Kol Rinah’s Celebration Concert at
Congregation Sons of Israel
By Susan R. Eisenstein
On Father’s Day, Sunday June 19th at 3:00pm, Kol Rinah (Joyful Voice) the Jewish chorale of Westchester, will be celebrating 20 years of song. Founded in April 2001, it is Kol Rinah’s 21st year of bringing Jewish music to a community wider and more diverse than is typically reached by synagogue choirs. However, because of Covid-19, they never got a chance to have a 20th anniversary concert. So, Kol Rinah is celebrating now with a concert in their new home, Congregation Sons of Israel, located at 1666 Pleasantville Road, Briarcliff Manor.
Kol Rinah’s repertoire is eclectic, covering joyous songs and thoughtful songs, Renaissance songs and Broadway songs and songs spanning the diversity of Jewish music of many hundreds of years from all over the world. Kol Rinah sings in English, in Hebrew, in Ladino and in Yiddish. This year, the concert is on Juneteenth so they will be singing American spirituals with a Jewish connection, as well.
Benjamin Gruder is the Artistic Director and Conductor of Kol Rinah. He also directs both Nashir, The Rottenberg Chorale and the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ) choir in New York City. Gruder has performed in symphonic, jazz, ethnic and punk rock ensembles and studied conducting at the University of Memphis and song writing with Jeremy Wall, founding member of Spyrogyra and a Grammy nominee. In addition to arranging and composing choral and instrumental pieces, Gruder created and produced “Jonah! A Rock Musical” which has been performed in New York and the surrounding metropolitan area.
Kol Rinah’s accompanist is Laura Ravotti. She has been performing professionally since 1986. Ravotti has been the Music Director at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Croton-on-Hudson since 2005. Ravotti has a BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University, PA and an MM from Bowling Green State University, OH. She has been rehearsal accompanist for the Nashville Ballet, staff accompanist at Vanderbilt University, Blair School of Music and a substitute French Horn player with the Nashville Symphony. Ms. Ravotti has backed up entertainers such as Bob Hope, Wayne Newton, Andy Williams, Shari Lewis and Lambchop and has played on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Carnegie Hall and Town Hall, as well as with the NJ Pops and Greenwich Symphony.
Long-term and new members of Kol Rinah will be joining together in song at this celebration concert. “’We love singing for ourselves and our audience. Singing all together in a group is as cathartic as it is connecting, and we really missed it during the pandemic when we needed it more than ever. Now we need our audience to return so we can reconnect with them and celebrate with them,” said Wendy Segal, President of Kol Rinah.
CSI is the perfect new home for Kol Rinah as the building has high ceilings and outstanding up-to-date ventilation. Refreshments will be served after the concert.
For more information, mask requirements, and to purchase tickets, go to www.kolrinahchorale.org.