The 2020 John Leopold and Martha Dellheim Senior Recital

By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Jan 30, 2020

H. L. Miller Cantorial School graduating seniors Jacob Agar, Arielle Green, and Jacob Greenberg present an evening of song in Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish, and English. The recital features a wide range of great Jewish music—hazzanut and other synagogue music, traditional folk music, choral works and contemporary a cappella.

Joyce Rosenzweig, adjunct instructor at JTS, is the pianist for this concert, which also features the H. L. Miller Cantorial School Chorus, conducted by Hazzan Natasha Hirschhorn.

About the Performers

Jacob Agar, lyric tenor, is a fifth-year student at the H.L Miller Cantorial School, where was a recipient of the Richard Briskin Cantorial Award.  He studied opera performance and linguistics at SUNY Purchase College. Following his conservatory degree, he sang with several opera companies in Manhattan and New Jersey, including  Amore Opera, Garden State Opera, DiCapo Opera, and Utopia Opera. He is also an avid recitalist and has performed around the east coast. Jacob also has served as a music teacher at the Rivertown School of Music, and has taught voice privately to adults and children.

Jacob was inspired to become a cantor by his love for Judaism and Jewish music, and his interest in using music for healing and pastoral care. His goal is to use music to elevate people spiritually, and to help them find comfort and solace in synagogue.

Jacob currently serves as a part-time Cantor at Central Synagogue – Beth Emeth of Rockville Centre, Long Island, NY. He has been there since January 2019, and he loves the community and its musical nature.  Jacob also composes and enjoys setting music to Jewish liturgical texts.

Arielle Green is so excited to present this recital in honor of her and her classmates’ final year at the H.L. Miller Cantorial School. In addition to her studies at JTS, Arielle serves as the cantorial intern at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City. She grew up as an active member of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia, where she found her love of Jewish music. Arielle received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester in music and environmental studies. There, she founded Roc Hakol, the Jewish a cappella group. She continues to be a part of Hudson Sound, a young adult a cappella group under the auspices of the JCC of Manhattan. Outside of the music world, she serves the Jewish community of the Upper West Side as a resident of the Moishe House.  A passionate ecological advocate, Arielle enjoys spending her free time outdoors and works on various environmental justice campaigns.

Jake Greenberg is delighted to be presenting this senior recital with his classmates Arielle and Jacob. While there is so much he loves about the cantorate, he is most excited to be pursuing a career that involves so many of his parents’ passions and interests: From his father, playing and singing and, above all, teaching music. From his mother, organizing events, public speaking, and helping people (for her as a social worker, and for him as a pastoral presence). Lastly, from them both, living a fulfilling Jewish life.

Jake currently serves as Interim Cantor at Congregation B’nai Israel (Toms River, New Jersey). Last year he served as Summer Student Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Tikvah in North Brunswick, New Jersey; Cantorial Intern at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland; Clergy Intern at Rutgers University Hillel; and as Cantor-in-Residence at Congregation Etz Hayim in Arlington, Virginia, where he also led High Holidays the past two years.

Joyce Rosenzweig is an internationally recognized pianist, conductor, master class presenter, lecturer, coach, arranger, and authority on Jewish art and synagogue music. She has performed in concerts throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and Israel, and is a dedicated educator of cantors and synagogue musicians, having served for over 25 years on the faculty of Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she holds the title of Artist-in-Residence. She has been a faculty member at H. L. Miller Cantorial School since 2004 and has served as Music Director of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan since 1994. Ms. Rosenzweig studied piano performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music; choral conducting at Westminster Choir College; Yiddish at Oxford University and JTS; and art song and chamber music at the Banff Centre of the Arts (Canada), Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Music Festival, and Franz Schubert Institute (Vienna), where she was awarded first prize in lieder accompaniment. She has collaborated in chamber music recitals with ensembles from the New York Philharmonic and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and appeared as soloist with the New Orleans Philharmonic and Texas Festival Orchestra under the baton of Leon Fleisher. Her new  CD with Cantor David Berger, “Refuge,” a collection of art songs by Jewish-American refugee composers, is due to be released in the coming months.

Hazzan Natasha Hirschhorn is the music director of Congregation Ansche Chesed in New York. An accomplished singer, pianist, and composer, Hazzan Hirschhorn has performed at venues throughout North America, including the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall, as well as the Berkeley Jewish Music Festival, Toronto Jewish Music Festival, and the North American Jewish Choral Festival. She also appears on numerous CDs as singer, pianist, arranger, and composer, including her solo album of original music, They Call Me. A native of Ukraine, Hirschhorn studied musicology, piano, and composition in the honors program at at Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow, and at the Kiev State Conservatory. Ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion in 1999, Hirschhorn serves as a faculty member of both H. L. Miller Cantorial School and the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College. The conductor of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School Choir at the JTS since 2016, and the founding conductor of Shirei Chesed Community Chorus, now in its 14th year, Natasha maintains an active teaching and performing schedule, including recent programs with a classical ensemble The Bachanalia String Orchestra, Interfaith/Interface: a musical collaboration inspired by psalms with jazz ensemble The Afro-Semitic Experience, and a production of Oratorio “Souls on Fire” by Charles Osborne based on the book by Elie Wiesel.