partnered with Songcatchers Inc. to present a Sunday afternoon concert featuring a variety of musicians who performed renditions of songs ranging from opera, barbershop and Broadway.
The Cabaret on Pinebrook concert was the brainchild of Temple Israel’s own cantor, Erik Contzius, who collaborated with Sister Beth Dowd, director of Songcatchers Inc. to organize and bring the event to fruition.
Aside from providing an afternoon chock full of lively musical entertainment, Cabaret on Pinebrook was held as a benefit for Temple Israel’s musical program and the array of programs provided by Songcatchers Inc.
Songcatchers Inc. is an organization that offers various high quality, affordable performing and visual arts programs that are “accessible to the neediest members of our community,” Dowd said.
A multitude of accomplished musicians performed, including soprano Lori Engle, alto Valerie Coates, lyric tenor Timothy O’Connor and baritone Jeff Morrissey, who were all accompanied by pianist Jonathan Faiman.
Contzius’ barbershop quartet, 29 Seconds, dazzled the crowd with many lively tunes. Contzius sang with fellow cantor Helene Shifrin Reps and performed some solos as well. Affiliated with the Westchester Chordsmen, 29 Seconds’ members are Dan Rendich, tenor, Rob Scholl, lead, Scott Kruse, baritone, and Erik Contzius, bass.
The Songcatchers concert choir also took the stage to perform a selection from the Prince of Egypt.
Dowd said she thought the program was delightful and offered a good experience to see a variety of music and artists.
“Many of our young people aspire to go further in music, and this was a great opportunity for them to see what the possibilities are,” she said.
Audience member Carol Ostrov said she is a big fan of the music of Oscar Hammerstein.
“We knew all the songs,” she said. “It’s unusual for me to hear a barbershop quartet, they’re so talented, so full of life, vigor and enthusiasm and they all sang so beautifully.”
Ostrov was particularly taken by the Songcatchers.
“And to have the Songcatchers was a delight,” she said. “They’re a talented bunch of young people, and it was truly a lovely afternoon.”
Christina Blay’s child performed in the concert.
“I loved it,” she said. “For a Sunday afternoon this has been just great.”
For those who were unable to attend Sunday’s concert and would like to contribute to Songcatchers and Temple Israel’s musical programs, click on the links below for contact information.