great a love for finance as I did for music. When I was leading services or teaching, I really enjoyed it. The cantorial path is a calling and I felt that there was something more meaningful that I couldn't get anywhere else," she says.
Having decided to apply only to JTS's cantorial school, Alexis knows she made the right choice. Singling out her coaches Robert Kieval, Martha Novick, Lawrence Avery, and Faith Steinsnyder as world-class cantors and key influences, Alexis says she owes a lot to their teaching and training.
Alexis hopes to become a pulpit cantor and share her melodic voice with a congregation, knowing that she has a network of friends and colleagues by her side. As she says, "It isn't just going to school—it feels like you are building relationships that are going to be important for the rest of your life."