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Tribute to Marcel from a “treble-maker”

posted 13 Jun 2017, 05:51 by Lodzer Shabbat-Bulletin


Tribute to Marcel from a  “treble-maker”

When I heard that Marcel Cohen was hired as the new cantor, I knew this was a major development in the Lodzer Synagogue's history.

I wanted to in-choir about singing with him for the high holidays.

Did you get my note? I asked him (in the e-mail). I heard you have 3 male singers, but you could surely add two women, one alto and one soprano, (myself and Carole M,) to complete the chords.

“That wouldn’t harm-ony one, would it?” I asked.

There has been a minor setback, Marcel replied. We’ve had to scale back on singers because the shul can’t afford to pay them as in past years.

I did not appreciate his tone! He was a little too sharp for my liking, so I told him flatly to please give it a rest.

At the first rehersal, I knew that the choir was in serious treble; no one could find the key (both to the door and to the music)

Marcel told us, “We need to guit-ar act together. You are all singing so-lo, that no one can hear you. It sounds ten-or twelve miles away, too muffled, and too “shleppy”. That’s a musical term that means slow and draggy.

Pick up the speed. Just du-et!

Presto, the choir began to accelerate to a fever pitch and began to sound like a run-away train. We need a conductor! Marcel concluded.

That is not my forte. I’m the chazzan, Robert Loewen (Marcel’s vocal coach) will be the conductor and also help the choir to find the key.

Marcel and Bob both worked hard to fix whatever was baroque in the choir.

We sang a capela. (That’s Italian, in Yiddish it’s pronounced a kepele)

That means we wear kipas (but not my brother’s kipa.) Naturally, I would have loved to have an orchestra accompany us, but the shul does not condone too much sax and violins.


Yasher Koach Faye Kellerstein